We had a LOONG day today: 12 timed legs (more than ever before in a single day).
GOOD: Our morning was super: three one-second legs and three Aces! And that includes an ace on a leg where we were stopped for construction and put in a 1-minute, 20-second time delay!
BAD: Something seems to have disagreed with us at lunch, though, we racked up a total for thirty (33) more seconds, including a 14 late on one leg!
UGLY: dumping a really good start with a bad second act. Rats. Fatigue factor?
On the other hand, we had a mostly cool and yet sunny day. A bald eagle swooped low over us as we drove. We reached and saw the Atlantic Ocean. We got through the day, including miles of really bumpy roads, without losing any important car parts. Bender continued his stellar performance, with only a hint of starting balkiness (Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve taken to fueling without switching him off, to be sure we can get away again). He’s got quite a squeaky squeal in the speedometer/odometer (the stock one) and that seems to be getting worse. I thought we had fixed it by lubricating the driving cable, but it seems to be in the gauge itself. Really maddening for me (Dale can’t hear it). Also, there is a trace of random miss at high rpms, possibly a fouled plug. Minor stuff, really. Bender is a workhorse.
Lunch was at the marvelous Owls Head Transportation Museum. Good food – WAIT! That might be why we got rattier in our driving after lunch: IT WAS THE LASAGNA & BROWNIES THAT DID IT! Anyway, while there we saw the biplanes flying and the terrific collection of cars and other devices (including a feathery ornithopter and a steam-powered bicycle). We saw the mighty Corliss steam engine: 800 HP at 80 rpm, with a 60-ton flywheel! That would not be a good choice of Great Race powerplant.
The afternoon route was VERY bumpy. It seems almost Maine hasn’t done a full paving job for a long time on these back roads. As we were heading North-northwesterly, I had the afternoon sun on me and for the first time this race, got a bit sticky. On every prior GR that I’ve been on, there were days that were brain-melting hot and turned us to squashed french fries. This year has been merciful in that regard – just a reminder taste today (yum: salty grease!). Several broken cars today: the attrition has been fairly regular with a car or two dropping out each day. C’est la guerre!
Our dinner stop was at the waterfront development in Bangor, ME. Best dinner so far! Supper bacon-wrapped chicken, beans, brown bread, cole slaw, and delicious blueberry crumb cake. I had several pieces. We were expecting to shuttle over to the Cole Transport Museum (the history of developing all-weather trucking in Maine – I’ve been there, it’s worth it!), but apparently, there was a SNAFU. Sigh.
Tomorrow will be an all-day rain. Nice to have a closed car. Nice to have new wipers (Thanks to Matt at Steven Allen Studebaker parts for overnighting those). Maybe that will level the playing field a bit in our favor?