Under the militant gaze of a marauding Californian condor, I broke into US 6/95 at high noon for new territory, escorted by twisting dust devils that threatened to outflank me from either side of the road.
Out in the distance, the desert sun blazed through naked sky and made the road a shimmering blur, heat waves boiling up and spilling across the surface. I remembered the condor and wondered how on earth any species can go about it's business in this heat without being dehydrated to extinction by the despot up in the sky.
Not a single part of me believed I was anywhere near California, a state known for it's beautiful weather and breathtaking beaches, and yet as the Merc stormed down the searing asphalt, the truth became self evident.
First, I broke into a turn at the US-6/US-95 junction, taking care to snap a photo because I like to take photos of interstate junctions. I'll chalk this up to the same flight of lunacy that drove me to create the Church of Latter Day Motorists.
Then came the greener and thicker shrubbery lining the road.
Then juvenile pines meekly dotting the surrounding hillsides.
I made it into the Benton Agricultural Checkpoint an hour and a half later, which was staffed by some chick in her mid twenties: sort-of-cute freckle-faced with short brown hair, blue eyes and just a shade under 5"7, with an undeniably curvy feminine figure that generously filled out the rather drab grey and brown uniform--maybe she once had an athletic build.
She dodged the lens when I whipped out my smartphone--understandable thing to do, since I probably looked like some down-on-his-luck pimp--but I was trying to take a shot of the agricultural checkpoint. While she waited for me to take the pictures, her face twisted into a look that said "tourist/weirdo", and once I was done she glanced right past me to examine the contents of the vehicle.
With utmost counternace she asked me where I came from and where I was going.
I recited rapid-fire verbatim: " I love driving and this might be my last drive in a long time so I rented this car from Hertz in Vegas yesterday night drove from there to Beatty this morning stopped for lunch in Tonopah then drove from there heading towards Bishop then afterwards Bakersfield then up the I-15 back to Vegas. I'm not carrying anything except drinks and my laptop for writing content for a blog I created--"
"That's fine," she said, raising her arms in complete surrender/frustration to my excess words. "You can go."
I shot her what I thought was a winning smile, but it fell flat; she ruthlessly ignored, then walked back into her station to while the day away on her iPhone.
I kept smiling as I drove past the checkpoint, but at this stage it was more at the coincidence than at her. It seems Nevada and California have a thing for hiring girls around the 20-28 age range and shuttling them off to staff some forsaken outpost--be it an agricultural checkpoint or guiding traffic through the most random construction zone in the history of all under heaven.
Not that I'm complaining--I'd deal with whomever the states deems fit for the job--and if that employee is a sort-of-cute girl around my age range rather than a stone-faced bloke then all the better. As the Merc ate up the miles, I considered what to say to strike up a proper conversation the next time.
Before I knew it, I was at my next checkpoint: Bishop, CA
Breaking out onto the road, I powered onwards to my next checkpoint: Tonopah, NV. I remember traveling in the opposite direction, two years ago, after sixteen hours straight on the road. My heart was palpitating, so mentally clocked out from the fatigue that I couldn't remember that I was starving and that I had bought food less than twenty minutes ago for that exact problem. That was the must brutal, punishing hours I've ever faced on the road, but I like to think I'm wiser for it.
It was...different to look at it with a clearer mind, when I'm able to focus on more than one thing at a time, and have all the time in the world to finish this journey because I didn't place arbirary carrots in front of myself to spurr me past the fatigue. It's still standard fare Nevada desert for miles upon miles unbroken in either direction, don't get me wrong, but this time I was able to appreciate the desert beauty. There's something comforting about being in a car that's at a comfy 76 degrees when you know it's 104 outside. I like to think it's the safety and comfort of being in a vehicle while it dutifuly whisks you along the way, in an environment where if left to your own devices you stand a very real chance of dehydration, heatstroke--and death--in a matter of hours.
I continued trying to understand the highlights and sensations this car gives. There’s a rich, subdued tenor to it, and it tries it’s best to make you feel that everything is effortless. Coupled with a cabin so isolated from the road you’d swear you’re in a sensory deprivation chamber, you’ll find yourself in the centennial club just quick enough to stab the brakes.
In the braking department it does quite well, particularly frustrating a highwayman just outside Goldfield, NV when the limit jumps from 70 to 45—then 25 and car managed to dip into family-friendly digits. I always wondered why Highway Patrol always rock mirrored aviator specs, and now I know one reason—it hides the impotent rage filled in their eyes as a close-call awkwardly rolls past them.
By the time I approached Tonopah, NV, I was running out of steam, so I took a quick power nap on the one ice chain/snow tire installation shoulder that didn’t have a sign inviting any passing highwaymen to legally volunteer my wallet towards supporting the County police force.
I rolled into a gas station, where the car had it’s second fill, after which I started looking for my own. I was absolutely guttered and crestfallen to see that the McDonald’s I so fondly used as my checkpoint in Tonopah was no longer in operation.
Typical; I leave for just two years and look what happens.
After wrestling the obdurate tyranny of Mercedes’ COMAND sat nav to set my route, I started driving around looking for a place to eat. It seems all the usual drive thru are shut down in this area, so I rolled into some local place called Cisco's Restaurant for a quick bite. Something told me I probably should think twice about eating here, but the folks that run the place were nice enough. There was only this kid in a Volvo T5 in front of me, so service was pretty quick.
Had to park in the dirt. For some reason this concerned me more than usual.
Both driver and machine energized, it was time to hit the road again.
The first thing I noticed about this car is that merely getting behind the wheel, you immediately get a feeling that you’ve gained a shade or two of what I'll call "reserved might."
Maybe it’s when the sheer immensity of the vehicle finally clicks as you sink into those slick leather bucket seats. Maybe it’s when the long and deep hood before me terminates into the Mercedes-Benz encircled star emblem--shinning like a pinnacle--no doubt signaling to my brain that there’s a whiff of aristocratic privilege gripped by my filthy proletariat hands. The way the machine carries itself, you just feel that it's powered by an engine born with pedigree, ready to hurl the car into every turn at the whim of my left foot.
Packing a 302HP 3.8L V6, the Merc definitely had the kick when you need it, but let’s be honest: in the day of run-of-the-mill Camaro SS putting down over 420 to the rear wheels, it’s not exactly something to write home about. It doesn’t shout like the American muscle cars I’ve toyed with before, yet neither relegates itself to meekly thrumming along only to howl in tortured agony, like the Japanese or Korean offerings, as you bury the tach into the redline and your fingers strike the flappy-paddles like a crazed gunman.
