Day 4, or the Day of the Moose.

June 26, 2012

The title probably requires some explaining. But first, I’m putting up our scores, because we’re very proud of them! Today we got -11, +1, -13, and -2. MUCH better than yesterday, so we really pushed some places above the 4th-place X-cup team, and ended up 54th overall!

To the day’s troubles: We missed one instruction… sort of. The start was at a speed for a time, so we had to speed up after a certain time. Trouble was, the next instruction had the same setup- enter at X speed, wait X minutes:seconds, got to X speed. We got the time for the second instruction confused with the start’s instruction, AND we therefore thought we’d completed both instructions. Somehow we noticed it, and managed to not only account for the time we’d lost, but we were lucky enough to have seen it before we missed the instruction we thought we had completed. What I just wrote seems really confusingly worded, but I’m too tired to write it more clearly… We’re 3rd off the line tomorrow morning because NY is our home state, so 8:03AM. Earliest start yet, but luckily it wasn’t today, when we would have started at 7:33…

Next came the animal encounter- but not the namesake of this post. We had a run in with a pheasant, strolling across the road, when we needed to hold 45MPH (and as I remember, it was near the end of a set of instructions that implied a checkpoint was near, so we were loathe to lose speed and have to catch it). I thought at first, since I could see it very earlier on, that I would simply be able to drive behind it, since it should have been in the other lane when we got there. Then I saw the little fuzzballs coming out of the bushes behind it. That prompted a swerve into the oncoming lane (don’t worry, no traffic!) to try not to hit any of them, and as the parent saw us coming, it started running to cross before us! I managed to (don’t ask me how) swerve MORE, and clear it. Looked in the rearview, and it had turned back when we passed, then turned in its original direction again, and was slowly strutting across again.

Our final “mistake” was just before the lunch stop. I say “mistake” because it didn’t cause a timing issue, it was just a stupid event. When I repacked the trunk (which is in the front of the car- don’t forget that, it’s important), I had placed the starter fluid in there. Below a box. Without a cap, because the cap had been missing for I don’t know how long. Then we had to hit the brakes hard, to slow. Box slides forward, hits the button on the Ether can, and in a minute we smelled something rather flammable. Luckily it only sprayed for a second, but the scent hung around ALL DAY.

The moose:

We saw just the large one in a pond, drinking/eating. Would have stopped for a photo, but we were running on time then.

The stop in Barry’s Bay was excellent, and the lunch was delicious- pulled pork sandwiches, my favorite. It always surprises me to see how welcoming everyone in these lunch stop towns are. It’s not like the dinner stop where everyone’s there for at least an hour, there’s always cars leaving and coming, yet everyone turns out anyway. Barry’s Bay has also hit another milestone: the best swag bag so far! We got a roll of blue shop rags (it’s like they knew we had a bunch of leaky old ca- oh.), more polish, more pins for our hats, and the best actual bag! Shame we didn’t have time to actually look around, but the visitor’s center was a lovely interesting old railway station that housed town history and an art gallery.

The dinner stop in Ottowa was equally good, but for different reasons. First off, they had cake! Cake! Nobody’s gone for a full cake yet… They also had, as many other towns did, a car show to go along with our arrival, but this one attracted some very interesting vehicles. Of note: a Bricklin SV-1 (factoid alert; the S in in “SV” stands for saftey, not sports!), a Puma GTI (an air-cooled VW based sports car made in Brazil), a Chevy 350 swapped ’56 bug, and a very clean Studebaker Avanti (not quite as cool as the Studebaker Champion we saw last night, though). Really, very cool.

Well, I’m off to sleep. Got to try to keep up the improving trend.

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