Accommodations: Ramada Inn, 1170 W. Chestnut
Weather: Periods of Drenching rain; drizzle, fog, overcast, no sun; Not a good day to have the most pathetic excuses for windshield wipers in the entire populated world!
Events of the Day:
The Bobcats arrive at one more finish gate -- Washington, PA
The Adjusted Score: 28.53 Seconds!!
We were directed to a road near Taneytown where our day would begin. We rallied (a timed portion) in the morning for close to two hours. Then we proceeded south on I-81 and were soon in Maryland. Then it was onto I-68 for several miles westward until we exited at a travel information center. We got onto "Scenic US Route 40" to begin our next rally segment. and much of the next hour was spent on this old major Federal highway. It's a simple two-lane road that winds through the steep hills of West Virginia and western Maryland and it's hard to imagine that this was one of the major arteries in the U.S. highway system 70 years ago. Several times our course instructions took us onto back roads, single lane bridges and through hamlets that were reminiscent of old time Appalachian movies. In one case, we didn't see another car for over an hour!
We had a 60 mile transit on I-68 to our lunch location. While we were on the Interstate the rains came full force. On of the Great Race film crews pulled along side and took pictures of Bob Mead fiddling with the old vacuum-style windshield wipers on the Buick. When we closed the windows the inside of the car was like a steam bath, and if we opened the windows we got soaked. Bob was driving with his right shoe off and his foot got drenched by the water coming in the vent below the windshield. As we reached our lunch destination the skies cleared and we had a delightful lunch in Cumberland, MD. There is a culinary school located there and we were served in the school's dining facility.
After lunch we proceeded straight west on I-68 again, leaving that major highway near Swanton (Exit 19) to enjoy the smaller roads once more. On this course, we traveled through a beautiful State Park. It was some of the most challenging driving we have ever encountered in the Great Race. There were long periods of 15 mph and 20 mph travel. It's extremely difficult to maintain a precise speed over the steep hills at these low speeds. We had an afternoon pit stop in Uniontown, PA, after the long, steep decent from the top of Summit Mountain. Bob Mead had a wonderful surprise waiting for him in Uniontown. As we arrived at the gate, one of the Great Race officials pointed to three people in the crowd and said, "Your friends have been waiting for you!" It seems that three long time members of the Lincoln Zephyr Owners Club were waiting for the Bobcats arrival. Monica Sweet, and Chad and Evelyn Coombs were anxiously waiting at the arrival gate. We had a wonderful talk in the few minutes before the Bobcats had to once more hit the road. The city of Uniontown was a spectacular Pit Stop! The citizens were out in force on this Sunday afternoon, they served refreshments and presented each car with items of interest and memorabilia of their visit to Uniontown.After another exhausting hour of rallying we were ready to enter Washington, PA, where we would spend the night. Bob King and Bob Mead were happy that they'd been able to stay on course but debated as to how well they'd score in today's competition. As we approached the finish gate we saw our Support Crew cheering us on, along with Pam Chismar her son, Jared, and daughter, Aby, who'd come all the way from Youngstown, OH to see the Bobcat team. The announcer at the finish gate presented us with our score and we were thrilled that our total adjusted error for the day was a little over 28 seconds!
Jared, Pam, and Aby Chismar, friends from Ohio, pose with Bob, their hero
For today, the Bobcats placed fourth in Sportsman Division and 16th overall. Tomorrow, we'll try to beat that record.