After getting comfortable with all the Japanese-y Playstation stuff, when I looked out across traffic I slowly began to see nothing but a scray automotive hellscape. Other cars just seemed lesser for some reason--either piddling along aimlessly or darting through traffic in manic haste--in stark contrast to the quiet ease with which I proceeded along during my journey. Maybe that says a lot more about me than it does about the car, so make of that what you will, but there was a definite lack of urgency with this car. It will pull hard if you ask, but it doesn't reward you for it. Rather, one gets the sense from the way the car carries itself that such boorish hooliganism ought to be beneath the station of the kind of people who can afford it.
Along the way I made a quick stop at a the Sourdour Saloon, but not before I wondered what pros and cons the good people of Beatty weighed before they voted a proper Wanker into office.
Schoolyard humor done with, I regarded the Sourdough Saloon once more. It’s a bit of an automotive Mecca, and so far a little known industry secret, but when car manufacturers are testing their latest creations in Death Valley, CA, they use this restaurant in this town as their forward operating base during the day.
For such an honor it is festooned with dollar bills from every tester to have made the pilgrimage thus far.
They put the front end of an older SLK 320 in the restauraunt. How the bloody hell did they fit it through the door? Did they bring it in piece by piece and then assemble it in side?
It was literally covered to the walls in automotive relics: bumpers, shattered parts, logos, you name it.
As a minister of the Latter-Day Motorists, it wouldn’t make much sense if we didn’t submit our own name to this great hall of fame. It's the one in the middle, with the words "latterdaymotorists.org" in cursive that looks like it was written by Quasimodo. I hope it'll still be there when I put the new 650i through it's shakedown run.
After that short break, it was time to get back on the road and cross, due in no small part to a situation I created myself, became the most heartbreaking stretch of road I've ever witnessed...a road that in 2011 damn near killed my will to drive ever again.
There’s something promising about waking up on a morning and knowing you’re going on a trip. There’s a certain freedom about it, a lot of possibilities waiting on the horizon. Right now the main possibility I’m wondering about is how much Hertz can make my wallet Hurt because I haven’t figured out how to turn off the parking brake on their 2013 Mercedes E350 and might very well damage it--never mind the COMAND satnav they have in this car, utterly breaking my stride.
Save for it's frankly ponderous bulk, there is nothing particularly ostentatious about this car. It appears neither especially expensive nor particularly aggressive, and rather just blends in with other cars in the parking lot. This, I imagine, is perfect when you're someone who is stacking pretty serious paper, but doesn't want to alienate your lower paid staff by showing up in a car more consummerate with your income level.
Well, anyways, before I head off I made a checklist to make sure I hit the ground running, and that I have everything I need.
1. Partake in the Road Warrior's Breakfast, a long standing tradition on these trips
2. Buy new charger ‘cause old one got broken. The old one that I bought in Baker, CA for nearly $25, because the gas station attendants bloody well knew I need a charger and they were the only game in town.
3. Laugh at Hertz brand satnav in a mid-range Mercedes.
4. Look up spots to rest up along the way, because I didn’t have a full night of sleep behind this trip.
My checklist complete, I pulled up into the nearby Shell gas station and took a few shots of the Merc, at the first of no doubt it’s many watering holes along this quick run.
That sorted out, I paired my phone with the soundtrack from Test Drive Unlimited 2 and was soon on the way to leave the valley at manic haste.
The ocean stands before me, vast and sparkling with sunlight. It's tides rise and crash, then quietly recede to build up strength and once more send a spray of white foam upon the pristine beach sands and sunburnt rocks. I've got no idea how anyone could fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing--the pugnacious tides are too loud, too explosive in energy, too irregular.
These tides I so wistfully lament are not unlike the tumultuous tides of change occurring in recent memory.
I read this book while depressed over something or other in August, a book about power, and it seems that singlehandedly triggered a tsunami of Change within me. It unchained a bit of greed, a bit of ambition and somewhat ocd like tendencies for symmetry and scorn for those who consciously choose to half ass something instead of doing it properly. It peeled away the layers of awkward unfailingly polite platitudes, the strained fake smiles, to expose more of the person I truly am deep down.
You have to be able to accept that the tides of Change will come, that sometimes your best laid plans will be swept away. Your chariots, your castles and your war chests may be swept away, but a king is a king, regardless of his trappings or his dwellings.
One must also have a story to tell, to be more than a quivering sheltered milksop born with a silver spoon in his mouth. One must be steadfast and resolute no matter the situation, and should be capable of forging his own legacy.
I now turn away from the ocean, having accepted the lessons it taught me with its ever changing tides. I drove some three hundred miles to achieve the solitude and mental clarity required to put my thoughts into words.
And it was worth every penny I spent from my paltry war chest.
I didn't feel like going home for the third time on January 20, 2014, so after a few hours of hanging out with my mates I jumped into my car and just started driving. I had no idea where I was going, and only knew that I wanted to go really far and hopefully wind up getting lost, or maybe find something useful after a bit of trouble that usually follows these wild tangents.
I got exactly what I was looking for.
Right outside Baker, CA, I started mentally clocking out, so I had no choice but to pull over at a rest stop and power nap for a bit. There was a few decent cars there, an Infiniti G35 and a 2010 V6 convertible mustang, which meant at least two other people were as uncomfortable as I was while trying to sleep in a sports car.
When I awoke, I did a quick visual inspection of my car, then continued on my way to get lost.
I not so randomly got off the freeway at Azusa, CA. There I tried to find a Walgreens or CVS that was still open to buy a charger, but there was no such luck, so I decided to get more fuel since its cheaper the farther you are from the freeway entrance or exit ramps. When I swiped my card, however, it was declined and I knew exactly why: since I never stopped here before, the bank thought someone nicked my card and locked it out.
I wanted this to happen, but the reality is I'm no stranger to these situations, so I decided that as long as I kept my phone charged I could communicate to rectify the situation or arrange at least two alternate solutions, so I spent the last cash I had to buy a charger from a gas station.
So when I strolled in there as my true self, with my hands locked firmly together behind me, eyes carrying the critical gaze of an assessor as I inspected the shop for the typical overpriced charger, the Indian fellow at the cash register did not seem too pleased to see me when I asked for the location of the chargers.
After I selected my item, he went about his task with the clear urgency of trying to get me out of there as soon as possible. Perhaps I came off a bit rude, a bit arrogant, but so be it--I believe that if you're not offending someone once in a while, you're bending to everyone's will, which is shit.
