Greetings from San Rafael, CA,
The motto of the Great Race is “To Finish is to Win.” Some of us are ready to change it to “To Arrive is to Win.”
Herb & I were supposed to arrive in San Rafael in our 1951 GMC pickup a couple of days ago but actually arrived yesterday afternoon. Tom & Suzanne Jones in their 1960 Ford, and Dick and Beth Crabtree in their 1939 Buick arrived earlier in the week. Don Kloth with crew members Tony Palozzi and Lauren Matley arrived on Tuesday in Don’s 1930 Ford Speedster. One of Don’s navigators, Mike Graven arrived yesterday. We would have arrived with Don, Tony, and Lauren but had an unfortunate incident. We were driving on I-5 north of Los Angeles when a large metal cylinder came flying out from under a truck in front of us and went under our car and put a very large hole in our oil pan. We had to be towed to a garage in Lebec, CA. We ended up spending two nights in Lebec as Edmond’s Towing worked to repair our truck. A job that they thought would take about four hours took 16 hours. They worked until midnight Wednesday night and only charged us what they had quoted when they thought it would take four hours. So if you ever need automotive service in Lebec, CA, we would highly recommend Edmonds’s Towing.
Earlier in our trip from St. Louis, MO to Durango, CO for our grandson’s high school graduation, we lost our brakes as we were going down Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado and had to take a “runaway truck ramp” to stop us. Right in front of us was a hairpin curve, so we feel very blessed that the truck ramp was there.
The Dysart High School team also had problems getting to San Rafael. They had over heating problems with their 67′ Cougar but finally arrived today. Also arriving today were crew members, Chuck Ulbricht, and Howard Johnson.
Today was the “Trophy Run” which is a practice race before the actual Great Race. We raced on very bumpy, curvy, hilly roads through wine country. The Dysart team was not here in time to race but all of the others raced and finished without getting lost. Don and Mike had the best time with an excellent score of 26 seconds/points. Herb & I had a total score of 1:55 seconds/points, Dick & Beth had a little over 2:00 seconds/points, and Tom & Suzanne (with Quinci Rust from Dysart High School as navigator) had a little over 5:00 seconds/points.
The scenery today was gorgeous once we got through crowded traffic on the California highways. Tomorrow we have the Opening Ceremonies in downtown San Rafael where 40,000 people are expected to see us off. We will travel to Vacaville, CA for lunch and then on to Old Sacramento where we will spend the night. We are just very grateful that everyone arrived safely. That is why “To Arrive is to Win.”
Greetings from Old Sacramento,
While the scenery was spectacular the scores dipped a little bit. Many of the Great Race teams we are competing against are veteran racers with years of experience. Sunday’s Father’s Day scores were as follows:
77 Pat & Herb Clark 3:25
Greetings from Elko, NV!
Greetings from Evanston, WY.
Greetings from Cheyenne, WY.
Greetings from Rapid City, South Dakota.
It’s hard to believe it is already Thursday! Our days are long but this week is sure going fast!
What a beautiful day today! We left Cheyenne, WY and headed North toward the Black Hills of South Dakota. What beautiful country we saw, including Guernsey State Park and the Guernsey Reservoir. Our lunch stop was in Lusk, WY which has a population of 1200. Lusk is the county seat of the least populated county in the least populated state in the country. Lunch was great and then it was off toward the Black Hills.
We had twisty, winding, hilly roads and a lot of road construction as we headed toward Mount Rushmore. We even had tunnels. We were in the Black Hills and also Custer State Park where we saw buffalo along the side of the road. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt are still watching over our great country.
We arrived in Rapid City and were greeted by about 10,000 people who really know how to party. There was a band playing and people everywhere. What a welcome! They party like this every Thursday so if you plan to visit Rapid City, make it a Thursday night if you like to party.
Today was great for Herb and I! We got our first ACE! We were very surprised when they handed it to us at the end of the race. It was a tough, long day. The other teams did well too. Dysart had a DNF though but I didn’t get a chance to see what happened.
Here are today’s results and also the cumulative scores:
Don and Chris Kloth – :45 seconds – 52nd place, 70th cumulative place.
Tom and Suzanne Jones – 1:08 seconds – 64th place, 71st cumulative place.
Herb and Pat Clark – 1:39 seconds – 68th place, 78th cumulative place.
Dick and Beth Crabtree – 1:45 seconds – 70th place, 79th cumulative place.
Dysart High School – DNF – 89 place, 95th cumulative place.
Tomorrow will also be a long day. We will travel from Rapid City all the way across the state to Sioux Falls. Lunch will be in Chamberlain.
Attached are photos of Mount Rushmore and the Great Race arch in Rapid City.
Two more ACES today! Beth & Dick Crabtree got an ACE, and Don and Chris Kloth got one. Congratulations! Now every SCW team has gotten an ACE!
Beth and Dick attribute their ACE to a $10 measuring tape they bought to set up their Timewise speedometer. Whatever works! Dysart had a good day. I think it was their best day so far!
We left Rapid City early this morning with the whole state of South Dakota to cross. Herb and I had more bad luck with our GMC pickup. Shortly after leaving Rapid City as we were doing our speedometer calibration, it felt like a wheel fell off our truck. It ended up being a ball joint that broke. We thought we would be done with the race as we were once again towed to a garage. But the guys at the garage found a new ball joint in town and installed it pretty quickly so we made it to the afternoon part of the race. We rushed to Chamberlain and made it five minutes before our afternoon start time. Missing the morning session though gave us a nine minute penalty. Guess we won’t be winning the $50,000. Oh well, at least we are still alive.
