This is the first installment of an ongoing series recounting the events surrounding a two month cross country trip by two friends and a dog named Buddy, all from the Upstate New York village of Corinth. The trip began in March of 2013. Each installment will be published on Monday's.
When Dennis and I first met officially, it was the late nineteen eighties and we were both attending Corinth Central High School. He was a star on the wrestling team and I was not a star on the wrestling team. We both hung out in the same circle of friends; a great crew of guys from Corinth, New York. We were all from different age groups and graduating classes, but that group of friends was close knit and still is today, these many years later. Dennis and I even dated the same girl (at different times, you sick-o!), but that is another story for another day.
As time moved on, we went about our own paths but would see each other often due to our close ties with that aforementioned group of guys from Corinth. We had different lives, but of all our friends, we found that the two of us had very similar outlooks on life, money, girls, politics, and …well, you get the point. While we were not best friends, that great circle of friends kept us close and so it was inevitable that we would continue run into each other throughout the years. Sometime in 2007, we were both in the Corinth area again and somehow we ended up at a local bar --a rarity for two teetotalers such as ourselves (can't you just feel the sarcasm dripping from the page?) and happening at the bar that night: team trivia!
Okay, here is an important point in any introduction. We are about to create a theme. So, pay attention. If you should know anything about the similarities between the two of us, you should know this one above all else: Dennis and I are huge trivia geeks. WE LOVE TRIVIA. Am I making myself clear? We both look at trivia as a way to show the world that we have an insatiable hunger for knowledge. To us, trivia is not trivial, it is in fact a culmination of years of sports stats ingesting, Discovery Channel watching, encyclopedia loving, and as we have both said, simply just “paying attention.” We look at life as a continuing search for knowledge and no matter what happens; if we learn something along the way, we can, at the very least, say, “Hey, we learned something along the way.” Did you see the theme? We love to learn.
So, back to the bar and team trivia. There we were, killing it. We may not have known the answer to every question, but we were close and we even knew a few things that the host didn't know (Google Lidocaine sometime –it can be used as an epidural. We knew that --the trivia host did not). As we played and won, we began to think that we could create a better game than the one we were playing.
It should be known here that, as we are not exactly “A” personalities in the classic psychological definition, we both have “A” personality traits, such as when we put our minds towards something we want it to be the best. When we set out to make a trivia game we wanted it to be good; really good.
And it was. The game was a success among friends and strangers. However, as with many things in life, it cycled through and seemed to plateau. Eventually, as the years went on, it didn't hold as much excitement. Dennis didn't co-host as many games anymore, and I searched for a way to bring the game o the next level. So, when Dennis came to me in 2012 with his plan to travel across the country, I wanted in and I wanted it to somehow be related to the trivia game that we created. Dennis was amicable regarding trivia being part of the trip, but I could sense that it wasn't his motivation, and as you'll find out later, the game and the trivia eventually became less and less a part of the trip, even when we tried.
So, as we both planned to go on this cross country trip of unknown length, and barely knowing where we were going, it took on different incarnations for both of us, even in the planning stages. One thing that we did agree on though, was the basic route that we would travel. We would head south to about mid-nation, start west to the pacific and come back across the northern US states. That was the plan.
To be continued... Next installment: "It's snowing."