After this, I charged up my phone, rang up the bank and told them to quit locking out my card and continued exploring Azusa for a bit. I found a nice little community, nestled in the lee of a hill. I want to buy a house there one day, so that was the useful thing I found.
I then continued my trip of getting lost, continuing towards the shore because I at that moment remembered I've never been on a motoring pilgrimage to the sacred path that is the PCH, and so here I am (continued)
I made it to Tonopah about an hour later. After refueling, I went in the convenience store to use the bathroom and restock on snacks. I met a truck driver, and curious to measure the weight of my lunacy, asked him how long they usually drive before they're off the clock and have to sleep. He told me eight hours. I was now pushing into my 15th hour.
Having endured the road for so long, I let him know how much respect I've discovered for truckers and then went on my way. I took a backward glance the McDonald's on across the gas station, fondly remembering the time I nearly got stuck in the snow in the parking lot the year before.
I should explain that Tonopah is familiar ground, and even with my warped sense of distance, two hundred miles is enough for me to admit it's only "a bit far." This makes the Vegas > Tonopah > Rachel > Vegas circuit perfect, since it's just far enough for a good shakedown run on the cars I own, but close enough to fit in a day.
Just as I continued on US 95, a state trooper entered the freeway and pulled over a Chrysler Crossfire. I drifted past them, somewhat amused. I could swear I passed that Crossfire before. Better him than me. I'm certain I'd already been used as a guinea pig by someone on day two before, so this was another lucky break.
To remain as alert as possible, I turned the air conditioning to full blast and made it as freezing as possible, but as the miles dragged on and on, that measure became a critical requirement for me to just stay awake. This cheered me up a bit for some reason, but as I gazed at the agonizingly vast distance of the valley between where I was and the next mountain range, my enthusiasm waned yet again. Every time I'd near the mountain range, the road would swerve away from it to point me at yet another mountain range at terrible remove, again and again and yet again, and then some.
I honestly felt defeated.
Enough is enough, the voice of reason in my head insisted. This is far and beyond any shred of sanity, and you know it. Pull over and take a nap. They can ticket me if I want.
Perhaps incapacitated by the combination of sleep deprivation and hunger, I lost the ability to reason. I was so hungry I started to get a headache...but I could not stop. I'd completely forgotten about the snacks and Gatorade I bought in Tonopah. I had given everything I could to endure this, and I was so close to home but it still seemed like I was on an alien planet a billion light years away. My eyelids were burning, and my eyes ached.
At some point just outside Beatty, NV, my heart began to palpitate.
This is bad. Really, really bad, I'd thought. This is quickly becoming a very real medical emergency.
The drive was no longer fun, and was in fact dangerously close to torture. My eyes were completely blood shot, and I knew if I got pulled over it'd end badly no matter what. At worst they could suspect me of driving under the influence, and at best they'd ticket me anyway for driving while impaired.
Never again. I swore to myself, almost laughed at myself. Not like this. Never again.
Knowing this, I promised myself to just make it to Beatty and then rest, and I arrived there at 10 in the morning. Again there was nothing much to see here. A Bank of America there, a grocery store here, an old railway there. Having been before, I paid Beatty absolutely no mind except for that this is where I was supposed to find a spot to park.
I'd like to believe I did try to find a good spot, but in all likelihood I glanced at my immediate surroundings unimpressed, and then moved on.?Perhaps my mind unhinged, at this juncture I decided to place another carrot ahead of myself: make it to Pahrump, NV. It was only 69 miles away, and on my best day that's like a stone's throw away. I'd already tanked over a thousand miles, and when I looked at it in that perspective it might as well have been giving up literally at my doorstep.
Once outside Beatty, I remembered the snacks I bought in Tonopah. That was by far the best blueberry Gatorade and cheetos I've ever eaten. With every gulp and every crunch, I felt myself come back to life again. The fog in my head started to clear, my heavy eyelids no longer felt like they were on fire. Thirty miles to Pahrump, equal to a quick walk across the street compared to how far I'd driven, I started to celebrate my victory.
I got off US-95 to take US 160 on the way to Pahrump, and I should explain Pahrump to Vegas is nothing, since my usual monthly drive is Vegas > Pahrump > Indian Springs > Vegas, and a quick version of my full shakedown circuit. I've driven past here for as long as I've had a driver's license, and now I only had to drive about half of it to make it home. It was a bit of a rise on the road which must've seemed somehow symbolic to my triumph and made me ecstatic. I didn't dare forget the spirited little V6, that I'd unjustly hated the moment I laid eyes on it, had brought me here from heaven through hell and back.
I was absolutely in love with this car.
Ahead, Pahrump appeared in the high noon from a haze of dust and paper bags.
I stopped by a Burger King I frequented during my stint at CVS in Vegas as a Photo Lab Supervisor. I sat on the same parking spot I took back in 2007, when I discovered this settlement in my first car that helped me discover the joy of driving--a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero. I drove out here to just get away from the big city, to clear my head and just think, and then took the 95 all the way to Indian Springs, past Mt Charleston back to Vegas. I called my sister to let her know where I was, and then continued my way home.
I erased the remaining forty miles between Pahrump and home within an hour, up another mountain pass and then descended into the Las Vegas valley. In the final downhill run, I coasted the car and let it rest. It had done more than enough: it had helped me achieved a childhood dream I never thought I'd accomplish.
Below, I saw the familiar Red Rock Canyon, and just before that, the tiny settlement of Blue Diamond, NV. I took a left into Fort Apache Road, and then another left at the intersection of Sunset and Fort Apache to my apartment complex called Sunset Canyon. I made certain to park it close to my daily driver, and finally, battered but ultimately undefeated and proud, I glanced back at the two cars.
On the right, my 07 GT looked like an imposing brick of a muscle car--contours in sharp angular relief, glistening midnight black, tinted windows, blacked out rims. On the right, a slim, silver culmination of newer technology, sleek and refined in terms of road presence, bathed in dirt and the congealed syrupy remains of so many insects from its first strike.
Had I been in the financial position, I would've instantly bought the rental from AVIS.
It had eagerly done just about everything my GT could, and even excelled in areas mine never could out of the factory. The ride was comfortable, everything worked as expected, and its only failings were explicitly and meticulously designed to create a sizable gulf between it and the 2010 Mustang GT.
In the old days, perhaps this is how a warrior felt of his sword after a glorious battle. In my day, perhaps this is how Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond feel about the cars they drive on their Top Gear epic races.
