Magnolia Special Travel Journal

October 21, 2011 – Official Start – Manhattan, New York

First fill of the trip. Now heading back to @CCCmanhattan for the official start

And we’re on the road. Official start time 2:13

It’s begun. JT has his serious face on to boot

Just reached Baltimore.

Fill number 2 in Gaithersburg MD

No problems so far, let’s hope this stays the case so our only pain will be champagne.

October 22, 2011 

We fell asleep and fire went out last night leading us to our discovery that 40 degrees is really cold.

Beautiful day driving through NC, time for aviators… at least for Max, JT is slightly more serious.

We have now been on the road for 24 hours!

Just added a new gauge to the dash: Altimeter. This will allow us to use its information along with the information from our wide band O2 sensor gauge (below it) to tune the car for optimum fuel economy while changing elevation and barometric pressure. Pretty neat.

Driving through Hotlanta

THE TANKS ARE FIXED! The dilemma of our shortened range can be answered by one simple mistake. During final tests of the CNG system JT incorrectly installed the clip on one primary tank. On the up side it has only cost us an additional 11 miles and the time to reconnect the tank. Now that we got our dumb mistake out of the way it’s full speed ahead.

I’ve never been so cold in my entire life… On the way to Shreveport

October 23, 2011 

Without sleep for either of us since Thursday, JT saw a stegosaurus crossing the road and we decided to stop in at the local motel for the night outside of Jackson.

Back in Louisiana, there have been some rough patches but should be smooth sailing from here.

Recap: poor #CNG fill in Birmingham, frost warnings, fully duct taping grill to increase engine temp and aerodynamics, baby car at 60mph to be efficient, sleep through freezing rain, running on fumes and adrenaline to make it to the next station.

October 24, 2011 

Leaving Elk City Oklahoma bundled up for our desert crossing

Recap: After 1000 miles straight beaten by blistering wind, the desert night was colder than any other. We pulled over, slept on a park bench for about an hour, then continued on. A few hundred more miles in a moonless night and it was time to take a shower and wait for sun. Another hour in a motel and we’re back on the road but our fuel gauge is showing lower than when we had pulled in, this can only be explained by tanks cooling or a possible leak. Power loss is evident as we barrel down I40, but we attribute it to our Altimeter reading of 2200 ft. We duck behind the screen and cross our fingers for the 300 more miles to Albuquerque.

Apparently @RedBull marketing confused “wings” with “the jitters”

We got really #high in NM. Altimeter eventually read 5000ft.

Filling at the Albuquerque airport and doing our last major checks before the longest section yet

It’s always something! This view might be beautiful but the altitude is killing our mileage and power getting up hills, not to mention the cold conditions in Flagstaff provide for a drop in pressure in our tanks. Yet another nail biter

I see rain in our future

After wearing a helmet for 3 days, it starts to hurt

This sunset is just too beautiful to not show again, without the bug covered windshield this time.

October 25, 2011

Last fill of the trip!!!!

Warm, dry, good fill, running great…. Smooth sailing straight down I10 to LA

We’re in LA! Made it at 4:13

The New York to Los Angeles record for alternative energy automobile has been established. No support vehicle. Public access facilities only. 100% domestically produced fuel.

The Magnolia Special, piloted by JT Nesbitt and Maxwell Materne, has completed the journey in an elapsed time of 89 hours exactly. And H. Nelson Jackson smiled.

Thank you! JT, Max and Maggie (the special’s new nick name) have awoken from the trip induced coma filthy and sore but none the less triumphant. We could not have completed this epic journey without the love and support everyone has shown both to us and the quest for a realistic energy alternative. Again, we thank you and hope to have set a precedent that will lead the way to a better future.


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