INTO THE NIGHT 2002
16 Hour Monte Carlo Style Navigational Road Rally
Lebec - Santa Cruz Nov. 15 - 17, 2002
Rallymaster: David Budlong
CRITIQUE OF THE COURSE
If you did not run this rally and would like to follow along, you might want to get the following maps. Map 1A is not available. Maps 1 and 2 are from the AAA Kern Co. map. Map 3 is from the San Luis Obispo County map. Maps 4, 5 and 6 are from the Monterey/San Benito County map. Map 7 is from the Santa Cruz city map. Map 8 is from the Compass map for the Santa Cruz area.
Leg time 10.75
Section of road unnamed on map, north/east of I-5.
Before start, this leg may not have been obvious. The introduction to the RI's held 2 important keys - there were about 3 miles of freeway on leg 1, and dead ends do not exist. On map 1 there was a small, dead end portion of Gorman Post Rd. on the north side of the freeway in Gorman, but since it was dead end, it was ruled out. On map 1 there was also a portion of road shown above Lebec, leading to the Ft. Tejon Historic Area, but it appeared to require about 4.4 miles of freeway to reach without going early up the hot road for IN 2, so it didn't work either.
On map 1A, which was much more detailed, there were 2 other possibilities: a rest area road shown as an unnamed loop on 1A, and marked as a rest area on map 1; and a small loop of road (actually the northbound I-5 onramp in Lebec) marked next to the fire station on Cave Canyon Rd. (unpaved). Assuming one were to leave Start northbound and enter the freeway at Frazier Mtn Park Rd. (the first opp to do so), both of the those options would be too close, i.e. substantially LESS than 3 miles of freeway on leg 1. So where was IN 1?
As always, all options should be considered. What if one were to leave Start SOUTHBOUND? No info was given about entry/exit directions for Start, so it was possible. In fact, when you got to Start/SO 1,2,3, you saw IN 3 was immediately to your left on the only road out of Start, so southbound was the way you had to leave.
That put you onto the freeway in Gorman. Map 1 showed 2.7 miles back to Frazier Mtn Park Rd., the rest area a couple of tenths later, and the road by the fire station a little further at about 3.5 miles total freeway. Which raises the question - exactly what does "approximately 3.0 miles" mean? Many people searched the rest area loop off of northbound I-5 in Lebec. A small amount of extra time was included for that purpose, but the Checkpoint was located on the road near the fire station. This road would be freeway except for the entrance to the Tejon Ranch, pictured in the passage control sign. Because of that private road, the freeway onramp began about 100 feet past the Checkpoint.
While Joe as working the checkpoint at 1, a CHP black and white showed and sat on Cave Canyon Rd, which was perfectly positioned so he could see the northbound 5, but they couldn't see him. He took off twice, assumedly after speeders, in the 35 or so minutes Joe was there, and a number of the rally cars had to creep right past him. Then he watched Joe pull up the hose and repack the box. Gave him a wave as he headed off. Guess he knew what a rally was.
Leg time :10.00
On Lebec Rd. Enter north or west (Regulars/Novices also told it was north of an east-west line through the fire station). Photo at standoff showed it to the left (west) of IN 1.
Out of IN 1 you were forced onto 5 northbound. 3.4 miles later you got off again (at the first opp - Ft. Tejon Park). The introduction had said there were about 3.0 miles of freeway on leg 2, so the preferred route was to go back down Lebec Rd. toward the checkpoint, then use the small, marked loop in Lebec called Circle Dr. to get to the hot road below the checkpoint, and turn left and enter IN 2 northbound, just adjacent to the post office in Lebec. However, to prevent any need for speeding on the freeway in the area, time was allowed to go south on 5 from Ft. Tejon Park, all the way back down to Frazier Mtn Park Rd., and to come up Lebec Rd. northbound from there, permitting you to search the whole of Lebec Rd.
:06.25 leg time
On Peace Valley Rd., enter heading south.
Regardless of how you entered IN 2, it should have been northbound, and the only way to get to IN 3 in time was to use Circle Dr. to exit IN 2. Go back down Lebec Rd. to the stop sign, and continue across Frazier Mtn Park Rd into IN 3. This hose was immediately adjacent Start, so everyone had seen it up close and knew exactly where it was.
