Birthday in Buffalo


June 13. 008The seventh day of our rally, I celebrated my birthday in Ed and me-bUFFALOBuffalo. I won’t say which one, those who know, know and those who don’t know, don’t need to know. This was a day off from driving. Stewball had a rest and I had the whole day.

Celebrating actually started when we arrived June 12th to be met by 001three friends who were on our NY to Paris rally in 2011, Jeff Mahl, and Jack and Mary Crabtree. More later on why we all ended up in Buffalo.

FullSizeRender (3)My birthday morning started with a breakfast visit from more friends, Chuck and Janice Tomlinson, Canadian friends who live just a short distance from Buffalo. We’ve been friends for 30 years. It has probably been 10 years since we’ve met face to face so this was a wonderful start to the day. We promised it would not be so long before we meet again.

017The afternoon included a trip to Niagara Falls. Ed had never been there and my only visit was when I was a child. Most of the ralliest loaded into buses for the trip. Only those who had to work on their cars didn’t come.  While the falls are beautiful, it was disappointing to see how commercial the whole thing is. We compared it to our trip to Victoria Falls last year and I admit, Niagara didn’t match up. Still I’m glad we went.019

006Then the evening. Jeff Mahl presented his  great-grandfather’s story of the 1908 NY to Paris race. It is still the longest race around the world and the American team, headed by George Schuster in his 1907 Thomas Flyer won. At least technically, the German team arrived in Paris first, but was penalized, giving the win to the American team. Everyone I talked to from our Trans-American rally agreed that even our worse day didn’t compare to the personal hardships, physical and emotional challenges and car problems the men in 1908 faced. What ever inspired them and motivated them? They were truly explorers and adventurers.

What is our connection? Ed and I participated in a rally celebrating this 1908 event in 2011 along with three other teams. We have not all been together since 2011 and everyone was 004in Buffalo for Jeff’s presentation and a reunion. The dinner for our rally was held at the Pierce Arrow museum. I spent another Jan-Bdaybirthday with this group in China in 2011.

It was a day full of special people and events. I went to bed more worn out than after a day of rallying.

Enough about me. The next two days take us from Buffalo to Bay City, Michigan and then across the Mackinaw Bridge to St. Ignace then on to Duluth Minnesota where I will meet my sister. Wait, didn’t I say enough about me?

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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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One Response to Birthday in Buffalo

  1. TBC says:

    Belated Happy Birthday, Janet. As you know, we are also on the road, so to speak. Glad to hear your adventures are going well. As to Niagara, I was lucky7 enough to have seen it from the Canadian side long before all that sculch set in!

    Hugs,

    TBC

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