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On the Road with Assistant Rowing Coach Joel Furtek

March 25, 2003

The Virginia Women's Rowing team will be competing in the Windermere Collegiate Crew Classic at Redwood Shores in California hosted by Stanford University on March 29-30. Traditionally, Assistant Rowing Coach Joel Furtek drives the boats cross- country a week before the event, and this year is no different. Coach Furtek is checking in with each day to give us the latest news and pictures on the road to the Regatta.

For more information on the Regatta, check out this link: Windermere Collegiate Crew Classic

Updates from Joel Furtek

March 24, 2003:

"It's 6am eastern time and I'm calling from Iowa. Left yesterday morning, Sunday the 23rd, and have driven 1135 miles with about 4-5 hours of sleep. On the way here, I picked up oars from Ohio State and boats from Michigan State, along with a single skull for delivery to a friend on the west coast. Today, I'll start on 80, run across Iowa, Nebraska, and climb up the high plains of Eastern Wyoming. Then I'll be heading through Utah, Nevada, and then to California. I guess I've got about 2000 more miles to go. Everyone's been friendly and helpful on the road. I plan to be in Cheyenne overnight. More to come. Talk to you then!"

March 25, 2003:

"Cavalier Fans, Greetings from Sidney, Nebraska! It's day three of our journey west with our boat trailer, en route to the Stanford Invitational regatta. After 37 hours on the road, traveling 1800 miles, Clay (my dog) and I took a break last night here on the High Plains of western Nebraska. This seems to be a natural stopping point for me; I've been here many times in the last ten years. We now have 1300 miles to go to Stanford, which should put us in there right on time. Of course, we still need to cross the Rockies!

The initial days of the trip went without incident. We left the parking lot of Onesty Hall at 4:20 AM on Sunday morning, with a full day of driving in front of us. A quick stop in Columbus, Ohio gave us some equipment from Ohio State, and a longer stay in East Lansing, Michigan allowed us to load boats and oars from the Spartans of Michigan State. At 6 PM we rolled out of East Lansing and started the journey west.

I had planned on stopping for the night just west of Chicago, but the truck was running well, I was feeling good, and the road called out to me, so we continued on through the night, taking the trailer all the way through Illinois and Indiana, stopping just over the border in Iowa for a rest. I woke up at 5:30 AM on Monday, so that I could check in with Kevin at the boathouse and wish everyone a good practice. I think he was surprised to hear from me, and to hear that we were in Iowa. He should know by now that I like to get going!

The weather across Iowa was beautiful, with high ripply clouds and lots of blue sky. As we entered Nebraska, though, the storm clouds loomed. Fortunately, we skirted north of all the rain, and had only a few sprinkles.

After arriving in Sidney and securing the trailer, I indulged myself with a visit to Cabela's High Plains Cache -- a massive outdoor-goods store. I don't know if I can describe it, but try to imagine a store with its own RV park, big-rig parking, over 500 stuffed animal, and a trout stream inside. I stocked up on an inexpensive pair of water-proof gloves, in orange, of course!

After a full nights rest, a shower, and some coffee, Clay and I are ready to head out soon after I send this report. Up next is a long climb up to Cheyenne, Wyoming. We'll run all the way across the southern edge of the state, with some beautiful views, before turning a bit south and cutting across Utah. We pass through the Bonneville Salt Flats of Nevada on our way to California, and should arrive right on time tomorrow evening.

Well, time to scrape the frost off the truck and hit the road! Be sure to follow all the reports of racing on .

Yours in truck stops and highway miles,


Ready for the Road

Rear View of the Trailer

Co-driver Clay

Into the Storm

Frosty Shell

Big Sky Beauty

Nebraska Frost

The Full Trailer




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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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