The Road Less Traveled: Warped Tour ’01

The first story in our Truck Stop Series is a tale about a shitty car and pot brownies and what happens when they collide with Warped Tour. It was the summer of 2001 and I

The first story in our Truck Stop Series is a tale about a shitty car and pot brownies and what happens when they collide with Warped Tour.

It was the summer of 2001 and I was 19 years old. A group of about 12 of us were headed to Warped Tour in Pittsburgh and traveling in three cars. We were super responsible at the start of the day and packed coolers full of water and food. Those coolers were not in my car. My car only had pot brownies. Lots of them. Enough for everyone. As we drive along Route 22, we realize that one of the cars in the group is missing and may have been for a while. Of course, it was also the car that contained my little 15 year old sister.

Now, this was long before most teenagers had cell phones. Luckily, the only person in the group that did own a phone was the kid who’s car was missing. We pull over at the shady Keystone Truck Stop and used the pay phone to locate them. That way my mother wouldn’t murder me for losing my sister before I even got there. By this time, I’m starving. The cooler with the food was in the missing car, but I had brownies… so no problem. I ate a couple, waited some more for our missing friends, got the munchies, ate a couple more. I took a walk to the gift shop and got a really cool bumper sticker that said “No Lot Lizards.” I wish to this day that I still had that sticker.

Our group reunited and we hit the road again. I forgot to grab some real food before pulling out of the truck stop, so I continue to eat pot brownies. We drive for another two hours and as we roll into Pittsburgh near the venue, we got lost on the wrong bridge. As road trip rookies, this is a very real threat in Pittsburgh. My little sister came along that day solely to see AFI. Well she got to see them, but from the bridge. I still fucking hear about it to this day…. Meanwhile, I’m still eating brownies….munchies are a bitch.

We finally get there and I’m so baked, like my-head-is-a-ballon-in-the-clouds-baked. There are many foggy moments that day, but I remember this…. I had the best time. I saw a couple of headliners at the main stage, like Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Pennywise. They were great, of course, but that wasn’t my jam that day. It was, however, my first time seeing The Dropkicks Murphys and I was in awe at their fanbase. These fuckers made their own homemade flags to show their support and that blew me away. I could barely keep track of my shoes at that point in my life.

The side stages were where it was at that day for me though. I discovered so many new bands. Geoff Rickly from Thursday got spit all over my face from belting out lyrics, I fell in love with Shonali Bhowmik from Ultra Baby Fat in her ripped jean skirt and pink cowboys boots, and I punched some random dude in the face during Sum 41 for unnecessarily pushing my sister. All in all it was a good day. Huh….It just dawned on me that I have no idea what happened to the car that we left along side the road….

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