This was by far the best drive I've taken so far, and I learned valuable lessons from not just about driving, but also about myself as well. I now know that in times of uncertainty, I am quite adaptable and do not cave so easily, and that not everyone out there is as inherently hostile as I believed. I also established my the 8/12 hours per driving session rule for myself, as well as learned the value of planning when embarking on a monumental endeavor. I will visit Seattle again, but this time for New Years with a couple friends to check up on another friend who moved there.
And this time, I'll know exactly what to do.
That is all.
As soon as I stepped hard on the accelerator, that all familiar surge of power eagerly pinned me to the seat. A side ward glance showed the moonlit countryside grass blur into shrubs, and shrubs into the towering pines of Modoc National Forest. By then the engine screamed in full overload as I charged up the ascent, hooked a curve and powered through a roller-coaster patch of dips and rises while Mexican speed metal thrashed at max volume. I distinctly remember one bug literally disintegrating across the windshield, but my focus was as close to laser sharp as it could be.
The electronic speed governor kicked in and could swear it felt like I'd driven into an invisible wall of water. I was mildly disappointed that even a car that drove and performed this great couldn't be saved from executive meddling. It dawned upon me that if I tried a run this quick in my 07 GT, I'd have flown off the road and been wrapped around a tree in record time. Or perhaps cleared an embankment to experience a moment of panicked horror before detonating like a giant ketchup filled balloon. There was no doubt in my mind that if they let this car do what it really could from the factory, it'd cannibalize sales of the 2010 Mustang GT. It didn't matter though, it was going was plenty quick enough.
I quietly congratulated myself for clearing Modoc National Forest in what must be at least a runner up record time. After downing another can of red bull and finishing the soda I had left, biological requirements began to get in my way. It was a little after midnight now, so I pulled over by Eagle Lake to take a piss. I was tempted to take a picture of this too, but knew the camera I had was no match for the human eye. All I will say is that it was like staring across a lake of captured moonlight that reflected the stars and clouds in the night sky. I couldn't believe it wasn't photo-shopped
I took off and continued my run, followed the twists, turns and dips of the road. Perhaps my ear is spoiled by my daily driver, so I noted to myself how restrained and quiet the car still felt at those speeds, but despite the lack of a deep exhaust drone in the cabin, I still couldn't shake the feeling that this refreshed S197, with its shockingly unimpressive road presence, was actually a certifiable lunatic, muzzled and strapped in a straight jacket.
As I went noting these unjust shortcomings, I failed to notice the California Agricultural Inspection station ahead. I slammed on the brakes--which did an admirable job of bringing me down to cruising speed--and inched the car forward, fully expecting a sea of blue and red lights to surround me.
Fortunately, it was 1 in the morning, and there was one Inspector in the station. The woman walked up to my car with a flash light, frowned at me, then silently examined the contents of my car. She asked if I was carrying any produce, which was by far the weirdest fucking question I've ever been asked, and awkwardly told her no. After that, she let me go, but I was pretty damn sure she saw how quick I was going. Maybe she didn't care, maybe she really couldn't tell how fast I was going, maybe she was just tired and couldn't be bothered with the process of holding me there while a state trooper drove in from a billion miles away.
I continued, and as soon as I was past her line of sight I was at it again, keenly aware I'd just dodged a bullet. I figured there really was no state trooper or park rangers at this hour, because I'd passed precisely zero camp sites, signs, or any indications that anyone lived here. It was just me on a twisting remote mountain road, and one hell of a driving paradise.
The first sign of civilization came as line of posts carrying power lines over an adjacent mountain that marched nearer to my road until they ran along side it. I climbed another incline, and after the apex the road took a gradual dip toward Susanville, CA at 2:30 in the morning. There was a fence here and there, passed what looked like a ranch or two, and then houses.
I didn't see much of the settlement at night, and my second wind was now flagging but I still had most of that energy. I refueled at a closed Chevron while counting my lucky stars that it wasn't some middle-of-nowhere speck that didn't have ATMs built into the fuel pumps.
Since my focus wasn't as sharp as it had been when I entered the forest, and I was edging toward early morning, I had to observe another commandment of grand touring: within city limits, thou shalt not exceed cruising speeds. Down the 395, I drove past Susanville, taking care to address any biological interruptions, and cruised on the way to Reno, NV.
Driving at normal cruising speed after holding race speeds for the better part of an hour, however, turned out to be a disaster.
As I'd already discovered on day one, eight hours of driving was my limit and twelve was the maximum I could guarantee. Slowly, but surely, the fatigue was winning. I had a hundred and fifty bucks left, and if I spent more than 50 bucks on lodging, I wouldn't have enough left for gas to make it home.
I'd put myself in a desperate situation, so it was up to me to get myself out of it.
The drive to Reno had an eerily quiet calm about it at 80mph. I passed few cars, and farther down the road, Janesville didn't look too shabby even at range and night. I tried to identify cars as they passed by in the opposite lane, but eventually I lost the mental faculties to even amuse myself. I really wanted to take a quick tour, but I just didn't have it in me. All I took away from it is that it's the poor man's version of Las Vegas. What was more important to me is that I was in Nevada, and for the most part I didn't really even need a map to get home.
After refueling, I continued on US 80 East, and by then early dawn broke over the horizon. I got of US-80 to continue on US-50 at Fernley, NV, which turned to US-117, and then finally US-95 South. At that moment I was really home free and felt as though I'd won a major battle, but the war wasn't won yet. Northern Nevada turned out to be another driving paradise, so as soon as I was outside city limits I floored it again.
Eventually I began to forget exactly why I was in such a hurry in the first place, which was to get to work on time, but really what I was looking for was sleeping in my own bed in glorious victory after achieving a driving endurance event that not everyone can or should handle. It felt like a monumental challenge, and valiant as I'd been, there simply wasn't anyway I'd make it to work by eight in the morning. Defeated, I emailed my boss to let him know I couldn't make it that day.
By the time I reached Walker Lake, I was just flat out of it.
I was on autopilot, barely conscious, as I drove into Hawthorne, NV. Only two things were on my mind: refuel at every half tank and getting home. I refueled at another Chevron at about 7 in the morning. Another kindly old lady allowed me to refuel, and she told me a bit about the place before I went my way. I was so out of it that I took the wrong turn and continued for a good mile before I realized my mistake and turned back to my route. There was a military base and somewhere in the distance what appeared to be some proving grounds.