It's become the ITN signature to give you several checkpoints in close proximity, so that their relation in time to each other determines their location. Legs 1, 2 and 3 formed your first set of checkpoints. Legs 4,5,6 formed your second set. All three were listed as being south of 166, east of 33, and west of I-5.
Leg 4 time was 1:11.00, Leg 5 was :16.00, and Leg 6 was :27.75.
Leg 4 was entered from the west or north.
Leg 5 entered heading east.
Leg 6 heading south.
Experts also had a Standoff listed for Legs 7,8 on "B" Road, unnamed on map 1, with enter and leave in any direction. B Road is the east-west road intersecting Sabodan Rd. near the intersection of 166 and 5. More importantly, they were told that this Standoff was within 2 miles of IN 6, so this told them 6 had to be on B Road, Sabodan or the unnamed road leading to the Wheeler Ridge pumping plant.
Working backwards from there for :26.75 of drive time (:27.75 minus the 1.00 allowed to exit the previous checkpoint) put IN 5 on Western Minerals Rd., and back another :15.00 put IN 4 on Stubblefield Road. It was the only configuration that fit the times. There were no other available roads in the defined search area.
Regulars and Novices had a Standoff 7,8,9 listed on Cerro Noroeste Rd. Time allowed indicated they should go to this Standoff next after IN 3, and that IN's 4, 5, and 6 had to be in the same places they were for Experts. 4 had to be on Stubblefield, 5 on Western Minerals, and 6 on either the portion of Sabodan south (west) of I-5, or on the road leading to the Wheeler Ridge Pumping Plant.
At the Regular/Novice Standoff 7,8,9 there was a sign reading "ITN ALL". This was then an uninstructed, staffed control for Experts, as per the Generals. Experts were told that the Standoff 7,8 marked on their maps on B Road was deleted and was being replaced by this control, which then became their new Standoff 7,8,9. The one additional Standoff forced Experts to reprogram their clocks by 2 minutes. It was just another way to make the Experts have to react quickly to new information and to generally work harder to run the same course.
So Standoff 7,8,9 for all classes was up on Cerro Noroeste and was taken during Leg 4.
One more note on Leg 4. The passage control sign gave you the direction of entry. The indicated location for the PC was on the right. The road can be seen going to the left, not straight or right. Therefore, this PC has to be approached from the west for this picture to be correct, and the introduction to the RI's had indicated the PC photos were correct, and that the hose would within about 0.25 miles of the photos. The trap was that the timing car was moved around to the north-south portion of Stubblefield and positioned as it might be if approached from the north. It was one of those times binoculars would be helpful, as you needed to ascertain from the north end of Stubblefield that there was no checkpoint on the north-south portion.
Leg time :34.50
On either Green Rd. or Old River Rd., south of the UP tracks (under the word "Bakersfield" on Map 1 or Kern County). Enter from the north.
This leg also required you to turn in Course Control 1 (located at Copus and Old River Rds.) at IN 7.
On either Green or Old River. Enter from the north.
At the new Standoff 7,8,9 you were shown a very interesting photo for 7 and 8. They had the same bearing, and 7 was seen to be "above" 8, and therefore farther away. A single bearing could not cross Old River Rd. in 2 places, therefore 7 had to be on Old River, and 8 had to be on Green, and the bearing had to cross both roads, and Green Rd, which is not marked on the Kern County map but was added by the Rallymaster, only runs the one mile north-south from McCutchen to CA 119, halfway between Buena Vista and Old River. If the bearing crossed the very northmost part of Green, it then crossed Old River just north of Panama, so the maximum search was up Gosford to Pacheco and down into 7. Out of 7, jog west on McCutchen to Green and enter 8.
Leg time :31.50 including a 10 minute break with gas indicated "onroute" at I5 and 119, and at 119/43. IN 9 was located on a road south of 199 and east of 43. Enter from the south.
