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1251 Gallons of gas
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The One Constant
Wednesday, Oct 3, 2007 from East Lansing, Michigan
Posted: Oct 3, 2007 | 486 words | 0 Comments
September 28th was one of the more difficult days of this last year; the day I had to return the Invasion Mobile. This was my house for a year, ever more than that, a home. For one year I lived out of this car. I hauled my duffel bag, camera bag, and laptop bag in and out of it daily. All driving time totaled this year and I spent 1⁄12 of this entire year sitting in the driver’s seat of that 2007 Jeep Compass. That’s one minute for every 12 minutes of this entire year. A lot of time.
The Compass was truly the only constant of the trip. Every few days was a new home, a new state, a new environment. Between all those stops there was my time in the Jeep, the driving time became my time to decompress. It offered me my freedom. I could jump in and drive, and drive, and drive as far as I want or whatever route. It was my getaway. My retreat to sanity. Of all the things I’ll miss from this trip, the freedom of the open road will be one of the biggest.
Incredible. I was able to have sponsorship from Jeep for a year. That’s no ordinary accomplishment. The support came from all directions. To have the Invasion Mobile with graphics all over it added character to the trip. It was the defining symbol of The Hometown Invasion Tour. When I walked by someone I could have been anyone. When they saw me photographing Rice, no big deal. But the car gave legitimacy and was always the biggest of conversation pieces. Probably hundreds of times posing next to it or having other people pose next to it. People coming up and asking questions whenever I was in a busy gas station or parking lot. It was the recognition point of the trip, the defining character, the one constant. Millions of people stared as I drove by. It added so much more, another element, and a brand new dynamic to the trip. The was only one key in my life, that was the key to my wheels, my ride, my hook up, and that was a cool thing.
This was the livelihood, the quintessential symbol, and simply the coolest part of this entire trip. The 2007 Jeep Compass Invasion Mobile was a one-of-a-kind car that will never be again. Something special that gave purpose to the road, the drive, and re-defined the idea of “road trip” for years to come.
I can assure there has never been another Jeep that’s been photographed and documented as going to all 50 states, possible the first Jeep ever to make it to all 50 states. Someday soon I’ll print a poster-size print of my favorite Invasion Mobile photo to remember what a cool year this has been. And in the words of so many other people, “That’s sweet man!”