Between Hawthorne and Tonopah, I tried to drive at wide open throttle in a desperate attempt to bid the last spark of energy left in me, as well as to cut down the time before I sleep in my own bed, but even that only lasted about fifteen minutes before I simply couldn't maintain the focus required to drive at such speeds.
I settled back to cruising speeds, and somewhere along the road, I ran into a construction zone in the middle of nowhere.
A female construction zone traffic director, about my age, held up the stop sign and told me to wait there for some old lady to guide traffic around the construction area ahead. At first I refused to acknowledge her because, irrationally, I was livid.
What are the bloody chances of running into a construction zone all the way out here? I mean, sure someone builds and maintains the roads--but fuck, seriously?
Powerless, I gave in and decided to wait. Traffic started to build up behind me, but that was fine because I was in the lead. After contemplating the disturbingly unusual amount of kind women I met during my adventure, I decided to use the time I'd waste being pissed to take a nap.
After about ten minutes, the construction zone traffic director woke me and informed me I could drive after the guide car ahead. I distinctly remember I found the construction zone traffic director disarmingly hot--and that she yelled after me to not pass the guide car. I slowed down and amused myself by imagining I was a bad ass racer who had to be slowed down by a pace car.
Little did I know of the crucible that was close at hand...a crucible that has left me scarred years later, and in the moment made me long for something as sweet and loving as pain...
They had so much cool shit there it's unbelievable. I toured biplane replicas and World War 1 planes, but I think the second best thing I saw there was the P-51 Mustang they had on display. It was actually a bit shorter than I thought it'd be in real life, but the engine that powered the thing was massive.
An old white guy came by me, also admiring the engine and said "now the only problem to solve is how to fit that in your car." I probably responded with something technical and awkward regarding the fuel consumption, custom frame, etc. I then moved on to see an SR-71 black bird, and holy shit that thing is epic.
In fact, the only thing even more incredible is the comically small cockpit. Nearby, they also had a replica of the "living room" of the international space station, and let me tell ya it isn't anywhere as cramped as it looks on TV. It's practically the size of a few bedrooms.
Next door, near a building they said was meant to house the recently decommissioned space shuttle, they had a special area where they saved the best for last--a decommissioned Air Force One, and a freakin Concorde.
I didn't even know this place was nearby, but fuck it was awesome beyond words. I always held the Concorde with special regard--as if it were some mythical machine that doesn't really exist in our world, and yet here I was physically touching such a marvel of engineering. I stopped by the entrance bomber and took a picture of the rental car that brought me there to experience all of this.
Despite its shortcomings, it had finally grown on me.
Unfortunately, my time at this spot was short, so after a few more minutes it was time to go. My first stop after the Museum of Flight was a Chevron gas station, where I ran my credit card, going about my business as usual with a "don't really care" attitude until the machine flashed the most dreaded words one can see at a gas station: DECLINED, PLEASE SEE CASHIER.
For an instant I nearly lost it. In two days, I'd blow nearly eight hundred bucks.
It's okay,I consoled myself.I still have options.
I immediately called the bank to verify all the charges I made so far, and between all the gas, snacks and lodging, it all added max out my card. But it was okay; with the rental's impressive mileage and enough reserved driving, I had enough gas to make it back home.
The only bad thing was that I wouldn't be sleeping at all on the return leg.
So? I fought back at the voice of reason in my head, I've dealt with worse. I can tank this.
In retrospect, thinking I could tank that was actually pretty stupid. I mean yes, of course I did tank it, but that's like saying you'd be perfectly fine walking through a desert provided you've got enough water. No doubt that it's possible, but you really, really shouldn't.
I left Seattle (well, actually, at this point was closer to Tacoma) around 14:00, but I wasn't going to drive through car-hating Oregon again just to drive right back the same path I did, so I took off on the I-5 south toward the first checkpoint on my return leg--Portland, OR. I got to enjoy the countryside again until I started flagging, and then realized that it's not just the car that needs refueling. I stopped at the next Burger King along the way and then cruised down the freeway.
There was a bit of rain as I drove into a traffic jam in Portland, but as soon as that cleared up it was smooth sailing once again. Some time after 17:00, another kid in a 1994-1999 Mustang V6 pulled into the freeway. We didn't run but I decided to amuse myself by playing highway buddies. I think he's the only one to notice me following him and returned the favor. We'd speed up and slow down to drive relatively close to each other until he gave me a thumbs up then broke off the freeway somewhere in the city limits of Eugene, OR, and I continued farther to break off the I-5 onto US-58.
After a fuel stop somewhere in Pleasant Hill, OR, the sun begun to set. The forest road was an absolute pleasure to drive on. If I lived in this area, I'd start a Sunday drive tradition in this area.
I made a quick stop at Dexter Reservoir, and I probably have pictures of it somewhere, but there wasn't much time to look.
As I drove night continued to vanquish the lingering dusk, light peeling into shadows.By the time I broke of US-58 to US-97, it was completely dark outside, but having passed a state trooper kickin' it in his Charger in the shade of a tree, I had to be careful since as everyone knows, highway troopers are nocturnal.
To give myself an edge I observed another commandment of solo grand touring: at times of uncertainty, thou shalt elect a guinea pig car like your own situated at adequate range, and then measure his driving behavior to tell when to slow down, and upon his possible capture by highway trooper, elect another once more. At Klamath Falls, I began to grow impatient. Said guinea pig was passed at sudden alacrity, and after a quick pit stop at a gas station, I continued toward the state line.
As soon as I arrived in Northern California: disaster.
My smart phone, the only navigation aid I had, decided this was a good time to leave me for dead. The phone would boot but immediately crash, and I had no way to fix it while sitting on the side of the road. I was blind. I had no idea how much longer I had to go, and which exit to turn so I can continue on the right way, and most critically, there was only two hundred bucks left for both food and gas. Despite all of this, I wasn't scared. In fact, I sort of wanted something like this to happen because I saw this situation for what it was: a moment in life when a man has to trust himself and keep moving forward. It seems dramatic, I know, but when you're parked on the side of the road that far from home with no one that can help you but yourself, that's what it all boils down to.
Bravely I continued forward, and neither street sign nor mile post escaped my scrutinizing gaze. I was looking for something that sounded either Southern California or Northern Nevada, or just South in general. One of two things was going to happen that night: either I keep going and wind up on the right path, or wind up on the wrong path and keep going until I stumble onto some familiar sounding. This took the better part of two hours, and during which the fuel tank dipped to well below half. There were no gas stations in sight, but, salvation was at hand.