This description and time allowed only one road as a possible Inmarker road, and that was the unnamed loop south of 119 between the lake and the Buena Vista golf course. There was only one part of that road that could be entered from the south, and to do so required that you go to the west end of the road and head back east along the lower part of the loop before turning north into IN 9. The PC photo showed a milemarker, so it was easy to pace yourself on the way in, since you had been told in the introduction that the hose was within a quarter mile of the PC sign.
Leg time 1:02.00. Located on either 7th Standard Rd. or Milan Road. If on 7th Standard, enter heading toward I5. If on Milan, enter heading north.
Standoff 10,11,12,13 was on Elkhills Rd., entered northbound. You had a great view of the valley as you came off the hill, and you had some good photos from which to get bearings.
If you hadn't picked up on the westmost part of 7th Standard, west of 33, the photo might have been a bit of a shock. Originally it was intended for you to take Main Camp to get to the far west end of 7th Standard. However, on checkout, Main Camp was under construction, and the detour took you right through the oil fields. We had some trouble in this area on Ron Dunlop's big rally last year, "Rally without a Cause", the trouble being Joe came in on Main Camp to the west end of 7th Standard, and headed east, just as you would have done on the rally. He was then stopped by security guards who swerved their pickups to block the road in front and behind him, then held him for questioning (it was shortly after 9/11). So the eastern portion of Main Camp was deleted from the map and Warehouse Rd was given a name on the map. (It's the short diagonal road south of the word "Main" on the Kern County map.)
To reach IN 10 you had to go west (the wrong way) on 7th Standard from 33 to Warehouse, then dodge up to Main Camp to the far end of 7th Standard, then back east into the checkpoint.
Leg time :22.00
Located on 7th Standard or Snow Rd. Enter from the west.
Since Snow is a short road parallel to 7th Standard, it was inevitable that the bearing from Standoff crossed both roads. As you came out of IN 10, you had the choice or going north to Lerdo Hwy or south to Lokern. The northern route was slightly longer (about 1 min.) and the time was allowed for it. Time was also allowed for you to search the short section of 7th Standard as well. The checkpoint was on Snow.
Leg time :11.75
Located on Wildwood Rd., enter from the north.
Leg time :35.50
Located on Wildwood Rd., enter from the north.
The bearings indicated that 12 was south of 13, and that 13 was at or near the north end of Wildwood. Given the short leg time on 12, you pretty much had to go to the closest part of Wildwood and head south. However, the bearing was very close to the intersection of Wildwood and Burbank, and the prudent choice was to search all of that portion of Wildwood by going up to Riverside and going south on Wildwood. The checkpoint was indeed north of Burbank, and Burbank was the preferred exit route.
IN 13 was indeed at the very top of Wildwood, but unfortunately, some additional time on the leg had been indicated after checkout, and we didn't get the correction into the final Route Instructions, so you didn't have enough time to get to 13 at legal speeds (although a few made it). It became the only leg on the rally that was discarded from scoring.
Leg time: 2:20
Located on Vineyard Canyon or Ranchita Canyon Road. Enter heading in a southwesterly direction.
The longest leg on the rally included a short 30 min lunch break in Lost Hills and a Course Control at the corner of Bitterwater Valley and Bitterwater Roads, which was also used for an odometer check section. When we ran checkout, Joe's Alfa Elite came up at 11.700 miles for a map-indicated 11.7 miles, so that was close enough. We used that computer to measure the distance into the hose on Leg 26, which was a minimum speed leg.
The sweep and majesty of a beautiful sunset greeted the rally as we ran this section. It was a perfect day for a drive in the country. And drive we did!
IN 14 could have only been on Vineyard Canyon Road. To enter Ranchita Canyon heading southwest from the top was ruled out because it was unpaved. Reaching the portion of Ranchita south of Hog Canyon would have required a course that would have taken you through another checkpoint on the way in, and 2 more on your way out and over to Standoff 15,16,17,18, so that way was just way too hot to handle.
But the real, definitive piece of info was the passage control photo, which showed the intersection of Vineyard and Cross Country Roads. The Checkpoint had to be within .25 mile north of that location.
