Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 Mexican 1000 - Day 4.2 -to the finish

There was a sharp left that took us off the freeway.  Later I heard that most cars overshot it and went down the road and turned around.  Me - I decided to lock up the brakes and go for it.  I managed to get the car on three wheels and was very lucky not roll it (there’s a picture out there somewhere).  It was the one time Rhonda really snapped, by calmly saying "dude, seriously, if your going to pull that sh*t, I'm getting out and walking."

That was the start of the second half of day 4's only stage.

Once we got off the road we slowly started to climb.  We'd been informed there would be some rough mountain roads but this didn't seem too bad.  I spent twenty mile trying to pass Bob Land's 38 jeep and annoying Rhonda by sitting in it's dust cloud.  Eventually I passed it and felt like a race car driver.  I'd pull off a couple miles later to start the camera and he'd pass us.

We were cruising along pretty nicely and then in the middle of the first real climb was the 38 jeep.  It turns out the reason he was going slow enough for us to pass was one of his differentials had gone out.  Now on the hill the other differential had died.  He'd gone from 4 wheel drive to 2 wheel drive to 0 wheel drive.

It wasn't a great spot.  He couldn't really roll backward to a good parking place and couldn't go forward.  So we squeezed by and offered to tow them to the next pull out.  While we hooked up we were passed by the Stroppe Edsel and my favorite motorcycle the 1973 Yamaha SC500.

The zebra fj40 may not be fast but it is definitely strong.  We pulled the jeep like a champ and deposited it at the top of the hill.  Then we were on our way and the climbing began.

There had been a fire through the area within the last year and now the hills seemed to consist of rocks and sand.  I'm not a huge fan of heights and as we climbed and the roads got narrower and narrower I got slower and slower.  For me this was not a place to race but more or a place to get through.  I was happy that the fj40 was so narrow and wondered how some of the wider trucks got through. 

We eventually hit the pass and started down.  Down was a better road but you had momentum working against you.  The array of shrines along the side of the road weren't that comforting.

Christmas shrine
We passed the Edsel, the yamaha,  a manx buggy that was limping along on what sounded like one cylinder.   We also passed goats, cows, trucks and trucks with cows in them. Eventually the road straightened out and leveled.  Then we hit a paved road, turned right, went for a couple miles, turned left and were off the road again.

trucks with cows
We skirted an off road park and dropped into a wash.  The rest of the race was sand, whoop dee door and trying to figure out which of the 4 parallel roads we should be on.  Basically the end of the race was a medley of things I found annoying.

Eventually we came out of the wash and onto paved city streets where policemen directed us to the finish line.

Brutus' front axle was held in place by a come along for the last chunk of the race.

We crossed the line and were done.  We parked next to Brutus and I mooched a beer off the co driver from the Oly Bronco.  It was the best Bud Light I've ever had.  I dug through the back of the land cruiser and came across my dad's favorite cocktail, the Canadian Club Martini in a bottle.  Rhonda and I had a celebratory toast and joined the crowd to tell and listen to stories of the race.

the story continues here

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