Hello my friends! Today is the day the fantastic adventure cooked up by us here at Roll Bama Roll in conjunction with those delightful nonconformists at Well That's Cool we're calling The Sunshine Express gets going. (You're gonna be sorry if you don't give it a name.)
The tornadoes that blasted through Alabama left devastation on a biblical scale and while there has been an incredible amount of progress helping those affected by the disaster, there's still a huge amount of work to be done. The needs of the people who have lost so much remain acute and while there are plenty of people around the country who want to help, the problem is getting the stuff there. That's where we come in.
I'm hopping on an airplane and landing in LA early in the afternoon to get the gears of this production moving. First stop is the local office for Penske truck rentals and pick up the 26-foot-long beast we've reserved for this adventure.
From there, we'll pop over to where the Southern California organizers have been storing all the donations that have been pouring in. We plan on loading the truck, securing it and then I'm getting as good a night a sleep as I can. Because starting Friday, the cab of that vehicle is my home for the next week.
Here is the planned itinerary:
- FRIDAY, MAY 6: Start the trip from the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Arriving in Phoenix in the afternoon and loading the truck with goods collected there.
- SATURDAY, MAY 7: Head out early from Phoenix, AZ and push all the way to Dallas, TX. One stop planned in Big Spring, Texas but others are possible if folks get on the stick.
- SUNDAY, MAY 8: The Dallas, Texas shindig. We'll spend all day with folks handling donations and fundraising. The truck will be loaded and prepared to go in the evening.
- MONDAY, MAY 9: Heading from Dallas to Ruston, Louisiana where we expect to arrive by noon. We'll finish loading the truck and head to Jackson, Miss. and crash for the night.
- TUESDAY, MAY 10: Leaving early enough to arrive in Tuscaloosa mid-morning. We'll unload the truck. Have lunch. And then get back in the big yellow beast and head west again. Hope to make Marshall, Texas by the end of the day.
- WEDNESDAY, MAY 11: Back in Dallas in the morning. Loading the truck up again and heading out. Hitting Ruston, La. a second time as well before pushing on to Jackson, Miss.
- THURSDAY, MAY 12: Up early and back in Tuscaloosa before noon. Unloading stuff and then using the truck to deliver goods around the area as needed.
- FRIDAY, MAY 13: Turning the truck back in at the Penske office in T-town.
And here's the map:
View The Roll Bama Roll/Well That's Cool Sunshine Express in a larger map
We'll try to have daily posts here on Roll Bama Roll as well as updates on Well That's Cool. Twitter updates on @rollbamaroll are a lot more likely. But, the fact is, it's gonna be hard to juggle updates and the insanity of this undertaking as well. Rest assured, I've got the big-ass camera and will be making sure it gets a serious workout.
We've already got a few media requests and will be updating everyone on them as they materialize. Right now the only confirmed one is an appearance Monday on Huntsville's 97.7 The Zone Monday morning on the Cole Cubelic Show.
Now we have to be clear on an important point from the outset. This is an amazing thing to be a part of, but our role really isn't anything special - we're just the idiots willing to drive the truck. The people that deserve the kudos and credit belong to this army of folks across the country who have been collection donations and arranging things to be ready for us when we arrive.
Some of them you know here on RBR. Most of them you don't. All of them are awesome. One of the goals of this effort is to let you all know a little more about them.
Super big thanks to our own Stu from Tuscaloosa for the bitchin logo.