LEGS 15, 16, 17, 18
These 4 legs formed one of the toughest mazes ever. Coming down Vineyard you picked up Indian Valley Rd and went south. Then you had to go left before River Rd. to find Cross Canyons Rd where the Standoff was located. David had come across the Standoff location while doing early work on the event, and, as usual, the roads started talking to him. It's one of those places that's not very high in elevation, but it's just high enough to see the entire valley from San Miguel to Paso Robles.
Legs 15 and 17 were on either Hog Canyon Road or Ranchita Canyon Rd. If on Hog enter toward Von Dollen, if on Ranchita enter heading away from Von Dollen
Legs 16 and 18 were on Estrella, enter heading away from Pleasant Rd.
LEG 15 Leg time :42.50
LEG 16 Leg time :15.50
LEG 17 Leg time :07.50
LEG 18 Leg time :16.50
Remember 1 minute in each leg is included to allow time for you to pick up your intime from the timing car after crossing the hose for the previous leg. Also, Leg 15 included 10.00 minutes for the 4 standoffs.
Mysteriously enough, the portion of road from Von Dollen to Estrella between Pleasant and Hog turns out to be Ranchita Canyon as well, but we were not nasty enough to put a hose there, although it did make exiting 15 and 17 a bit more interesting.
At Standoff, you got 4 photos which you had to interpret under dusk conditions, what they call "magic hour" in the film production business. 18 was the easiest, as it was southwesterly, putting 18 on the stretch of Estrella between Pleasant and River Rds., and requiring a westbound entry.
The bearing for 15 was nearly east, slightly more south was 17, and then 16 at about southeast.
The bearing for 15 crossed both possible checkpoint roads north of Von Dollen, thus indicating a search pattern up Ranchita, then down Hog Canyon. You might have dallied a little when (and if) you knew you had turned onto Ranchita, just in case the hose was there, but the time of about 20 minutes or so remaining after you left Standoff (on time) indicated it was on Hog, and within a mile or so of Von Dollen, which is where it was. There were a number of tricky intersections on course from Standoff to IN 15, and some were difficult to interpret at speed in the dark, so it definitely required some heads up work to avoid those seemingly short detours that are so costly in terms of time spent.
The bearing for 17 indicated it was on the portion of Hog between Von Dollen and Estrella, so it was important to use Von Dollen to exit IN 15 so as not go backwards through 17.
The bearing for 16 put it on the portion of Estrella between Pleasant and Hog. Whether it was east or west of the unnamed road (that turned out to be Ranchita Canyon) was too close to call (since it was really only 100 feet or so west of the intersection of the unnamed Ranchita and Estrella). As you came west on Von Dollen out of 15, you had to go right at Ranchita the first time you came to it, then left the second time. Then left on Pleasant Rd. You had even been past Pleasant Rd on your way to 15. Did you notice it as you sailed by? Did you remind yourselves that you needed to be able to get back to that spot?
Anyway, east on Estrella from Pleasant into IN 16.
16 could have also been reckoned by the time to 17, which was only 6.50 minutes driving time. Having 16 on the west side of Pleasant could have been ruled out before Start, since there is no portion of Ranchita or Hog which could be reached from the west end of Estrella in that time. It was 6.1 from there to the closest point of Ranchita. Even at 55, which is doubtful for those roads, that means 6.65 minutes, which is over 6.50 minutes, even if it is within reach of many an entrant's performance capabilities, you could still rule it out based on the Generals.
Likewise, time determined that, after leaving 16, you had to drive directly to the intersection of Estrella and Hog and go up Hog into 17. That required a right at the stop sign immediately after 16 in order to stay on Estrella.
Then all you had to do was find your way back to Pleasant Rd. again to get into IN 18 on Estrella westbound just before River Rd.
Legs 19 and 20 were both described as being located on a road south of G18, east of G 14, and west of 101.
Leg time 2:02.50
Enter from the north. The passage control sign showed a yellow diamond curve warning sign indicating a 90 degree left.
