Category Archives: Preparation

This section contains everything we have done to get ready for this voyage. Lots of planning and ideas, and anything else that happened before we got on the road.

APRIL FOOLS!

Just a quick note for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, the tour is still completely on schedule. The whole thing about drug smuggling and the FBI and the bus getting impounded was April Fools day prank. Though I’ve never met the guy who sold John the bus, I’m sure he’s a very nice man, and isn’t in any trouble with the law.
Thank you for all of your enthusiasm to keep the tour going, and we’ll keep you updated with any new developments!

Nothing Is Over

Anne Marie is impounded, and none of us know if it’ll ever be back in our hands. We probably won’t get the tour back in order in time for this summer.

But the tour will happen.

If it takes another year or more, if it takes an Anne Marie II, if it takes the skin of our teeth we will persevere. This adventure didn’t get this far without a never-say-die attitude.

Nothing “was.” Nothing “lasted.” Nothing is over.

Vive le Tour!

A Premature End to a Great Idea

Damn.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of this trip. To everyone who has joined our facebook group or followed the blog, to everyone who has volunteered their homes as rest stops, and to everyone else who has shared our enthusiasm, thank you. Unfortunately, it now looks like this trip will never get off the ground.
We received a call very early this morning from Cheney Tech. Apparently several police officers, along with a member of the FBI, stormed into the garage where the bus was being held and worked on, and demanded that all work being done to the bus stop immediately. The bus, they claim, was part of an ongoing drug smuggling investigation. I guess when their prime suspect got wise that they were onto him, he sold the bus on ebay under an alias, which explains why John was able to get it as cheap as he did.
I’ve spent all day on the phone with the Manchester police. They keep telling me that because this is an inter-state narcotics investigation, that it is the primary jurisdiction of the FBI. The bus was impounded, and nobody seems to know when we’ll get it back, if ever. They’re not even able to tell me if the drug smuggler has been caught, or when when he’s scheduled to stand trial. And apparently the FBI is pretty upset about the amount of alteration that’s been done to the bus (it interferes with their investigation).
We’ll keep you guys posted, but at this point, the future of the trip is in serious jeopardy. We probably won’t get Anne Marie back any time soon, and it’s doubtful that we have the time (or the money) to get a new one. But thank you again for all of your support. It was a wonderful idea, while it lasted.

Stories Within Stories

If you ever took an English class in which you read The Canterbury Tales or The Decameron or One Thousand and One Nights or even if you watched Forrest Gump, your instructor might have told you about frame narratives. In case you’ve forgotten, frame narratives are essentially stories that allow many different stories to be told within them.
That’s sort of how I’ve been thinking about the Juan Way Tour. Sure, it’s got the makings of a simple road-trip story. But it seems so much bigger than that. It’s a group of people, friends mostly, who are spending their summer break driving for thousands of miles. That’s huge! There’s going to be so much more to this trip than the catalog of sights we saw, than the final score on the odometer.
Maybe I’ll finally learn how to play guitar during all that down time we’ll have on the highway. That’s a story. Maybe I’ll learn how to speak Arabic from Ali. That’s a story. There’s been excited speculation among the Tour members that we should capture everything in a documentary or a novel. Each of those is it’s own story. I recently remembered an idea that I had back in high school. I want to construct a one of those big, glossy coffee table books. “Sandwiches of America” I’d call it, and it’d be filled with delicious recipes and big colorful photographs of the best sandwiches in the country. Who knows, maybe I’ll start the research for that this summer. That’d be a story.
There’s also the personal stories of everyone aboard this madcap adventure. What sort of personal growth will come about as a result? Maybe knowing how to drive a bus will come in handy at some critical juncture in one of our lives.  I doubt it, but not many people can drive a bus, and learning how to do so certainly sounds like a story. And what about the stories of everyone we’ll be interacting with, both during our pit-stops and online? How will this story interweave with the stories of those who read about us?
This trip is going to be huge. It has almost unlimited potential, and I hope I’m able to make the absolute most of it. The places we visit will be amazing, yes. But this is more than a vacation. It will be the things that fill our days that, when all is said and done, we won’t have enough time in the world to share.

Resolve

I’ve waited for this too long to stay home.