Just a brief note after our finish this afternoon.
This afternoon we completed the nine thousand kilometres, twenty two days trek through the USA at the Tacoma Car museum close to Seattle.
Our final report will follow soon but just a few short notes of the last two days.
Day 21 Bend to Newberg
The day started bad for team 24 .
Not because there was problem with the car but because its navigator – Grace- woke up with one of her very rare but severe Migraine’s.
When this happens she is out for a day and needs to stay in a dark room for at least twelve hours.
I realized quite soon that starting this morning was no option, so I got dressed and reported to the organisers that I would stay in the hotel longer and that I would then drive direct to the next hotel in Newberg.
At the required time I clocked out as if we were leaving and then left Grace to sleep off her migraine.
We needed to vacate the Bend hotel room at one pm so with some difficulty I managed to bundle Grace in the car and we set course to Newberg.
Google maps proves to be a very good companion when the navigator is out of action.
The direct route was a three hour journey through the west cascade mountains. Fortunately Grace fell asleep very soon.
This route was one of the most amazing drives I have done this whole rally. Long winding roads through dark green pine forests sometimes driving through small mountain villages. In most places very little traffic. Like driving in the Alps but then ten times the size and length.
Grace slept for almost two of the three hour drive and when she woke up, she was already much better.
When we came to the Newberg hotel, she was already much more alive then when we left Bend.
Newberg is quite a stunning place with Vineyards and lush green gardens. The hotel / spa was a revelation and goes on the list of places to go back to.
I put Grace into bed for further recovery.
When the organizers arrived I clocked out for the day.
This reduces the penalties in the overall results.
Unfortunately, I missed a drag strip competition at the end of the rally day. The other rally cars were pitched together for a drag race on a traditional American drag strip. I think we could have done well.
By nighttime Grace was already into the route book for the final day.
Day 22 - Newberg to Seattle
The final day we started as no 6 which meant we would be at the finish as one of the first as well.
Grace was back in business, but a bit sore and weak from day with no food, but nonethe less she took me through two regularities and onto the finish at the Tacoma auto museum near Seattle.
There was the traditional finish ceremony and celebrations. At the finish we were welcomed by our former neighbour from the Herdersweg in Laren, Caroline and her two kids.
Philips, the Dutch electronics company, moved her husband Michael at the start of this year from Laren to Seattle and so it was great to be welcomed by them in their now home town. Michael to his chagrin had to board a plane to Amsterdam this morning so he missed our arrival.
Thanks Caroline for being there.
Also at the finish was Brjön Borgers and his girlfriend Charlie. They live in Vancouver and drove the four hours to meet us at the finish. Björn is the son of our dear friends Paul and Zou Zou Borgers from Switserland. Paul and Zou Zou are looking after our house in Laren while we are playing in the USA.
Thanks Björn and Charlie for making the trip and no more avocado smuggling across the Canadian / US border please. Next time take an AK47 it causes less trouble at the border…
After the finish ceremony we drove the sixty km into downtown Seattle where we are now at the Fairmont Hotel.
Tonight prize giving ceremony and a farewell from all our rally friends. No prizes for us this time but another major rally under our belt.
Grace did an amazing job getting us to Seattle and she almost never missed a turn.
We need to practice multiple speed regularities a bit more or find a device (like I suspect a few of our other rally friends are using) to drive these regularities with zero penalty seconds.
Tomorrow I will do a final update with our impressions of this experience in the US of A.
Good night and or good morning.
Mick & Grace