This leg indicated that you had been given 40 minutes for a dinner break in Paso Robles, which was indeed included in the time for the leg. On Chimney Rock Rd about 100 feet south of G14, there was a Restart of 6:30pm plus your car number. But it had to be entered from the south, which made for quite a loop from Paso into Standoff. In one of the most fiendishly diabolical Rallymaster tricks ever, the restart time was about 10 minutes EARLIER than even the most aggressive drivers could possible make it. (You could NOT leave before 6:30 PM plus your car number, but you COULD leave anytime afterwards.) All the roads on the loop in were way fast at 45 -55. Plus finding Adelaida Rd off of G14, or even just finding G14 out of Paso Robles, were not nearly as easy as they looked on the map. If nothing else it raised the pucker factor substantially, although we probably won't do that same trick again.
Leg time :07.25
Leg 20 had an interesting note under "Standoff"- "look to the left when you are at Passage/IN 19. IN/Passage 19 is north of IN/Passage 20."
Leg 20 had a passage control photo showing a yellow diamond curve warning sign indicating a 90 degree right.
The only non-dead end roads that fit the area described were two roads forming small right triangles with G18 near Lockwood. These were unnamed on the map, and are actually the old alignment of the Bradley-Lockwood Rd. Since these are each considered to be a single road with a 90 degree turn and not 2 roads with a 90 degree intersection, only one checkpoint can be located on each triangle. (The portion of the Inmarker road on which you are not allowed to U-turn is described in the Generals as that portion between the nearest 2 paved intersections marked on the official maps.)
The passage control signs gave you the key to the direction of entry. On 19, the pictured 90 degree left could only be approached correctly from the north. On 20, the 90 degree right could only be approached correctly from the east.
19 was on the north-south portion top triangle and was entered from the top. Time was allowed to go G14 all the way to Lockwood, although G19 north to G18 West had higher speed limits and was therefore quicker. The fact that the posted speeds are not indicated on the maps is a constant challenge for entrants and Rallymasters alike.
According to the info under "Standoff" on Leg 20, if you looked left from IN 19 (at an angle) you would see IN 20 (if you could see that far at night). 20 was on the east-west portion of the lower triangle, and had to be entered from the east.
On your way to IN 21, we had to bridge an 18.1 mile gap in the available maps between Jolon and King City. A text box was inserted on Map 3 giving you the info you needed to get to Map 4.
Leg time :50.50
Located on Metz Road or Elm Road. If on Metz, enter from the south. If on Elm from the west.
The limitation on freeway miles in the Introduction page of the Route Instructions ruled out getting to any portion of Elm on time. The Checkpoint was on Metz just south of Elm.
Leg Time :41.00
Located on a north-south road west of the 101. The Inmarker is located south of either Chualar River Rd or Carmel Valley Village. Enter from the south.
Although there was no Standoff for this leg, you were told in the Route Instructions that it was north of Gonzales.
You also had Course Control 3 on the bridge where G17 and G16 intersect, and it had to be turned in at IN 22. Further, on the next leg, you were to pick up Course Control 4 at the corner of Foster and Davis just west of Salinas, and you had to turn that in at IN 23. These 2 CC's were the common start and end points of any possible route you might have considered for Leg 22.
There were 4 possible locations which met the physical description for IN 22: Carmel Valley Road SOUTH of Carmel Valley Village; Alta St. portion from Gonzales northwest to the 101; River Rd from approximately 2 miles from its intersection with Gonzales River Rd.; and last Johnson Canyon Rd from Gonzales northeast to the 101
Several things mitigated the likelihood that Carmel Valley Road was the correct choice. Based on map 4, Carmel Valley Road shows some very twisty sections, so we expected you to be concerned about the average speed for that road.
After IN 21, you took Elm west to CC 3. That was about 7.5 miles, and you would have been about 9 min. into Leg 22 by the time you picked up the CC. That left about 32 min to get to IN 22. Even at 55, that would mean IN 22 could be no more than about 29.5 miles up Carmel Valley Rd (from CC 3). If you find the map marking "Tularcitos Ridge" on Map 4, that would put you about even with the first "T", or about 4 miles south of Carmel Valley Village. Look at north arrow on map 4. IN 22 is described as being north of Gonzales. The maximum distance you could reach going up Carmel Valley Road in the time allowed is not north of an east-west line through the town of Gonzales. IN 22 could not have been on Carmel Valley Rd.