After about 23:00, I finally saw a sign that marked Reno, NV, and in the distance, the road disappear into a snaking ascent up a mountain. I opened the window, breathed in the crisp air and felt the dread and peril evaporate away. I was tired but I'd crossed that threshold of fatigue where your body gives up on telling you you're tired, and I wasn't about to let the opportunity go to waste.
I reached into the center storage console for my last reserve of four red bull cans, finished one in a few powerful drags, and then hunted through the XM satellite stations for something energetic to supercharge my second wind. What I found was something both hilarious and awesome at the same time on a station called Liquid Metal. At this point it didn't matter what route I'd originally planned; this was now my final necessary checkpoint on the way home, and I knew I was going to make it in time.
The final rush had finally begun.
I woke with the alarm clock, with sun rays on my face, quite glad that I wasn't waking up in Vegas. Renewed, I hit the ground running and showered and then checked out of the motel in what must've been a personal record time, only somewhat disappointed that I'd missed the free continental breakfast that ends at 7am.
At this point, my clothes positively reeked, so I looked up a Target store to get new clothes, and any place I could order the only breakfast that'd suffice for a road warrior--two eggs sunny side up, American cheese and hash browns, sandwiched between two slices of buttered white toast, and a glass of water to go with it. The breakfast place in question turned out to be the IHOP near the Snake River Gorge. This time I remembered to take pictures.
There was a bit of construction at the junction of I-93 and US-84 that spun me around and had me going in the wrong direction. Luckily, the dividers are roughly ten miles wide, and I feeling particularly brave that morning, I made a U turn and continued on my way to the next check point--Boise, ID.
Between the facts there's nothing but farms in this state and that you can see for miles upon miles in any direction, their state highway patrol took it upon themselves to hide in the tall grass that sometimes served as dividers between lanes.
Predictable,I'd laughed, feeling quite intelligent, but in the same thought I'd underestimated the breadth of my impatience and magnitude of my stupidity.As I approached Oregon, the drivers became more sheepish and started to get in my way.
The thing about my temper is it's probably typical of many guys--I notice it, handle it responsibly. Then it builds up, and but I'm a big boy, I can handle it--then a fucker breaks into my lane and slows right down. At this point it is my personal mission to quickly and ruthlessly pass said fucker and fuckers beyond until I have my own lane again.
As I passed said fuckers on the swerving downhill mountain road, I failed to account for the Idaho Highway Patrol officer waiting just around the corner, at the bottom of a descent that I rounded at a spirited pace. The trooper was surprisingly nice given the speed he caught me at. Perhaps he did something similar in his youth and understood why I did it. He even complemented the car I was driving as he wrote me the ticket and told me to slow down and be careful.
I still felt like crap, but then I looked at how lucky I've been so far. I consoled myself by saying this was just a bit of bad luck and to be more careful. I had to be more careful, because soon enough I was in car hating Oregon, where the maximum speed limit is 65 and their chief export is highway state troopers.
The bright side of all of this is I got toseethe evergreen forests and windmills in the countryside instead of them remaining a blur in my peripheral vision. Half way through the second day, I stopped for a quick bite and gas at a Jack in the Box, where I saw the new 2011 GT500 and quietly envied the man while trying not to cast a critical eye at the plucky rental.
Continuing my trip, I started to amuse myself by counting how many cars I'd like to drive as they entered and joined the freeway. I eyed a few nice houses I wouldn't mind living in, but the country life isn't for me, but eventually I started playing an old grand touring tradition: making a highway buddy and driving with him until we go our separate ways. I crossed a bridge or two, charged up a winding ascent as the grass became less green and more and more dry until I finally made it back to civilization in Washington, where the limit leapt from 65 to 80. I celebrated with a quick leap into the centennial club, but to be honest I missed just kicking back on cruise control.
At the summit of the ascent, you could see for miles upon miles in either direction and the curvature of the earth itself. I wish I could've taken a picture here, but nothing short of the human eye would do it justice.
A while later I was descending another mountain near North bend, WA, and the reasons I mention that place by name is because it happens to be where Eric Nylund, author of the original Halo novels lives (or used to live), and as something of a writer myself he's a bit of a role model. I also remember it because I honestly believe the picturesque scenery will wind up as a wallpaper in Windows 8. There was also some kid in an older BMW M3 that I did a few downhill runs with. I never initiate runs, but it was a good bit of fun and I'm not ashamed to admit I lost gracefully.
I remembered that I actually had an old friend who lives in Washington and decided to strike up a conversation. It was actually a fairly significant detour to Redmond, but well worth it. A bit shorter than I imagined her, but still as cool as I remembered. I also saw the Nintendo building, and I was going to look for Microsoft's location but I had very little time left. It was about 1700 now, and I had to go where I drove a thousand miles to see-- the Space Needle.
I continued on the way back to Seattle, and this is where things got fun. I got turned around more than three times in more construction zones; my phone crashed on me while I was trying to navigate my way back to course, causing me to miss my turn, and drive around in traffic while it took nearly five minutes to boot up. This mishap diverted me to a tunnel that linked Mercer Island, and this is where I rolled down my window and blipped the gas, only to be disappointed by the restrained exhaust note.
The unplanned tour brought me to what I imagine is the financial district and it was an 8 out of 10 memory. Really pretty and cool to look at, but not something I'd save as a wallpaper. I drove down in what seemed like bumper to bumper traffic on narrow but usable streets, and I wasn't bothered one bit. Las Vegas, my job, family, my cars--everything seemed like it was on another planet, yet I was filled with a determined optimism and satisfaction that I'd finally made it.
By the time I parked at the space needle, it was starting to get dark. I have to mention this was by far one of the most talkative weeks in the year so far. I had another group of locals take my picture with the space needle and got shown around to gift shop, where I engaged in another grand touring tradition and bought a souvenir hat, then got shown the ticket booth to go upstairs. I had planned to have dinner in the restaurant they have in the space needle, but it had a huge line filled with people far better dressed and better off than I. I suppose it'd have also looked extremely weird to be sitting there by myself--not that I notice such things anymore, since I'm usually lost in my own mind to pay attention to the outside world.
At the observation deck, I decided to try a glass of wine as a symbol of celebration. I sat down near a power outlet and took a moment to enjoy the champagne--didn't like it much--then started to reflect on my journey so far. It seemed crazy that I drove this far just to experience this small part of Seattle for little more than two hours, but to me it was worth every pain and mishap, and that alone reinforced the "driver" part of my identity.
