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Commute to Altrec.com Headquarters Trip Report

By Drew D. Peterson - November 15th, 2007

Where: Route 97 Northbound Lane in Mike Rougeux's 1987 Volvo 740 GL Turbo (A.K.A "The Grey Ghost" which Mike payed for with $800.00 cash, the vinyl Prince album "When Doves Cry" and a promise to mow the seller's mother's lawn for two months)

Distance: 14.2 Miles

Time: 5:45 AM PST

Weather: 39 Degrees, complete downpour.

Review: Mike Rougeux picked me up this morning about 5:35AM, pulling through the 6" deep puddle of rainwater that had accumulated at the end of my driveway. I entered "The Grey Ghost" with windshield wipers creaking across the wet windshield and nodded with the usual delirious morning greeting to Mike as I sat down. The morning commute was not unlike any other morning, except for the deep puddles and copious amounts of precipitation that were falling from a violent wind/rain storm that had been raging all night.

With no traffic (too early in Bend, OR) and NPR muffled on the broken radio, Mike and I hopped onto Highway 97 North on our daily commute to the Redmond Altrec Inc. Offices. Around mile 6 (unconfirmed by our records) I heard a bang, and Mike swore loudly. Swerving on the dark, wet road I noticed that Mike's vision was severely impaired by the smeared water on the windshield. Upon pulling over and grabbing a headlamp, it appeared that the drivers-side windshield wiper had given up on us and was laying awkwardly limp; dead on the windshield. Mike, being an avid mid '90's daytime television fan, remembered the show McGyver, and in such style rigged up a two-person windshield wiping contraption with random pieces of webbing that every climber seems to have in their car. With Mike holding one end of the webbing tied to the windshield wiper and me holding on to the other, when Mike needed to see the road, he would yell "PULL!" and we would, in beautiful choreography, manually wipe monsoon from the windshield. In pure resourceful climber style, Mike and I continued to cruise at high speeds pulling the windshield wipers as we went, successfully opening Altrec.com..... on time.


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