Mopar MoVenture and Rally Appalachia Are Underway

Seeing the U.S.A.

Larry Jewett - September 09, 2011 09:00 AM



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We all know that it takes a little time for the words to get from a computer keyboard to your hands when the printing process is involved. You’ll have to forgive that delay for the time being, because I don’t know the future so I can’t talk about results.

I’m writing from a hotel room in suburban Atlanta, having hit the road yesterday and putting about nine hours on an interstate highway. Concurrently, my mind is on two groups, travelling in different directions in different parts of the country, but sharing the same objective. They have got to get somewhere.

It’s late July and both the Mopar MoVenture and the Rally Appalachia are underway. When you pick up these words, you may wonder “How did it turn out?” The answer will be found at, so we won’t even begin to speculate on what we don’t know or reveal what we do at this point.

For background, MoVenture is a cross-country Detroit-to-Denver outing by 10 teams that won a video contest. These teams are in competition for $500 in Mopar parts and accessories daily with a $5,000 grand prize at the end of it all. The contestants are using vehicles provided by Chrysler (not their own) and face daily challenges in the seven-day excursion.

Rally Appalachia is a “run what you brung” event (no carmaker is giving anyone anything here). The entrants paid their way in with part of the money going to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. It’s intended to be fun, scenic and a bit competitive but within local laws. Each day features unique challenges to test the driver and navigator, but the day ends with fun and relaxation … if driver and navigator are still talking to each other.

It has been interesting to follow these events from afar, but having contributor Jefferson Bryant in MoVenture as both a contestant and contributor to our AE Corner of has made it more interesting. We were getting the information literally as it was happening.

The drive to Atlanta is going to give me a chance to venture off and intercept the Rally Appalachia for its final leg in South Carolina. Once I pick up that tour, it’s goodbye interstate, hello scenic highway. The interstate highway has a clear purpose for getting where you need to go in an expedient manner, but so much is lost on the straight and not-so-narrow.

The spirit of those events is to drive, and the point isn’t lost. We often get wrapped up in getting too busy (guilty) or fretting about costs (guilty) or just feeling overwhelmed and not having a desire (guilty). Hopefully, we all start to realize that all work and no play have grave consequences, and the missed opportunities pile up. Could I have jumped on an airplane and whisked my way to my destination? Of course! Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary with schedules and obligations. If I had driven to the airport on this trip, I would have missed a lot of interesting things I saw on the first day, and there are a few more days ahead that hold even more promise.

Driving doesn’t have to be competitive, though there’s nothing wrong with a high-performance driving event type of activity to balance out your automotive experience either. That’ll be a subject for another time. For now, load up the family into whatever available seats you have and take a little time to enjoy the drive.