Soon I fell back to my introverted tendencies and later watched the city as the dark blue clouds peeled away to reveal the cold moon in the night sky. Below I saw rivers of street lights marked into the night, stretching into the distance, and farther yet I saw the snow capped peak of Mt. Rainier. My smart phone showed I faced Canada in another opposite direction. It was around 21:30 when I finally started to look for a place to spend the night and found one by SeaTac airport.
The drive toward Tacoma brought me past a university campus, which seemed both expensive and dour at the same time. I missed a few turns again and found myself near a Boeing factory and the Museum of Flight nearby, which as a techie I had an obligation to visit the next day. On the way to the hotel I stopped by a Denny's and ordered the road warrior's breakfast, and then continued to the hotel room. I was tired, but I didn't care and it didn't matter. I'd made it to Seattle.
Saint Jeremy, Son of Clark, and no doubt every self help guru to ever exist, have said that if you believe something is going to happen, it will. Unfortunately, I only had half a tank of gas left as I approached a small settlement of Ely, NV.
I know what you're thinking: half a tank of gas should be plenty, and you're right, but then you'd be breaking the second commandment of solo grand touring. To avoid running out of gas, a most embarrassing shame, thou shall have no less than half a tank of gas at any time.
By this time, it was already nice and dark outside at 21:00, and being a city boy from Vegas who expects just about everything to be open at my convenience, I was a bit shocked to see the gas station was closed. This was even worse than being stranded--sleeping in a middle of nowhere hick town where I definitely know there are people, and quite possibly, a roving gang of psychopaths just waiting to smash into my car, kidnap me and have me star in a terrible Saw spin-off.
I waited a bit, ran the options in my mind--all of them bad.
Do I turn back, or do I sit it out and wait, or do I keep pushing forward to Ely and hope I don't actually run out of gas on the way. I know it sounds ridiculous just reading it now, but when you've only got a cached map on your HTC HD2 smart phone--which, by the way, left to its own devices will only last four hours on a full charge--you're pretty much blind as to how much longer the gas will last. I toggled through the driver information screen on the car, and this is where I finally stopped hating the rental car.
The fuel range showed I had 200 miles to go.
I was astonished by how remarkably efficient an powerful this engine is, compared to mine which will leave me for dead at 275 miles on a full tank--310 if I drive it slowly--which, I believe, is genuinely more dangerous. See, if I drive too slowly then my mind isn't occupied by the slow driving and occupies itself with something else--perhaps at the exact moment the driver cabin occupies itself with a storm of broken glass and twisted steel as I smash into oncoming traffic.
I decided to wait a bit, and if no one turned up, I'd limp the car all the way to the next population center. I had confidence it'd make it if I drove it slow enough, but really didn't want to risk it. As luck would have it, the proprietor of the gas station lived across the street and saw me waiting there. The old lady was extremely friendly, and we passed the usual pleasantries before I got to business and restocked on snacks and fuel. On the way out, I asked how far I had left to go to Ely.
She told me Ely was about 150 miles away.
I smiled and thanked her, while a cold lump settled in my stomach.
It took little more than an hour to get to Ely. I don't know why, but I expected a bit more from it than what I saw: a couple of gas stations, a Comfort Inn, and a McDonald's and a Taco Bell here and there. it sort of reminded me of Beatty, NV--nothing really there, no particular reason to stop except to resupply. They had a Bank of America branch there, so perhaps I missed the greater share of its scale because of the night. Shaken from my experience an hour before, I decided more gas to the corner of US-6 and US-93 and then continued my way towardsa the state line.
As soon as I broke left at US-93/US-93 Alternate junction, I decided to see what this plucky little car--missing two cylinders from birth--could do. It wasn't a particularly savage car, and the interior was remarkably quiet and overall a nice place to be. The engine more or less asserted the vehicle forward at a steady pace. It felt more like a distance runner than a sprinter and it did it in style and comfort. I'd soon learn that this is just the beginning of what this car can really do.
The way the rental behaved is in contrast against my 2007 Mustang GT, which has an acceleration that has a deep V8 growl as it urges you forward at a determined sprint up to 80, and then if you're still asking for more, it shoves the vehicle all the way to a hundred. If you're a certified lunatic who doesn't know when to stop--it then brutally hammers you well into the centennial club just as the tuned exhaust starts to sing a damn near hypnotic drone into the cabin, until you're past 120 and--horrifyingly--it still has more to give. Past this point, and to a lesser skilled driver like myself, it's just no longer cool and starts to get genuinely scary.
Feeling not quite brave enough to max it just yet, I put the rental through its paces for a good twenty minutes before my own biologicals started to interfere. I pulled over the shoulder to take a piss, and as I walked back to the car I looked up for a moment--and was stunned into awe.
It was by far one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen so far. The moon shone with a cold gleam, and slashed across the night sky was the band of stars that marked the edge of our galaxy. To this day I believe that moment added an hour to my natural life span.
With my spirit renewed, I powered to toward the state line, stopping for more gas at a Love's Gas Station just outside of Wells, NV, where I had to buy a new charger for my phone, grab a coffee, and scrape off an entire generation of insects that met their doom on the bumper and windshield of the rental.
As I reached Jackpot, NV, I'd been driving for almost ten hours after the daily eight hour grind ant work, and I was starting to reach my limit. I slowed down to normal driving speeds, which turned out to be a horrible mistake as the sleep spell crashed down upon me almost all at once. I extended a pity of a glance at the settlement if I'm honest. To my mind it was yet another casino city knock off and a far cry from the real Vegas, and it probably was.
I neared the street where I'd booked my hotel at roughly 0300, but even at this hour and this tired I still remembered I was far from home, and that saving money wherever possible was still a top priority. Besides, what's the point in sleeping in a fancy hotel room when you've gotta be on the road at 10 the next day?
With that in mind, I saw a Motel 6 or something like that across the road and thought I'd try my luck there. I saved about twenty bucks, but it cost me about twenty minutes of sleep while the neighbors upstairs got it on. I tried the local channels on TV--a grand touring tradition of mine--before I got bored and defaulted to Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. At this point I didn't even have the energy to shower, so I settled into bed and congratulated myself for ditching cable TV as I saw Adult Swim no longer had anything worth watching, and in fact had people on CARTOON NETWORK.
Then, sleep overcame me.