The highlight today for the others was a delightful trip through the Badlands. It was very windy which added another challenge to the race. It would especially affect the Kloth’s with their open car. It must not have affected them too badly though since they got an ACE. What a beautiful place! The Badlands were carved by the winds for millions of years. They were an obstacle to travelers hundreds of years ago but are now a top tourist attraction. The racers also made a stop at Wall Drug in Wall, SD. Wall Drug became famous when the owners of the drug store put signs out on the highway offering “Free Ice Water.” This was in 1936 when their five year old drug store was suffering from no customers. Soon after the signs, people started stopping in and buying other things besides getting the free water. The rest is history!
Lunch was in Chamberlain, SD which sits on the Missouri River and was once a camp for Lewis and Clark on their journey west in the early 1800s. The racers were treated to Indian Tacos at the Community Center.
After lunch, we headed toward Sioux Falls where we will spend the night. Thousands of locals and several family members greeted us. It was hard to leave our great grandchildren who came with their parents and grandparents to see us. This was the longest day of the race. We crossed the Missouri River and changed time zones.
I forgot to mention last night that several people from SCW greeted us in Rapid City. Jerome and Marilyn Knudson, Lorence and Renee Johnson, and Butch and Sue Byram were at the finish line when we came in. Thanks for joining us!
Tomorrow we will leave early to head to Mason City, Iowa for lunch and then to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the evening. The end is getting near! “To Finish is to Win.”
Here are the scores from today’s stage:
Jones – 29:45 – 51st place today, 64th place cumulative
Kloth – 52:00 – 65th place today. 67th place cumulative
Dysart High School – 2:21 – 80th place today, 93rd cumulative
Crabtree – 2:29 -81st place today, 77th place cumulative
Clark – 9:08 – 91st place today, 80th cumulative
I’m enclosing severel photos tonight. The Kloth’s 30 Ford Speedster, The Crabtree’s 39 Buick “Sweet Vanilla,” The Clark’s great grandchildren, the Clark’s ’51 GMC. Enjoy!
Good Morning from Cedar Rapids, IA.
Sorry I didn’t get an update out last night. The unbelievable happened! We had another ball joint break on our way into Cedar Rapids last night. So we have had four tow truck rides this month. We are believing that maybe that metal thing that took out our oil pan in CA may have done more damage than first thought. Anyway, by the time we got to our hotel, I was too tired and frustrated to write an update.
We actually had a pretty good day yesterday even though it won’t count. All the other teams completed the race too and had good scores. No ACES though! I’m doing this on my phone in our rental car so I don’t have the current standings.
Today they will go from Cedar Rapids to Moline, IL for the finish. We will be there even though we won’t be going over the finish line. We are proud of all our friends who will be finishing.
We have all had friends and family greet us alone the way. The Dysart team is still hanging in there and having a good time. It’s been quite an adventure for most.
I will send a wrap up tonight or tomorrow. Thanks.
The 2016 Great Race is history! It didn’t quite end the way we hoped it would but what an adventure!
The winners were Pike and Hadskey who drove a 1916 Hudson. Their score after nine days of racing was 1:02.4. That is absolutely amazing!
The ARC teams finished respectfullly. Don and Chris Kloth finished in 60th place with 9:40.8. Tom and Suzanne Jones placed 63rd with 11:36.35. Dick and Beth Crabtree finished in 65th place with 12:39. And Dysart High School finished with 39:47.88 in 79th place. Unfortunately, the Clarks did not finish and our truck is still in Cedar Rapiids waiting to be repaired.
The race on Saturday went from Sioux Falls, SD, into Minnesota, across Iowa to Mason City where we were served a delicious lunch of very appropriate sweet corn, maid rites, and homemade ice cream. I got a little emotional as we passed the cemetery in Bancroft, IA where my grandparents and many other relatives are buried. The farms looked beautiful but some of the aromas were not so good. We got to all of the checkpoints on Saturday and it was on our way into Cedar Rapids that our right ball joint went out so we were not able to get to the finish line in town.
Sunday was a short day for racing. They had a couple mazes to manouver through and then had lunch at the I-80 Truck Stop in Walcott, IA which is the largest truck stop in the U.S. They served pork chops which we heard were delicious. After lunch, the 92 cars that were still left in the race crossed the Mississippi River to the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, IL to the final finish line. Thousands of spectators greeted them.
Dick and Beth Crabtree got another ACE on Sunday. They also had a score of 0:25 for 49th place for the day. Good job, Crabbys!
The final dinner and awards ceremony were held at the IWireless Center. $158,750 in prize money was handed out. Needless to say, we did not get any. Herb and I did receive “The Monkey on your Back” award for having the most breakdowns. We really earned that!
We are so proud of the Dysart High School team. They finished the race and the navigators, Quinci, Chris, and Migual, received a $1500 scholarship towards their future education. Thanks to Mr. Kurt Woods, their teacher and the driver, for getting them to San Rafael and through the race to Moline. I asked the students what their favorite thing about the Great Race was. Migual said it was seeing the Bad Lands because they were so different than anything he had seen before. Quinci said it was the Snowy Range Mountains because they were so beautiful and still had snow on them. And Chris said his favorite part was when they broke down because then he got to fix the car and learn why it broke down. I think we might have a real mechanic in the making with Chris!
It is good to be home but sad to leave new and old friends we have made on our adventure. In the beginning there were 137 cars signed up for the Great Race. 120 cars actually started the race in San Rafael, CA. Everyday we saw “carnage” along side the roads. (Cars that didn’t make it.). A total of 92 cars finished having driven through eight states. Four of the ARC teams were winners because “To Finish is it Win.”
Thank You Pat for keeping us informed about all the ARC entry experiences at the end of each hard and long day.