Fear and Loathing In the Chevy Traverse

David Murray

Road trips demand a rare breed.

For many the road trip consists of nothing more than the mundane transportation from point A to B. Stopping along the way to gather the useless trinkets or pecan roll.  The highwayman’s last export.

This trip was different. There would be no relaxing pleasure cruise. No poetic moments of insight while gazing  through the pastoral scenery. Instead this would be nothing more than a mad dash through the gritty turnpike of America. All the way pushing the limits of personal endurance and technological limitations.  This would be a true adventure.

My companions consisted of a short Pilipino, a Ryan Seacrest look alike, and the girl. Good people. We all would embrace the madness.

Our trip started in earnest on Monday morning, March 8th. Together we would set out to prove that Detroit still meant something. That there was talent and drive not ready to turn over and die. This would make our home town proud, and a long the way we would indulge ourselves in the energy that would ensue. Living the true Detroit experience.

The vehicle chosen for our travels, was the Chevy Traverse. A beast of a machine full of buttons, dials, and gadgets that no human should ever have access to. We had already packed enough technology with us to maintain our attention level at a relatively safe point. Any additional distractions would surely take us over the edge. Regardless we pressed on.

Stopping at some local haunts, it became immediately apparent that this project was much bigger than ourselves.

Most people were willing to extend their hand and help in any activity that was required of us. Only in a few instances were we asked to not enter. This helpful attitude was shared throughout our trip. Many would stare in wonder, but always with a small smile of curiosity. One could sense that people, regardless of race, gender, or geographic locations, where ready for some levity after the heavy steel blanket they had been wearing for the past few years.

We wouldn’t be alone on this trip. Seven other groups of individuals were also on the same mission. Along the way communications and activities would be shared online. The general attitude of the other teams was that we had set the bar high right out of the gate. It would then become their mission to take us down. The target was painted, and we knew we were in the firing line. Nothing to do now, but push “Hustle Dragon” to the edge.

This was my 1st experience having wifi in an automobile, and like the distant relative you loathe to visit. It wasn’t always functioning. At times it ceased to exist. Even our back up devices would fail to deliver.

Regardless of these setbacks, our troupe pushed on.

Endless hours of video editing, posting content, and car sickness would not bring us to our knees. But the true source of energy for our trip, was the community back home. You could feel their excitement as we inched closer to the finish line. The support was amazing, and it was the deciding factor of our victory.

Finally, we made it to our destination.

With a large sigh of relief we all took a moment to silently congratulate ourselves for a job well done. We had dodged all the bullets, beat all the odds, ignored the doubters and the swine, represented our home town, and made it in time for the next party. There would be little time to rest. Duty would call to represent Detroit once more.

It was time for South by Southwest.

*Important Note*

Team Detroit  is the official winners the first Chevy SXSW Road Trip Challenge!  Congrats!


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