Rain, Rain, Go Away... Boys in Cars want to Play!
Again I awoke in a jet lag induced daze. I roll over and look
out the big picture window overlooking Lake Champlain...
RAIN. Shit. The Jag leaks like a submarine with a screen door,
so this is not going to be a fun day. When I flew here
the skies were clear from Seattle (yes, clear skies in SEATTLE
of all places!) all the way to Lake Erie. I figured the front
would keep moving east and we'd be driving in the clear by now.
Especially after the clearing and brief sunshine we had
We duct-tape up the car to seal it as best we can and head for
Left: Aftermarket weatherstipping for
a British car.
We're not at all motivated to drive in the downpour, so we eat
a leisurely breakfast. Dad dons a plastic bag over his hat.
Why? I haven't a clue. Maybe he's 'losing it' as he ages. You
be the judge:
We amble out for the start. I wait near the starters taking
pictures while Dad queues up in the Jag. We are running
a repeat of last years leg to the White Mountain Fish
Hatchery. It is a long trip with a weird time allowed, 105
minutes. Dad is going to drive.
To give you a sense of the conditions, here are some pictures:
The route was a bit difficult, but since we did it last year it
was easy for us. I seemed to recall most of it and whenever Dad
unsure I was able to reassure him. We made pretty good time despite
the miserable visability:
Above: Less than perfect wiper action.
We make the Fish Hatchery in very good time. We have time for
a potty break and a stretch before our run for the checkpoint.
Dad turns the driving over to me for the finish. Thankfully we
start the day with a ":00". =)
Below: The Shelby Mustang waits it's turn at the hatchery.
We check out immediately and hit the road on the next segment.
We fly along making very good time on a nice road. I manage to
keep a very high average speed and cover about half the distance
in one third the alloted time. Then the road gets a lot busier.
seems to be a very long line of rallyists strung out along the
highway. The reason becomes clear soon enough. There is a bunch
bunched up along the two-lane road.
Left: Waiting our turn in the
Truck passing queue.
It takes a long while to get everyone around
the 4 trucks that are hogging the road. At least
we have slow vehicle pull-outs on Washington
State roads, and a law that prohibits anyone
from delaying more than 5 cars. In Vermont
there is no such luck. We also have a few
Vermont drivers in cars that are even worse
than the trucks. I can accept a truck being
slow. They have a good excuse. One of the
marks of a good driver is an awareness of the
road BEHIND you and a willingness to get
out of the way of folks with more horsepower
than yourself. I drove a VW van for 10 years,
so I know!
The next checkpoint is just over the border in
New Hampshire. After we finally get around
all the slow machines we have to hoof it a bit
to make sure we arrive in time. The rally course
book is missing a turn, so some rally staffers
are at that turn re-directing folks as the come
up. I had just passed what turned out to be
my last truck when we stumbled upon them in
the mist. I almost flew by them. They point us
in the right direction and we head over the final 'notch' as they
call mountain passes here. Near
the top of the notch we have a close call with a
full-grown female moose. She is lumbering out of the trees and
heading for the road when we spot her. Thankfully she turns and
heads back into the
woods. I tell my Dad "The last thing we need is a moose print
in the Jag!" We are in a close group of rally participants, including
the Lincoln Limo
which is right on my tail:
Left: being tailed by the Limo.
It is a bit disconcerting to see this lumbering beast so close
my tail. I *know* that my brakes are *way* better than his,
and I'd hate to be a Cat Sandwich between him and a moose!
The checkpoint is down in a parking lot and is pretty hard to
see from the road, but we manage to find it with some time to
spare. It is staffed by the pair-who-do-it-right (Jim & Leslie.)
Dad and I finish with another Zero. We're lucky though, as this
leg breaks a lot of folks, and we see quiet a few get some serious
We head across the road for lunch and are seated in a glass
room with a great view of the checkpoint's obscure entrance.
We all watch and cheer or groan as various rallyists either
make or miss the turn.
Dad and I have a great lunch of Fish & Chips.
Mom and the guy she is navigating for, Mick Pallardy of Mercedes
come in and join us.
Below: Lunch with a view of the finish.
While we are sitting there a string of gorgeous old Bentley's,
mostly from the 1920s come rolling up. It seems they are having
a national meeting of
Bentley Owners here in New Hampshire. They join us for lunch,
and are staying in the same hotel tonight. I have a few shots
of these beautiful old
machines. I'll add them to the 'misc' page sometime soon.
The next leg is a transit stage over the Kangcamagus Highway and
then up to Mt. Washington. We are going to run it with the grey
by Frank Filangeri and Clark Nicholls. I made a plea to drop the
top, since I was aching from hunching over all morning to avoid
banging my head
on the roof brace. Dad drove, and since we were following Frank
& Clark, navigation was not required. I took a lot of pictures.
Jag Lover? Enjoy!
The rest of you will have to be patient. =)
We arrive at the hotel, a stately old eastern jewel. The scene
is a bit chaotic, but picturesque. =)
The cars are packed in, both our sports cars, and these old Bentleys.
It looks like Car Heaven.
I check in, head for the room and work on the photos and pages,
and now I'll upload them and head off to dinner. See you tomorrow!
P.S. Had a great dinner. My appetizer was a awesome collection
of smoked seafood. Hmmmm. As a bonus Kathleen Blackman sitting
next to me offered my her shellfish. Thanks! =)
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