By Julie Kadrie In all the years I have played trumpet, I don't think I have had a goal quite as significant to me than being able to march with the Santa Clara Vanguard. I know that my five friends from University of Arizona feel the same way. Since September, we have decided that we want it more than anything. Twice a week we have been meeting, to practice marching, playing, or even just to chat about drum corps.

This is us at a truck stop shortly after leaving Indio, Calif.
On Nov. 28, the audition camp was finally upon us, and we realized the weekend we have been waiting for had finally come. At the UA/ASU game, we all left after halftime, and made it into Santa Clara on Friday night. One trumpet player from our group, Bryan Hill, drove up by himself, so we could all drive back Sunday night. The camp was everything we expected, and more. We got a taste of the drum corps life, all of us for the very first time. Needless to say, it made us want it more than ever. The audition process was much different this year than it had been in years past. They had a very large turnout, and made cuts, only inviting back about half of the trumpets that auditioned. When we found our names on the list of the people invited back, it was like we were on the top of the world, and our hard work was just beginning to pay off; as if nothing could stand in our way. Boy, were we wrong. After the rehearsal Sunday night, we all packed up our car, and headed home. We stopped at In-N-Out for dinner, then we were off. We knew the ride home was going to be about 12 hours, so we were anticipating getting home around 6 a.m. We kept talking about how hard it was going to be to get to our 8 a.m. classes the next day, and how we wished we could get home earlier. We started out on two-lane highway 152, traveling about 200 miles in seven hours, due to the ridiculous traffic that seemed to come from nowhere on a Sunday night at 1 a.m. We realized that when we were still in L.A. at 4 a.m. that we were not going to make it home when we expected, and that's where it all started. Just outside of L.A., the clutch in our car completely quit, and we ended up stranded along side I-10. We called AAA, and got our car towed to Indio, Calif. We got there around 6:30 a.m., and slept in the car until the mechanic opened up at 8:00. We got a quote on the repair, and almost freaked out when they told us it was $1200, and wouldn't be done until 2 p.m. the next day. One of us noticed the U-Haul across the street, and figured we should check it out. We were somewhat relieved when we found out they would rent a truck and trailer to haul our car back to Tucson, even though it was going to cost over $600. We got the car loaded, and were ready to finally be on the road again. Just as we pulled out the parking lot, the back tires of the car starting making an awful screeching sound, as if we were dragging it. Just then we realized that the car was an All-wheel drive, and we couldn't haul it with a two-wheel trailer. I kept asking, "What else can possibly go wrong?" We unloaded the car, got another trailer that keeps all four wheels off the ground, and loaded the car back on. All five of us crammed in the three-person cab of the U-Haul, turned the key, and heard nothing. The U-Haul battery was dead. As we got out, we also realized one of the tires on the trailer was completely flat. I kept thinking, "Nothing else could possibly go wrong now." After the tire was fixed, and we got the battery charged, we held our breath as we finally successfully got back on the road, late that afternoon, and arrived in Tucson, about 30 hours after left Santa Clara. It's ironic how one of the most exciting weekends of our lives ended in one of the worst and most frustrating 30 hours.