Our grateful thanks to Mr. Jim Graven for spearheading, organizing, and executing 80’s Road Trip 2104. Clearly everyone had a blast, and it would never have gotten off the ground if not for Jim. It is not easy to set up a trip with this number of people and cars and places to visit, then have it go off without a hitch. Karl, Steve, Jessi, Val and Jenn all played a role in making this venture a success, and we thank you all.
Team Wilen, our guides in South Dakota and the Black Hills, did an amazing job of herding cats for the most spectacular drives through an unforgettable portion of the American heartland. A most appropriate salute to our nation was included when we visited Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monuments.
Steve, who put together our website, won the bet for whose car would break down first (Mustang), and captured the T-Shirt Award for Max Headroom. All of these accomplishments and he had to tarnish his efforts by squatting over giant bison poop.
A number of participants were singled out for special recognition during the trip. Enduring dust, rain, sun and wind blown hair, Bob and Marita won the Iron Man Award. Hoooah!! On top of that, Marita was a shoe-in for the Drive it Like You Stole It Award.
A very special thanks to Blues Fan Steve for being Randy’s “special date” throughout this adventure and for giving Randy the support and encouragement to drive the concours-winning Mustang on unpaved roads and cow trails.
The Road Trip Courage Award, with multiple clusters, went to Dave, who in the face of withering fire and continuous peer insults, bravely ordered vegetarian meals in the heart of deer, antelope and bison country.
In a group of self-proclaimed outstanding drivers, Trey, with his Carolina NASCAR blood, clearly stood above the rest on those two-lane mountain roads. Whether drafting a Prius or slingshotting a Kia, Trey repeatedly demonstrated his Thunder Road driving skills by clearing a path for our convoy through the Rocky Mountains with his 3 tons of American iron.
The Whiplash Award for turning the most heads is a dead tie between KITT and the IROC Z. Even the Porsche was outshined, although it had many fans and photographers. BMW gets an honorable mention for making an angry German run it down to demand an explanation as to the German plate.
Every great adventure can be summarized with a few words that are widely understood and unmistakenly inform the audience of the speaker’s feelings or intentions. The phrase “We are rolling Now” indicated that Karl was in his car and moving, and laggards and stragglers without GPS or Google Map service were in serious trouble.
However, the winning and most enduring quote of the road trip goes to a girl. Hands down, Marlene and her girlie southern accent won our Most Memorable Quote Award with never to be forgotten, “What the hail?”
We would like to give our heartfelt thanks and the Most Awesome Hosts Ever Award to Dale and Claudia for hosting us at dinner 80’s style in their beautiful home in Cheyenne, and for letting us put a huge dent in the wine cellar. We could have stayed forever, but they ran us off claiming they had an out of town trip or some other such lie 🙂
Thank you David L for seeing us off at the start in Kansas City, festooned in complete club race grid team attire. Love that. And thank you Steve and Carolyn for meeting up with us in Sioux City for lunch, a real treat to see you guys!
Many, many thanks to all our travel companions, and thank God for our safe and fun adventure. As Steve Jones said, the trip was epic.