DAMN THAT WAS FUN!!!!
What were we thinking of not doing this for three years!!!! The joy of trying to catch Paul & Ron in the Cobra for about 20 miles when they're only half a mile ahead but at xxx mph you're not gaining on them is just something that should not be missed for this long.
It was a flawless rallye and a great course. 22 checkpoints, ALL of them manned, 15 hours 15 minutes, not a minute of boredom. We zeroed the first four checkpoints and felt we were back in the game just to take a max on Leg 5 because we're idiots. After chasing the Cobra towards checkpoint 5 outside Willow Springs we calculated that we had gained at least 30% on the actual leg time (turns out we gained a lot more). Our first possibility for checkpoint 5 turned out to be correct but the picture for the leg showed a California Historical Marker from which you had to grab the date. The road was straight, did a 90 degree right, went straight for about 200 feet, did a 90 degree left and then about 1/4 mile straight. The Historical marker sat on left side about
20 feet after the 90 degree right and (un)luckily for us, a rallye car was getting the information off it (We would not have seen it without them looking at it). When they pulled away we drove up and got the date.
Here's where things slipped our aging minds:
1. The night before we reread the Generals just in case there was something new in them and Steve mentioned that all Passage Controls would be located on the RIGHT (Hint #1)
2. The Historical marker was called Willow Springs (Heck, they all are brown and look the same) but neither Snoozy or Dopey ever looked up at the sign, we just looked for the whited out part on the picture to match up what we are looking for.
3. WHO THE HELL WOULD HAVE TWO HISTORICAL MARKERS WITHIN A QUARTER MILE OF EACH OTHER IN THE MIDDLE OF FRICKIN NOWHERE ANYWAYS?????
So we continued around the 90 degree turn and not more than 150 yards in front of us was Checkpoint 5. Or was it??? Thanks to our quick pace, we were staring at CP5 with 26 minutes to burn. Dazed & confused Steve whips out the Generals which also state that 'If you encounter a passge control before the inmarker, that inmarker does NOT exist for you'. AHA!! A new rule to catch Experts offguard but we won't fall for that. Off we go to cross the hose 24 minutes early and we ask the nice CP worker in his Z4 as to what CP he was and why it was not here for
Experts. Unfortunately for us the reply was that it was CP5 and that it did exist for Experts, at which point we told him about the historical marker around the corner.
It's at this point that the rally was over for us as the kind worker pointed about 3 feet behind his Z4 and there was the actual Willow Springs historical marker.
Car 16 F'd up big time. With the wind out of our sails, we pressed on what was a great course along old Route 66, thru Calico, Amboy, Essex and on to Needles. After dinner break we drove towards Kingman and up the old Route 66 thru Oatman and into Laughlin. Our motto has always been that it ain't over till its over because if the can screw up, everyone else may screw up and they had another 17 chances to do so (although it was not to be).
Ending up with a 503 we were happy to have returned to rallying and will be running Angel's Crown in April.
But of course no rallye would be complete without the final 'FU' from the rallye gods. You see, the first place score turned out to be a tie which was not broken by tiebreaker. Guess what the two first place scores were........................................3.
And one was that darn Cobra we were chasing to CP5 !!!!!!!
After all was said and done, this was one of the most solid rallies I have ever run. There were no issues that could have been 'protested' for anything so Joe & company did a fantastic job not only of a clean event, but one that didn't cause you to fall asleep. For 15 hours we were enjoying great roads and good times in our rented POS Tbird convertible (whose only redeeming quality with the top down for the event were heated seats).
I'm sad to say we used whatever excuses we had not to run for three years, but I'm happy to report that both Steve and I had big smiles on our faces on the way home.
Great times and memories are back again........and so are Lange & Moore so look out Experts!!! We're coming to pass you at the next checpoint!!! :)
For all those that stopped rallying..........you're idiots like us. Thought you're too old, too busy? BS. Mark your calendars for Angels Crown and re-join the fun.