Around July 2011, I think it was on the 14th, I was in a bit of a bind. Everything else was fine except I really didn't enjoy the work I was doing. I hadn't been able to sleep well for months. Every time I tried, my heart would start racing as if I was in physical danger and my body was primed into a fight or fight state, dreading the time I have to wake up the next day. Until I got fed up.
So as soon as I went to work on a Friday, I called my good friends at AVIS. They actually knew me by name, mostly because I usually wound up breaking in the newest sports cars in their fleet. Tragically, they wouldn't let me loose with a Corvette just yet, but since I'd already rented the Camaro SS, I figured I give the 2010 V6 Mustang a shot.
Right off the bat, I hated this car.
I didn't like that the new V6 could probably run along with my 07 GT Premium. I didn't like the restrained exhaust, and the lack of road presence--despite the fact I knew on paper that this is probably a better car. The whole image it portrayed was that of an apologetic muscle car, and the one thing I hate in any car is it pretending to be something that it isn't.
I parked my car by AVIS and drove the rental back to work, and as I settled back in my office, the laughing hyenas came.
The first blow came from Kris, a C# programmer I used to work with. He said something along the lines of "you're out of your mind dude. You need a better car."
I defended myself by mentioning I've already driven any car worth driving there, and that they wouldn't let me ruin a perfectly good Corvette. It didn't appear to work.
"Really? You can't be serious." Erik said. He's a web programmer I also worked with, tends to have nicer things.
Having already used my only good argument, I recycled it by telling him it was either the V6 Mustang or a Chevy Aveo, and so long as I'm mentally, legally and financially sound, I wouldn't be caught dead in such a thing.
I couldn't blame them. I own a 2001 Mustang V6, and a 2007 Mustang GT, and just rented another Mustang. I was, and as of this moment, at risk of becoming an unofficial Ford representative.
At the end of the day, I stopped by the bank for absolutely no reason that I can recall. I'd already booked my hotel in Twin Falls, ID. Perhaps I had some cash to deposit or something.
At any rate, I took off on the I-215, heading toward the I-95. I called my sister and told her where I was going, and within minutes I ran into Metro's finest with a cell phone glued to my ear.
I should mention there's a new law in Las Vegas that fines cell phone usage while driving.
Luckily, he was in a good mood and let me off with a stern glare while gesturing that I put the phone down.
This encounter triggered my automatic response whenever I've attracted Highway Patrol's attention: slow the hell down, wait until I'm outside city limits, then resume normal driving.
About two hours into the drive, just outside Crystal Springs, NV, I started having second thoughts. Seattle seemed like an entire world away, and the utter frustration that compelled me to do this was now replaced with genuine trepidation.
What if I blew out a tire or ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception? There was no spare in the trunk, just an equally useless ?phone number for AVIS roadside assistance. I'd have to sleep on the side of the road in the freezing Nevada mountains or something. Being fairly young and stupid, I'd of course already broken the first of the commandments on solo grand touring: thou shall have emergency supplies.
As the sun continued to recede into the horizon, the darkening sky quickly became awash with the first twilight stars. I turned on the radio to take my mind off things. Nothing good was on, and I was out of range for much so I only had a couple of channels to surf through until Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me started playing. For the first time in weeks...everything just seemed alright. I didn't particularly like the song, but it was one of those moments where everything came together. The car, the road, the scenery was all perfect.
For better or for worse, that song is the background music I play when reminiscing about this drive.
Every company needs a good story, in fact, your company’s story is as important as the products or services you offer. To engage your employees, stakeholders and even customers your story needs to be compelling, attractive and clearly express your company’s core values.
I know, it sounds like an overstatement, right? But, truth is that it has been proven to completely revolutionize the perception everyone has about your company. The story doesn’t need to tell every little detail from its birth but rather be able to define and give meaning to your business. This way, people can understand where you come from, where you’re heading and relate to your company’s ideas.
If you’re still unsure of the importance of a compelling story for your company, here are 6 reasons to write down your business story:
Yes, a well-established company needs a strategic vision, you’ve probably already have it written down. But, is it clear to everyone related to your business? A good company story allows your customers, employees, and stakeholders to better understand it through context and meaning.
When you share your company story, people will feel identified with you and will make it easier for your employees and stakeholders to walk together towards your business’ goal.
Imagine working for a bureaucratic, faceless company where every task is fulfilled with the sole purpose of keeping your job. It might be enough to barely accomplish your professional goals, but there isn’t much more to it.
On the other hand, working for a company created by a family that had the idea to offer graphic design solutions for small and medium companies and help them grow, is way more meaningful and engaging.
If your employees understand your story, every little task they have at hand will be more meaningful and therefore more effective.
Writing down a corporate manual with a company’s core values in over 100 pages, won’t be so interesting or attractive for, well, let’s face it; anyone. So, there’s no point in having an extensive document that no one ever reads.
However, if you include your corporate values to your story; your suppliers, employees, and customers will respect your business and understand its values, knowing how important they are for you.
Digital transformation and social media have revolutionized the way companies communicate not only with their clients but also with leads, prospects, suppliers and even investors.
This revolution has set a new standard for marketing strategies and communications; making it necessary to go beyond simply offering your products and services. To engage users, you need to show them a compelling story that makes your brand stand out from the sea of similar businesses.
Having a strong company story will define the path for all communications you create; it becomes a guide to knowing exactly what you want to tell your audience.
When everyone in your team knows your story, your values and understands your struggles to get to your goal; it will be easier for them to be aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish.
When they focus on success, they’ll work together to find the most effective ways to reach the company’s goal by proposing new ideas and implementing new processes. Innovation becomes then, an organic value in your employees to improve and grow together.
Corporate presentations are boring. Most of the time, neither the people giving the presentation or the attendees feel engage with it. If you present them with a bunch of figures and statistics, they will likely forget most of the information at the end of the presentation.
But, if your corporate presentation starts with an interesting story, you’ll get everyone’s genuine attention. Even if you need to include numbers and statistics; presenting them through a story will make a huge impact on the results.
Now that you know the reasons why your company needs a compelling story, it’s time to get to the action and start writing your story. Yes, I know, you’re probably thinking that you’re not a writer so this can be a challenge for you.
But, don’t worry, I have great news for you! You don’t have to do it by yourself, Marissa Kabot Design's offers you a solution. When it comes to corporate storytelling, our professionals take great pride in helping clients to create and develop inspiring stories that define their businesses. Scroll down and get in touch to start writing your story!
Now that you’ve made it this far, you know what you need to do, so start by asking yourself...is your company story good enough?