The details of our epic bus ride from South Florida to–well, Washington supposedly–have been detailed on WPLG’s website, justnews. In nearly 30 hours on the road, WPLG/Miami’s intrepid bare-bones crew of reporter Mark Joyella and photographer Mario Alonso have riden in a cramped bus attempting to file packages via DV cam and aircard-equipped laptop, with limited results, followed by a string of road trip rough spots, including an ill-planned search for a restaurant “just off the highway” near Savannah, GA, followed by a blown compressor aboard the crew’s bus (result: no heat, just an ever-more-frigid interior temperature), a tire blowout overnight in South Georgia, and finally, a snowstorm in the Carolinas that ultimately coincided with the failure of the Obama Bus’ windshield wiper motor. The last event forcing a third of the 130 Floridians bound for the inauguration–including Mark and Mario–to squeeze into the remaining two buses, now running against the clock.
The most recent mileage sign: Washington: 161 Miles. The time: around 10 a.m. The math: Not. In. Our. Favor. Even if you were just trying to cross the city line by noon, when Barack Obama will put his hand on the Lincoln Bible and be sworn in, it’d be tight. But the city is locked down. Entire sections of the Capitol area are now off limits due to extremely large crowds, and friends have reported to us waits of up to two hours to board sardine-packed Metro trains, which remain the only way into town, since vehicular traffic–including Obama Busses–can’t drive in.
What makes all of this interesting from a local newser point of view is whether WPLG’s low budget effort will actually have a bigger return with the misadventure… the humor of the blog effort (and we’re getting some amusing “we’re pulling for you” emails and Tweets, along with many snarky comments about bus rides, slow drivers, and incompetent local news crews) has taken on a life of its own that may be more powerful, ultimately, than seeing yet another package amid the crowds in Washington.
If we miss the Inauguration altogether, can we go directly on to the expense account lunch at Hawk and Dove?