Sunday, September 5, 2010
Tour De War- FOW Tournament Road trip
6:45 PM Friday- Patsy Cline Highway outside Winchester. Morale is high but the need for rations is dire. The need for relief is our utmost concern, however- Which Steven highlights with a foreigner reference: “Urgent Urgent- Peemergency”.
6:48 PM Friday- Winchester. We set to the refueling station to get some petrol and C-rations.
7:14 PM Friday- After submarines, biscuits, and a spot of beverage we are back on 81. Back towards Allentown, continuing ever closer to battle with bloodlust in our hearts, talking tactics and listening to “Killing Rommel”. Bethlehem awaits us three- though our gifts are quite different from the “other” 3 wise men. For gold we trade iron & steel. There is no frankincense, only burning petrol smoke. We substitue Myrrh with ubiquitous bloodshed.
7:24 PM Friday- We are no longer in the state of lovers. West Virginia- Wild and Wonderful- welcomes us with rocky cliffs and yawning valleys under a setting sun.
7:46 PM Friday- A sign and a number of abandoned trailers and payloads greets us when we enter Maryland. Skies are dark with clouds- a storm is brewing- around us and inside us, calling us closer to chaos.
7:57 PM Friday- The Pennsylvania state line is crossed by our wheels sooner than we expected. Though we have road ahead, it is comforting to be on the other side of the hill. No more state lines to cross- only mile markers to guide us from here. We are approaching the front. Our veins are cold with anticipation.
9:15 PM Friday- We break off somewhere around Hershey or Manada Hills. Torres takes the helm. Steven is now Navigator. I withdraw to the cargo bay. We are rallied by nostalgic fast food and a renewed sense of adventure. There is only an hour to go. Twelve and a half hours until we step to the fornt line for battle. It's a game of wits with our respected opponents, and strategy is the talk off our tongues. Darkness surrounds us for our final approach. Onward!
10:45 Pm Friday- We throw down our rucksacks in a double room in Allentown's most illustrious hotel- The Knight's Inn located 100 yards from the highway on the corner of an empty midnight parking lot, and nestled between a Waffle House and various other chain restaurants.
12:18 AM Saturday- We spend a few hours seeing the sights of fair Allentown. We sat at a Sonic drive through for a solid 30 minutes waiting on three tasty beverages which in the end were flat and pointless. We enjoyed watching one employee during our wait- Tyrone (as we dubbed him) was either high as a commercial flight or a complete mongoloid. We contemplated checking out a local bar. It drew out attention due to the illuminated steer's head. Though “The Beef Baron” looked enticing, thoughts of Deliverance plagued our minds, so we retreated to the Knight's Inn. We spent our time differently. Steven showered and went over strategy. Jaime brushed up on tactics with a game of Starcraft II. I checked news from home via Facebook and updated this journal. We are about to turn in. Hours away from battle, we await the dawn.
8:00 AM Saturday- We awake to a room that feels like an icy tundra. None of us slept well- never can before an operation. Tanks are pushing forward. Infantrymen are checking their rucksacks and ammunition. The day is here- the hour approaches!
8:48 AM Saturday- The continental breakfast at the Knights left us with that clicking tock of Diarrhea. We decide to head to Starbucks. There are few things better than an iced chai and cigarette on a brisk Pennsylvania morning. 22 East is taking us right into Bethlehem. The front line is calling us. Our instincts are poised, our aim is true. The time has come. Less than an hour till the clang of metal, the battle drum, the smoke, the din, the pain, and the purpose.
9:04 AM Saturday- We enter Bethlehem. Churches and Masonic Temples greet us. Gothic rules and a townhouse neighborhood stretch between the rolling hills. Perfect for a battle or some “dumpsta justice”.
10:00 AM Saturday- The battle has begun. The moment we have waited for.
6:43 Pm Saturday- After hours of battle we are weak and weary. Though our spirits are high – victory is ours! We've endured varying levels of success.
Steven- our commander and teacher- took first place. He is now qualified for Nationals and pounded out some amazing wins. He defeated Rommel, he tore through elite Ghurkas, and stopped cold the US Armored Rifles. The odds were against him, but he came out on top!
Jaime barely lost a battle to some British armor in his first match. We faced each other in a Free for All that ended in a draw. With myself gathering a few extra points for destroyed platoons. His glorious victory came in the 3rd round against more Italians. On the attack, no less, he took it to the bastards! Assaulting Lancias, and destroying opposing infantry, he pulled out the win!
In my first game I ended up losing, though it was close. His panzerpioneers were too much for me to break through. In my last battle, I held the line but suffered through my opponent's slow movement and indecision.
Our standing overral ended with Steven in 1st, Jaime in 13th, and myself in 6th. We are homeward bound tired, hungry, and satisfied. We have all learned more about the horrors of war, and a great deal about ourselves.
8:54 PM Saturday- Never in my life has McDonalds tasted so good. The meal has reinvigorated us for the trip home. I wonder if there is anything more rewarding than the camaraderie we have enjoyed, the success we have met, and the battles we have fought?
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