…and so the adventure begins! My time here awaiting a flight to Newark, NJ allows me time to reminisce.
It has been several years since the Great Race had a route from west to east. Time zone changes have usually benefitted competitors on east to west or north to south routes… West to east routing sees teams giving up hours of rest as they encounter the challenges of climates, roads, driving conditions and check-points. Historians would take us all the way back to 1998… an epic event that had rallyists meeting all of the elements, including snow and rain…lots of rain, as they travelled from Tacoma, Washington to Haverhill, Massachusetts. Grand champions that year, competing in a 1917 Hudson Indy Speedster were none other than Rex Gardner, Stilwell, KS and Gary Kuck, Lincoln NE. 18 years later, Rex is still competing and continuing to make a difference in the lives of children as he promotes autism awareness. Could he be a repeat winner in 2016? his grandson Kolton has experience now and could be ready to assume to mantle of “champion”!
There is such a cast of characters assembling right now in San Rafael! Many are returning for the umpteenth time, determined to make this the year to break through… others to repeat past success…still others wondering what it’s all about. There is so much to accomplish between now and Saturday’s departure. Registration, vehicle inspection, stickering, practising measured miles, car collections to see, Sonoma Raceway to drive and a San Francisco Bay hosted dinner cruise are but the tip of the iceberg…did I mention getting some rest prior to the Hagerty Trophy Run?
You get the idea…we’re in for an action packed couple of weeks!
Time to board…flight delay and a re routing means that additional fuel had to be obtained prior to takeoff; we’re told that our revised flight plan will add 200 miles and about 20 minutes to the flight…two movies later (The Big Short & Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) the map says that we’re 1 hour and 58 minutes to go and that our flight is currently 1417 km /870 miles from San Francisco. It appears that we’ll be flying north of Salt Lake City… I enjoy following the route being taken. We’ve already passed well north of Cheyenne, Denver and Colorado Springs…lots of turbulence on this new generation, snack less flight! Just think…next Wednesday we’ll see Cheyenne from the ground!