We’ve talked before about the Route 66 guys and Castlen’s Austin to Boston trip, but I don’t think we’ve covered the 2011 Hummer tour yet. Murry and Cindy Gerber decided to drive their Hummer, powered by natural gas, across the country from California to New York.
They stopped in town today to show off their ride to Senator Casey. Dick Snodgrass, who has been helping them promote their trip, invited me down to snap a few photos. You can see those at the bottom of this post.
I don’t think I’ve seen a vehicle quite like it. They did an excellent job on the graphics. The vehicle definitely stands out as you’re going down the road.
Senator Casey seemed impressed by the vehicle as well. Murry and Cindy had quite few stories for him about their trip. They went into a lot of detail about the tanks, the fueling stations, the savings they saw using natural gas instead of gasoline, and even the range of the vehicle (in the 500 mile range for the engineers reading this).
What struck me about the Gerbers though was when they started to talk about why they were doing this. Why they decided to leave their children (with a great sitter, of course) for 15 or so days to drive across the country in a natural gas vehicle.
They financed the journey out of their own pocket. No corporate sponsor. They wanted to touch upon that American spirit of innovation. They purposely chose a hummer because it’s viewed by so many as a “dirty” vehicle. Yet, their hummer is EPA certificated to have fewer emissions than a Smart Car.
Cindy said that by the time they are done, they will have talked with thousands of school children. You see, at many places along their trip, the Gerbers stopped at middle or high schools to tell the young people their about their adventure. They left grants at those schools to be used by their science departments.
Cindy said their message was very simple. There are energy problems that this country needs to solve and it will be their job to do it. Many years ago, people thought it would be crazy to drive a car across country. Now we think nothing of it. With time, passion and innovation, some of these children might be able to solve our energy concerns in the future.
If you’re out and about, the Gerbers will be attending a press conference with Congressmen Murphy and Altmire at the House Triangle this afternoon. The Hummer will be on display in the Garfield Circle until around six this evening.