Prologue: As we began to realize that we would make it to the Epic Indy Weekend (EIW), we started checking flight schedules and prices. Our friends warned us that flights would be full and expensive, and they were. Bill said, “Why don’t we drive?” That was not a bad idea. We were both sick of dealing with airline prices, delays, BS, etc. (Living on a 4 mile by 12 mile rock in the Caribbean meant that we were a captive consumer for the airlines.)
I was intrigued, but did not want to make a hell-for-leather dash across half the country. I said as much, and we decided to make the drive a true road trip, taking time to stop along the way and see as much as we could of what is often referred to as the “flyover” part of the country. Being between jobs and permanent living quarters for the first time in our lives, we decided to go for it.
We needed a new car (we sold almost everything when we left St. Thomas), and since we planned to explore the West Coast anyway, we decided to look for a vehicle that was larger than the Honda CRV we had in the islands. We didn't even know what was on the market, so we started at one end of where the car dealerships in Bellingham were located and worked our way down. The choices were overwhelming! On the advice of our brother, Mike, we looked at the Ford Explorer and liked it. It was big enough, comfortable, and in our price range. We also consulted with friend Adam Goldstein, who is Chairman and Chief Technical Officerfor a company that converts trucks (and Ford Explorers) to run on Compressed Natural Gas and Liquid Petroleum Gas. I don't know all the particulars, but I do know that Adam knows cars. He recommended that we skip the 4-cylinder, turbo-charged whatever and go with a reliable 6-cylinder Ford Explorer, and we did!