(Also, the photo of the Passage Control sign for 22 showed an intersection, and it appeared to be on very flat land, with a very far horizon. There do not appear to be any intersections north of Arroyo Seco Rd that could conceivably fit this photo. Actually, there don't appear to be any intersections on Carmel Valley Rd, south of Carmel Valley Village, which could even fit the sign itself, let alone the terrain in the photo.)
That left you with a search pattern out of CC 3. You needed to take Arroyo Seco Rd north to Fort Home Rd to River Rd. (using up about 16 miles after CC 3) At Gonzales River Rd, you could have gone east and searched at least as far as the town of Gonzales. From that point you could see that Johnson Canyon up to the 101 was not it. You were allowed 3 more minutes, which was enough time to go about halfway up Alta St. toward the 101, by which time you could have seen that neither the Checkpoint or the PC was on that section.
At that point you should have uturned and gone back to River Rd., where you should have had about 6 minutes left to go the 5 miles or so up to the manned Checkpoint for IN 22.
Unfortunately on the night of the rally, there was a major traffic jam of incredibly slow traffic in Gonzales for some unknown reason, and that made it more difficult than expected to complete this search.
Leg time 1:22.25
Located on either Delaware or Natural Bridges Rd. If on Delaware, enter from the east. If on Natural Bridges enter from the south.
The easiest key to this leg was the Passage Control sign, which was a RXR circle yellow sign. Delaware did not cross any railroads, but Natural Bridges did. Even before Start, you could determine it was on Natural Bridges within about 0.25 miles south of the RR tracks. At Standoff, your heading was the Mark Abott Memorial Lighthouse In the Introduction to the Route Instructions you were told that IN 23 was less than 2 miles from the light. Natural Bridges also fit this information.
Leg time :25.25
Located on Smith Grade, enter from the east.
Passage Control showed a sign indicating a stop ahead. That meant 24 would be within 1/4 mile of the west end of Smith Grade. The Leg turned out not to be staffed.
Leg time :08.25
No Standoff, but it tells you 25 is within 2 miles of Checkpoint 24.
Located on either Pine Flat Road or Bonny Doon Rd. If on Pine Flat, enter heading north. If on Bonny Doon, enter heading south.
Since Leg 26 was only 14 minutes, Bonny Doon could have been ruled out south of its intersection with Smith Grade.
You were allowed enough time to search Pine Flat for 2 miles from PC 24, then uturn and search southbound on the Bonny Doon loop, which is where you found the Passage Control.
Leg time :14.00
Located on a road that connects Empire Grade and Hwy 9. Minimum speed 10 mph. 3.48 minutes at 15 mph from Empire Grade works out to 0.87 miles.
At Standoff you were given a compass heading of 293 degrees, and the declination there is about 15 degrees, yielding a map heading of 308 degrees. That bearing crossed the top of Alba Rd. It also crossed the bottom of Felton Empire Rd. Since the Checkpoint was known to be exactly 0.87 miles from Empire Grade, the point where a bearing might have crossed Felton Empire was too far from Empire Grade. The Inmarker could be determined to be on Alba Rd.
In addition, time was allowed out of PC 25 for the following. Left on Pine Flat, very quick right onto Marin Dr., right on Ice Cream Grade and then search exactly 0.87 miles of Felton Empire. You should have had about 8 minutes left on the leg at this point.
Back up Felton Empire, then up Empire Grade about 3.5 miles to Alba Rd. Wait off any additional time at the top of Alba and then proceed above the Minimum Speed for the 0.87 miles down Alba into the Checkpoint.
At 16 hours and 26 Checkpoints, this was certainly an endurance event. Congratulations to all those who made it through, and many, many thinks to the loyal and fearless ITN workers: KayLee Ahnemann, Keith Horton, Steve Morse, Joe Boucher, Linda Marsh, Jeff Radin, Rick Zwart, Jane Barker, Martin Sachs, Rallye Chairman Joe Akerman, and Rallyemaster David Budlong.
We hope to see you all at Standoff in 2003.