Digit error - early. I called the instruction
for milepost 3183.66 at 3182.66.
The guys have been gracious about it,
in their way. This is rally - stuff happens
Right this moment, due south at
78 mph. Larry's driving
We lunched with a local reporter, who
interviewed us. And my $!# watch stopped
|DAY 8: Uh-Oh|
we were truly, deeply,
|Hard to write
about this morning. I may have at put us out of first place in class.
The short story is that I misread a number and panicked when an expected
milepost failed to appear. We went into that most dreaded of all states
- off course,l out of whack, lost - and forced to do the most dreaded
of all maneuvers - go back to see what went wrong. Larry soon caught my
error, but then R.Dale had to make up the time lost - which accrues at
something like triplerate (because for each hundredth of mile you go back,
then have to drive again when you go back forward, and then catch up to
where you should be now). Only a magnificent and spirited drive by R.Dale
brought us back on time.
||It's possible that we passed no checkpoints between my error and the catch-up point. If so, we may have escaped penalty. If we did pass a checkpoint or two, we may slip a place. We won't find out until tomorrow, probably.I'll tell you one thing - I don't think there's any other team on this rally who could have gotten out of the hole as well as R.Dale and Larry did. Right equipment, right experience.In the meantime of course we press on, driving 500 miles to the start of the next TSD section. We're driving almost due south - it feels good. The relentless forest of the Northwest Territories has given way to the fields and farms of northern Alberta. We are returning to life as we know it.||It's difficult to describe what it's like to get lost. One moment you are cruising along the road, anticipating a signpost. And then it's not there, and everything crumbles. The driver needs to know immediately what's wrong and where to go. You know you made a mistake - but where? Last signpost - or the one before? Or did you actually make a mistake? Is the rally book wrong? The most expensive rally computer is no help at all at this point. Clear fast thinking is what's needed.And so someone realizes something, checks something. Aha. Now the worst is over. You're no longer lost. You may be in a terrible position, but everyone works to better it.||R.Dale drives 110% to make up lost time. Larry finds a reference point, somehow gets the data into the computer, makes it right again. We can now quantify how bad things are and how fast they're getting better. Seconds thud by, and then - wow, we're on course again, going the target speed. We're back in the rally.(later) The second TSD for today went pretty smoothly. Beautiful country and roads. And apparently we passed no checkpoints while lost or catching up on the first TSD. Not official yet, but - _whew_.|