Day 10: Scores finally. We are in second place in the Schuster division and 3rd overall. We feel pretty good with this standing considering our underpowered Stewball. Thank you, Gary, our mechanic extraordinaire, Stewball is running better than ever.
We woke up to light snow in Denver. The challenge was already set by a tight time allowance and mountains roads. We crossed 11,000 feet today as the snow really picked up. The road was snow-covered and slippery, traffic was heavy and slow. The scenery was beautiful, but Ed couldn’t watch anything other than the road and the other cars. Speeds were down to 30 mph. Finally a dead stop. A multi-car accident and a 25 minute complete stop. Fortunately, none of our rally cars were involved in accidents although, from reports at dinner, there were some close calls. No one made their time. Johnathan in the big Chrysler probably did the best. Even the modern cars didn’t get in on time. It was a relief to finally get into Grand Junction.
One more piece of bad news. The Studebaker is out 😦 A full pressure lubrication system had been added to the Studebaker. It failed, leaving the rod bearings dry. The crankcase was filled with metal pieces when Howard pulled it off. They’re out for the duration. We are really sorry. They are everybody’s hero with the challenges of slogging through all this weather in their open car. They will go with us as far as Reno to see the Thomas Flyer and then trailer back to South Carolina. Dennis and Tom will go with us to Paris riding in the support van. Dennis never had planned to take the Studebaker on that part. We are glad that at least they will be with us.
We are at the beautiful Gateway Canyon Resort tonight. The drive from Grand Junction south to the resort through the canyon was awesome. The red-rock, steep canyon walls look very much like the photo on the front of The Long Road to Paris. I did take that photo on a previous rally in Colorado, but it wasn’t this canyon. That day the sky was bright blue(the publisher changed the sky to reflect the mystery and suspense in the novel). unfortunately our weather was now rainy with fog (we left the snow on the mountain and had rain and “wintery mix” after that). I am hoping for better weather tomorrow morning to get some shots.
Jan and Ed (Can you can guess who wrote which part!)