Our fourth full day, and our second timed day, was a rather unusual one. It started off relatively normally. Like any other day, we started early in the morning with some breakfast, and joined the other drivers at the hotel to receive our instructions. But we were informed that they would start giving out directions a little more quickly than normal to get people on the road sooner. This was because of construction as well as a road getting washed out from the copious amounts of rain the region has been getting the past few days.
As it turned out, getting a little bit ahead of things wasn’t enough to overcome the problems from weather and road work. Around the time we got to Marquette, we were informed at a Great Race checkpoint that the morning timing section had been canceled. This wasn’t much of a bother though, and the afternoon session went on according to plan.
The organizers weren’t the only ones who were having trouble in the morning though. A team with another ’57 Fairlane, this one a tribute to Fireball Roberts’ NASCAR, was stuck on the side of the road with electrical problems. We spotted them and pulled off to give them a hand. We weren’t able to get them back on the road in the morning unfortunately, as at the time, we didn’t know that the morning session had been canceled. However after reaching the finish line and returning to the hotel, we were able to help get their Fairlane back up and running.
We also had our own bout of trouble. Our afternoon timed run was a mixed bag of great, and disappointing. In our first sector, we were dealing with some race traffic that threw off our speeds and times. The result of which was a somewhat time that was 47 seconds late. Our next two sections turned out to be superb, with one of them only one second off. Unfortunately, our final timed sector went pretty poorly. While it started off well, a missed instruction threw us far off pace at around 15 minutes late. I will confess that I was the navigator that missed the instruction. However, the maximum penalty for any late time in a sector is only two minutes, so while our total time today was disappointing, it isn’t as bad as it could be. Plus, we feel that we’ve improved some of our techniques and timing, as our two normal sectors indicated, so we think tomorrow will go much better.
On a lighter note, we did manage to see some interesting things while we were out and about today. We saw the world’s largest six pack soon after the start of our trip in La Crosse, WI. This six pack is at the City Brewery, and according to the sign, the of the giant tanks is enough to fill over 7.3 million cans of beer, and would provide a six pack a day to one person for over three thousand years. In addition to a giant six pack, we also found possibly the loneliest vending machine in America. As we reached a stop sign, directly in front of us was an empty gravel lot with a light post and a Pepsi vending machine chained to the post. And we also got our gas tank topped off for free at the World’s Largest Truck Stop. Though we were running behind so we didn’t get to see much of the stop.