Director of Great Race, Jeff Stumb, continues his planning trip for the 2012 Great Race.
Day 8–Franklin, Pa., and Warren, Ohio
We left Buffalo early and got a great look at Lake Erie for the last time. Obviously, we cannot hug the shore of all of the Great Lakes all the way around, and at this point we will be traveling 50 miles or so away from Lake Erie all the way into Dearborn for the finish. Early on, like on the Trophy Run and the first couple of days of competition, we will be hugging the shoreline. In fact, several days we will be having lunch and dinner on the shoreline. And for the first time we are getting into some hills. This will probably be the flattest Great Race ever run since we will be spending so much time at sea level, but the morning into Franklin, Pa., will see a few rolling hills. Franklin is a scenic town that we have been to on a previous Great Race, but it has been a long time. The good folks there are planning a fantastic lunch and reception in the city park.
The roads level back out for the trip into Warren, Ohio, an impressive city just outside of Youngstown. For those that do not know, Warren is the original home to Packard, and our stop there will be at the National Packard Museum. Warren is also the birthplace of President William McKinley, who was elected in 1900. Earlier in the morning we were still in Buffalo, where McKinley was assassinated in 1901, turning the White House over to his more famous vice president, Teddy Roosevelt. The site were McKinley was shot at the Pan American Expo was later the Pierce-Arrow factory. And in the late 1920s, Marmon manufactured a second marquee called the Roosevelt, named after Teddy. That’s probably enough car and presidential trivia for now.