May 24:We’re sitting in our hotel room in Kalispell, Montana. Our forced day off. We’ve talked to the VW restoration shop and we are still hoping Stewball will be ready later this afternoon. It was a strange feeling to see everyone start off this morning.
Earlier, after our stop at VIR in Virginia, we had to make up two days because we left the rally to dip down into N.Carolina for our daughter’s graduation. That was different, we left them. This time they left us. Reminds me of when I was a child, my face pressed against the window, watching all the neighbor kids walking to school when I was home recovering from polio. An empty feeling. And it doesn’t help that it is a cold, rainy, grey day.
Terry and Shelia and their 1967 MGB GT are even further behind having had to be towed back to Bozeman, MT with a drive-train problem. We last heard he had located parts for a repair. We hope they catch up by Vancouver as Terry ws so looking forward to meeting up with a friend he has not seen for 40 years or more. We miss them.
Now, those of you who know about our participation in World Race 2011, you will appreciate this. We have no car, the hotel restaurant is not open for lunch so we ordered Chinese delivery! It’s the very first time we have had Chinese food since our 21 days crossing China almost exactly a year ago. It has taken that long to even want to look at Chinese food. You know what? It was good!
One more thing for today’s blog. We have learned that our blog is linked to Endurorally’s blog and we have some new followers, some of whom are competitors on the Trans-American Challenge who are reading our blog for the first time. Endurorally mentions that the name of our blog is a bit confusing since it refers to the novel we wrote and published last year. For those of you who are car rally enthusiasts, let me say that the setting for the novel is a fictional world rally set in 2008. That was the year the 2008 Great Race was scheduled, a centennial celebration of the first world race in 1908. It was cancelled when China withdrew our travel permits so we fictionalized that event, adding spies, sex and secret technology from WWII. But the plot’s twists and turns unfold while our protagonists ( a driver and his beautiful, resourceful, secretive navigator) are rallying around the world. You will see that the rally rules in the novel follow the format of the American Great Race and not Endurorally, but in both cases drivers must drive with precise speeds and navigators must follow tulip diagrams and navigate with constant attention.
P.S. If you’re reading this because you are on this rally, this footnote is to let you know we have a few copies of the book with us and will be happy to autograph one for you when we meet up again in Canada. Cross your fingers that will be tomorrow.