After 18 hours of traveling, we have finally arrived in scenic Grand Forks, ND. Fortunately the trip was without incident, not counting the extra hour of travel due to construction delays. Needless to say, research is being done on alternate routes for the trip back. We apologize for not updating sooner, but all of Saturday was spent packing. This multi-hour process basically boils down to taking everything inside of a large room and figuring out how to get it into four mini-vans. If there was even a chance that we would need something at competition, it was packed.
We also spent Saturday making some last-minute changes to the vehicle and stocking spare parts. The structures team miraculously removed 70 grams from one vehicle, enabling the use of more powerful batteries. We also stocked up on supplies for the trip. This almost exclusively included food - lots of food. Brownies, trail mix, granola bars, popcorn, chips, fruit, and more. We learned that it takes about an hour to wash enough fruit to supply four vans full of hungry engineers.
With all the food (and supplies) packed we set up our driving rotations and hit the road. And then, almost instantly, exhaustion set in and people dozed off, thus beginning the best part of any road trip – pictures of people sleeping.
Research has long suggested that having your drivers asleep behind the wheel is not a great idea, so we did our best to avoid this. We stocked up on copious volumes of coffee and rotated drivers every four hours or so. To avoid confusion and make sure everyone was on the same page we equipped each vehicle with a two way radio, which made us feel pretty cool. We arrived in Grand Forks at approximately 2 pm local time. Our rooms were not ready when we arrived, so we relaxed in the hotel lobby.
And now, here we are, a few naps and some meals later. We have settled into a conference room where we will be posted up for the night, until tomorrow when we can move into warehouse space and erect a test course.
Stay tuned for more updates!