And the winner will be….(fanfare please)…

No one! It’s official. We had a conference call yesterday. I thought this was coming. The Asia/Europe legs will be a tour, not a rally. Competition driving, trivia questions and hide-and-seek are over. I am happy to do without the latter two. To put it politely, I am not youthful enough to take any interest in them. I know the Fireball Rally requires competitors to seek answers to questions along the route, but I have never participated in a rally that included this kind of thing.

The competition driving however, I will miss. We were doing well in that area, mostly because Stewball has proven to be so strong  and reliable on the back-stretch and I enjoyed computing our average speed to make sure we got in on time each day. We only missed once and that was because of the snow-driven multi-car pile-up out of Denver.  We did have the challenges of high winds, rain, sleet and stops for road work, but even then, we made it. Of course this meant no stops for lunch and timing our gas stops to minimize more lost time.

Right foot in Asia, left in Europe, both in Russia

It would have been interesting to see what happened as hard-driving, bad roads and thousands of miles crossing Asia wore down the cars. Now we will only have bad roads and thousands of miles and no winner. The positive side is that we will enjoy the country side more in these many miles that we will never drive again.


Russian country side

There is

Koln, Germany

always a positive side. I have become a Possibilitarian. It will actually be a lot more fun this way. And Doug Grimes, president of MIR corporation that has planned these two legs of our trip assures us that there will be plenty of “opportunities” for unplanned experiences anyway. Already we have learned of one. The ship bringing our cars into Beijing has been delayed 5 days. I like Doug’s attitude!

 See you on the road to Paris,


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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4 Responses to And the winner will be….(fanfare please)…

  1. Susan Attermeier says:

    Jan and Ed- well that is kind of a bummer – you were so jazzed about Stewball’s potential as a winner but hey – posibillitarian is a very good alternative. So if you want to linger in a place can you do that?

  2. Jeff Parrish says:

    Man! I am so envious of you two driving across the European countryside! My wife walked by this monitor while I had the photo of the Russian gardens pulled up and commented on how that might be Ukraine…..She’s been there three times with missions from our church. They stayed with families in small villages that had community farms and gardens similar to those in the photo. Please take as many photos as you can to share with us stuck back here at home!
    Press on!
    Jeff Parrish

    • ejhowle23 says:

      Jeff, these photo were taken in 09 when we took a train from Vladivostok to Moscow as part of our research for The Long Road to Paris. We found it difficult to write the setting since we had not been there. We weren’t quite up to driving this by ourselves, so we took the train. Yes, I plan to take a lot of photos and will post as often as I can. I will share them all when we are back for sure. We know that we will do a presentation for the local chapter of the AACA. in the fall. (Antique auto club). I hope we can interest more groups. Thanks for your interest.

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