#mbrt13, a hashtag for an idea that sprung from one mans head and developed into a project for twelve. In a very short period of time the plans for a fantastic road trip were made and what felt like an blink of an eye we had our plane tickets, roadmap and itinerary.
An international crew going from Los Angeles (or actually Carlsbad) all the way to Detroit. I know, it doesn’t sound too hardcore, but if you have to make it in a bit less then 5 days it becomes a challenge.
With our internal title “Guarding the E-Class” we had the four E-Class models you can buy right now, the sedan, the wagon, the coupe and the convertible, literally guarding a brand new 2014 E-Class, driven by our wonderful hosts Wolfgang Würth of Mercedes-Benz and Lena our favourite intern. Jan and me had the joy of driving a white 2013 ML. Very useful as we combined had so much gear to transport and still needed some space in the car to shoot for example out of the boot or the backseat.
Our team was at least as fantastic as our rides. I personally didn’t know all of them beforehand and that made it even more exciting. You never know who you end up with, but I enjoyed it very very much and the more we got to know each other, the better it got. One of the best things of events like these and travelling in general is meeting new people and maybe even forming new friendships. And that we did I am sure. Hanging together on a very small space for such a “long” time can bring out the best and worst. luckily most our experiences were positive and I am very thankful for meeting and hanging with you guys.
Our whole crew was formed by (in alphabetical order) starting with Amos Kwon who joined us for Gearpatrol.com and jumped in for Heike who had to leave us in Chicago, Bjoern Habegger of Mein-Auto-Blog.de, Christopher Weiss of Gizmag.com, Gianluca Pezzi of Autoblog.it, Heike Kaufhold of Koelnformat.de, Jan Gleitsman of Auto-geil.de and the spin doctor of this trip, Javier Alvarez of motorpasion.com, Jens Stratmann of Rad-ab.com, Omar Rana of EGMCarTech.com, Sébastien Claudet of dandies.fr and last but not least and as mentioned before Wolfgang Würth and Lena of Mercedes-Benz Germany.
My journey started at the Cologne main station from where I took a train to Frankfurt’s International Airport and met up with most of our european crew. Mr. Claudet was already in LA four days before (fantastic idea btw.) and met us in LAX. The flight was good, besides a small water leak somewhere in the brand new plane, but nothing serious. Immediately after arrival in Los Angeles we were shuttled down to Carlsbad where we were going to pick up our cars and get a tour through the Mercedes-Benz Design Center. It was quite a long journey, but the great reception and extremely interesting Location made it easy to stay awake and focused. The Design Center alone would be the perfect place to spend a few days and shoot a lot of interesting footage to get an insight into the automotive design work they do there. We were shown some of the very futuristic concepts they developed there, shown the workshop they use to built the life size clay models and finally got our very own world premiere of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Including the never before shown or introduced Siri integration by the by the Palo Alto Team. A lot of input in a very short time. The latest after dinner the last one of us was ready for a good nights sleep before the long drive we had in front of us the next day.
Our, lets call here US liaison or Mercedes-Benz mom, had put together two packs for each car. One with a blanket and everything emergency related. The second bag filled with snack goodies and drinks. That was a very cool surprise and helped out a lot.
I am pretty sure I (actually most of us) didn’t get more than three to four hours of sleep each night until we got to Detroit, but being on the road and all the joy that came with it kept me going quite well. Of course you nap away a little in between once or twice, but you don’t wanna miss anything and you don’t want to be too unfair towards your co-driver.
As low as our sleep count was, the higher our energy intake got. Energy drinks, sweets and way too much meat. Oh I am not complaining if you think that, especially not if I think back at our fantastic breakfast in Amarillo or the amazing dinner in Chicago, just from my diet and workout point of view, it was a loooooooong cheat weak.
At this post I will not go to much more into detail about the trip and not overwhelm you with all the photos, but be sure you will get all the important details. I used my Field Notes Expedition edition for a handwritten travelog and will most probably scan the pages, but as I wrote a lot of it in the car while driving it could be a bit shaky. Combined with the Fuji Instax prints it will make a fantastic blog post.
Ah well… lets not get ahead of ourselves. Enjoy the photos and I’d love to hear from you. Do you like road trips?! have done any recently? What was your favorite one? Or even better… what is your dream road trip?