It Takes All the Racin’ You Can Do To Stay In One Place

June 27, 2012

Competition in this Great Race is tough and toughening!  We were first out today, an honor accorded the ‘hometown’ Racers. We’re not quite as close as last year in Saratoga; but I guess we were closest among the New Yorkers.  No hacking today for us – but we ran an error-free race.  But with a 2, 4, 9 and -9, our 24 second total was way off the improving pace.  The Experts and many of the Sportsmen and even Rookies are improving fast, while we seem to be stuck at our level of masterful mediocrity.  I’m tempted to blame the car – thinking we have reached the limits that can be achieved with a big car (limited cornering ability) and a slushbox transmission (hard to hold speed over hills as conditions change from on-power to on-brake – no engine braking).

Or maybe our lucky buzzards, which have appeared each race day so far, really aren’t the lucky omens we thought…

Or maybe we’ve just reached the limits of our own talent and skill.  But then, there’s always tomorrow.  Our side race with the Fredettes is almost certainly lost, as they have now beat us 4 days to 1.  We need to beat them all the remaining days to recover and that’s not too likely.  Fortunately they’re good sports and won’t insist on the whole million dollars we bet them.  Through today, we’ve dropped to 5th or 6th in Sportsman and from about 28th to 35th overall – solidly midfield and sliding!

The race today ran from Ottawa across the US border and the spindly but pretty Thousand Islands bridge to Watertown, NY, with lunch in downtown Kingston, Ontario.  I wish there were more time to explore that city – so much history, so well kept!  Even Dave said he’d like to come back for more there.  How can you not want to know more about a place with streets named like this:

I Presume This is Home Town to the Tragically Hip!

Over the St. Larry on the 1000 Islands Bridge (Skinny Bits of Steel & Really High Up)!

Things are getting a little hillier and more interesting as these U.S. roads were laid out years before their Canadian counterparts – and apparently well before Man invented the straight line.  We stopped for the afternoon in Clayton, NY – a lovely town beside the St. Lawrence.  Under blue skies and breezes we toured their fabulous antique boat museum, including Garwoods and Hackers and some very cool old engines by some very creative folks!

The Front 3 Today: Our Imp, Fenneys’ Cop Car and The Boyz VW

The course included lots of farms and fields, with small towns and forest all mixed in – the very best for this kind of rally.  We noticed a lot of split-rail fences around those fields and wondered how they came to be a local preference. Even with Internet search, how does one find that kind of answer?  Our rally directions included a bevy of road intersection signs that were hard to describe.  They were the usual bend or turn arrows on a yellow diamond field, but with one or more minor roads also shown where they connected to the primary route.  In some cases, we could say ‘a left curve with a spur on the right’ or some such; but in at least one case, Dave gave up and just said ‘It’s a curve sign with porcupine quills!’ as there were so many little spurs.

Normal Left; Today Right: At a Distance, Those Spines/Quills Look like Jumping-Deer Legs!

We nearly whacked a grouse today, too.  As we shot through a forested stretch, he (or she) was slowly working across the road and had approached the center line as we blew by.  Standing there in the middle like Corky at the Finish Line, it took no notice of us, and took another methodical step or two as we approached and another that I could see in the rearview mirror.  I hope he made it over before the next Racer arrived!

So, we didn’t stay in place, but fell behind a bit.  So What?!  We’re having FUN!  We’ll Get Up Tomorrow and Kick It AGAIN!

8 comments about “It Takes All the Racin’ You Can Do To Stay In One Place”

  • Sounds like fun to me. You could be driving a Desoto with a smaller engine and a two speed powerflite trans. At least with that combo the starts are always the same pedle to the metal. Dale

  • Good Morning !

    Am interested in knowing more about the race schedule & route and when the cars and drivers will be arriving in Fairport New York today.

    *** Could you think about adding a spot on the web site that would give us more information on the daily schedule & route. Thanks !

    We would like to come out & support you all, especially our hometown boys, Ed and Doug Sharp.

    Have a “Great Race” and a safe journey !

    Susan Buckley

  • We live an hour & a half from Watertown New York but decided we just had to travel there to see this awsome spectacle. I am so glad we did. My husband is a huge car guy and I was really glad we came to see this event. Thanks for putting on a great show! We would do it again if the venue is ever close to our area!!!

  • Could someone tell when the cars are scheduled to start arriving in Findlay, Ohio on Saturday. Would like to be there to watch them come in to town.

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