Fourth Day and very much afloat
Today’s adventure was very much of an improvement from the other times, if you adjust one leg.
After awaking from our grandiose night at the casino we headed out for our fourth day of the race. For today we would once again start from Valley Forge and make our way to the starting line. Boy, I know I said it yesterday, but it is really nice to get your directions from the hotel you are staying at.
After receiving our route for the day we made our way to the start line. It took about an hour to get to our starting point today, across most of which was freeway. At first we were a little concerned about making the deadline, because there was some construction occurring, but we somehow managed to get through at just the right times, making it not too shabby. As we left, we found it odd that the Mustang in front of us had not left yet. They were supposed to leave a minute before us. We figured they may have missed their time and we should just go, which is not uncommon. Sure enough the Mustang left, about 10 seconds before we needed to leave. Fairly soon after we left we were neck and neck with the Mustang, and trying to pass it. It was stressful; because we were trying to pass where there was room for about 1 ½ cars, forcing us to be slightly on the side of the road as we passed. After enough games of tag, we were able to get a comfortable amount of space.
The directions were followed to the letter, (as we are always sure they are), but something was still off. Sure enough, during our transition period we found out that we actually had left a minute too early. The clock was not synchronized correctly. The seconds were perfect with the race time, but one minute too fast. At that point we had to put it behind us and continue on. The miscalibration messed up our first leg, but wouldn’t affect us further until after lunch, where we would recalibrate.
Lunch today was definitely more welcoming. As we approached the host city there were police officers to guide us and stopping traffic so we could go through stop signs, traffic lights, and the such. We definitely had a first class entrance. As we turned the final corner there was a line of classics on either side of us. We were paraded and cheered as we came into our parking area. Today’s lunch was hosted in Millsboro, Delaware, more specifically in their community center. We were warmly welcomed, and glad to have the community feeling back again.
Shortly thereafter we were back on the road again and properly calculated this time. From here on out we were doing very well. There was only one almost hiccup, which was towards the end of the last leg. We slowly crept up, though not our fault, on a pack of four racers all within 30 seconds or less of each other. Remember, everyone should be exactly one minute from each other and if ever seen should be in the distance, not bumper to bumper together at a traffic stop. Our worries increased as we neared, but somehow everything managed to flow perfectly for us. When we got close enough to the pack they were able to proceed past the stop sign, giving us more time. We got awfully close to one car but never got close enough to pass. Phew!
Perhaps the niftiest part of today was when we finished the race and were heading to our final destination of Portsmouth, Virginia. We took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which spans across the nearly 5 miles of the Chesapeake Bay, who’d a thunk. As we began to traverse this massive bridge we were astounded by two things. The first, being the sheer length of it. We couldn’t see land on the other side! Second, was marveling at the pure engineering feat of building this. It only increased as we proceeded. After sauntering along the endless bridge, we suddenly went under the bay. Literally under the bay. As we were driving along the road slowly curved into a tunnel. This was done to allow ships to travel above. To think that this was completed in 1952 is amazing.
Eventually we made it all the way to the final area, and snagged a quick dinner. Considering our first leg, this is actually pretty good. Our times for the day were
First Leg 0:56 Early
Second Leg 0:03 Early
Third Leg 0:08 Late
Fourth Leg 0:08 Late
With our factor and penalty, for having more than two people in the vehicle, we ended up with a grand total of 1:14.80. If you subtracted 1 minute from our first time, where we should have been, we would have been four seconds late, which would have been great for our score. Where does this put us? We are 54th overall and third place in the X-Cup. The second place X-Cup Team is in 53rd overall, and the 1st place X-Cup team is 50th overall. We are still neck and neck! Any one day can change the placement. Hopefully for us that day is tomorrow.