The Cannonball Crawl

Posted January 7, 2020 – Narrated by Carmen
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The legendary Cannonball Run is an illegal competitive cross-country American road trip from New York to California. The tradition started when Erwin “Cannonball” Baker (1882-1960) said, “I dare ya.”

And because enough folks took him up on it, the “Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash” was established in the 1970’s.

Now, why I do not know but, the official route for the competition is between Red Ball Garage in New York City and the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, California.

Just weeks ago a new record was set at 27 hours and 25 minutes with an overall average of 103 mph. The team of three drove a 2015 Mercedes Benz and broke the 2013 record.

Honestly, all of this smoke and steel is news to me. I’d never even heard of the Cannonball Run until last month when I read the news report. We’re always learning, aren’t we? And now, the next time a car full of young people pass us on the highway at 180 mph we will have something to consider other than bank robber, drug runner, Uber and Amazon.

We certainly do not endorse risky highway competitions, but it’s tough to keep our excitement under the radar because we completed our first Sea-To-Shining-Sea on the same day (December 3rd) as the amazing Tabbut/Toman/Chadwick team achieved their stunning new record.

FYI: Not stealing any thunder here – just basking in the glory a bit.

We live on the road, so anything that happens on the road kind of feels like our neighborhood.

So, congratulations Cannonballers. Research and wise planning paid off. We are honored to breathe the dust of your historic achievement.

Fun coincidence, you say? Nay.

Coincidence is for cowards. Destiny is reserved for the brave.

It’s certainly no coincidence that our old neighbor, Rafe Cannonball McMillan’s dad is Mojo Nixon, host of a NASCAR themed radio show, Manifold Destiny.

And if that’s not oogly-boogly enough, then there’s that whole Skid Roper connection. Jim was born just a few days before Mojo’s partner, Skid. They attended school together from elementary to college, and both Skid and Jim became professional entertainers in completely separate fields.

But the weirdest hoodoo was inviting Mojo to play the role of a preacher who thought he was Jesus in my two-act comedy, The Perfect Daisy. At the time, I had no idea that divine role-reversal was Mojo’s specialty. I must have been dozing at the wheel-house.

But, missing out on stuff is the price of achievement.

Glory belongs to the undistracted – the determined – those who do not obsess on the rear view mirror. But if the past is only a bucket of ashes, then why does history repeat itself? Every time Jim and I come home, full-circle, back to San Diego, our Experiencing Selves must reckon with our Remembering Selves.

This is our fourth return to our old neighborhood since we pulled out and began LIB in July 2016. It’s remarkable how, each time we return it still feels like home – like we’ve returned from a two-week vacation.

But as we retrace our steps, the deep-remembering kicks in and we can focus on features of the landscape that we lost in the blur of life. Good friends and neighbors. Great times. Excellent fish tacos.

Perhaps old people appear befuddled and distracted because they are. It’s difficult to maintain a victorious stature when you’re puttering through your past searching for things that should be right there which clearly are no longer there – and, funny thing, you realize they were never actually over there because they were always right here.

Our LIB Cannonball Crawl record won’t appear in any auto magazines. For, there is no ballyhoo around a pair of RV seniors who pull a rig 3,000 miles from Niagara Falls to San Diego in 42 ½ days and 60 driving hours with an overall average of 50 mph without missing a single brewery, winery or distillery. But this is still America, so the challenge bears repeating,

Go ahead. Beat that.

Niagara Falls, NY

Cycling along the Erie Canal

Don’t know where we picked up this hitchhiker on the trailer tire … but at least it was in a sweet spot for repair without having to hitch up the rig.

La Salette, Ontario

Goodrich, Michigan

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Pontiac, Illinois

Nauvoo, Illinois

Princeton, Missouri

Glenwood, Iowa

Lexington, Nebraska

North Platte, Nebraska

Lyons, Colorado

Morrison, Colorado

Cañon City, Colorado

Taos, New Mexico!

Angel Fire, New Mexico

Earthships, New Mexico

The Taos Pueblo

Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Grants, New Mexico

Mesa, Arizona

Casa Grande, Arizona

Felicity, California

Agua Caliente, Borrego Desert, California

San Diego, California

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.