Moving Fast

Day 14: Now in Montana. Since I last wrote we have covered Utah, a bit of Idaho, Wyoming and now in Montana.  Leaving Provo, we had no  choice but to run the gravel roads. We decided since we had to run this anyway, we would run it as a time trial. Ed and Stewball did well on the first one and we missed our time by 8 seconds. Now understand, many of these guys hit it on the second, but we were pleased. We were so busy congratulating ourselves that I missed the turn just after the time trial and put us on a scenic navigator’s tour (make that lost) for 12 miles! By the time we made that up, we missed the second time trial all together! The second one was 15 miles of dirt and gravel and Ed just drove it slowly which proved to be a good thing.

Somewhere on that rough stretch, this beautiful 1952 Jaguar XK 120 lost the left rear wheel cover and the 1969 Camaro SS-350 hit a deer and dented their front end and put out a headlight. One of the Mercedes was leaking oil so badly that it had to go to a garage to be lifted up for repairs. Fortunately the locals came through as they always do for rallies and even at 6:00 pm on a Sunday, the guy opened his service station for the rally group.  Once again we have decided we MUST avoid these gravel sections if we are to get Stewball back to NC. The roads are too rough and speeds to high to avoid serious damage. More and more people are opting out. The serious competitors will go on.


As you see, we were not the only ones with problems when we arrived in Jackson, Wyoming, aka. Jackson Hole with problems. But Stewball needed attention too. Ed discovered that gasoline was leaking from the carburetor and the engine hesitated when you accelerated. That meant the accelerator pump wasn’t working. Ed decided to change the carburetor- we had a spare and when the mechanics took off the old one, they discovered the fuel filter near the carburetor had a leak.  So they replaced the carburetor and fuel filter and adjusted the points.  We thought all was well.

Stewball on the Grand Teton Parkway

Today our drive took us on the Grand Teton National Park, with the roadsides still deep in snow and then to Yellowstone where no one can leave without a photo of Old Faithful. Here is mine which is probably just like everyone elses.  But it is an incredible sight if you haven’t ever seen it and we hadn’t. Our European and Australian rally friends got their fill of wildlife today. We had sightings and photos of bears, elk, buffalo and even a white wolf! We had buffalo with babies block our road but I was driving and didn’t get that photo. Tonight we are in Bozeman, Wyoming.

Jan with technical support from Ed

About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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1 Response to Moving Fast

  1. TBC says:

    That is a great route you traversed, but I should warn you. You can’t get to Alaska without traveling gravel roads unless things have changed, which well they may have. Once I hit the Cassiar Highway (gorgeous and it runs through the Yukon and Kluane National Park), it was gravel all the way to Whitehorse.

    Have fun, and take care,


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