Third day “Forging Ahead”.
Today was a pretty good day for us, a great improvement at least.
We started out by grabbing today’s directions from our hotel. This was a nice change not having to figure out how to get to another hotel in order to get our route for today’s race course. After grabbing our directions we piled in and made way towards the start line.
Soon enough we were off to begin another day, hopefully a little better than the day before. This time around we got into a system so that everyone was involved, we definitely became more efficient. Obviously there were the drivers and navigators, but the other two would be either looking out for landmarks for directions, or tapping the driver’s should left or right to signal which way they should go. This was very helpful, because the navigator can focus more on the directions as well as alerting the driver to what is ahead, i.e. going downhill, uphill, veering left or right. This is a huge benefit because the driver is doing their best to balance between looking at the road or the speedometer, which usually makes neither one quite as good as it should be. The driver could focus more on the speedo, and if they started to veer too much to either side of us, whoever was sitting behind him, would tap his shoulder on whatever side he needed to go towards.
Lunch today was a little different than what we had experienced. Today we had lunch at East Stroudsburg University, in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. We were very tight on the clock, because of a decent sized transfer time between points. Instead of being in the middle of town, with a big town welcome and such we had lunch at the college. The food was fine and their dining area was much larger than what we had at McPherson. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t have that community feeling of previous towns. After scarfing down lunch we headed out. Anyone notice how often I mention food? That’s very important to 4 guys stuck in a car all day. not only are the stops welcome spots to stretch out, we get pretty hungry!
Today was fairly smooth, aside from a missed turn & speed change. The missed turn happened on our third leg in which we were off by about two minutes, and were trying to figure out exactly where we should be. Eventually we just started following the Jaguar that was supposed to be behind us. It was a complete accident that they were ahead and just driving to try and find their place. Unfortunately for them we were behind so they were in the same boat. Eventually we just said to heck with it! We drove up to the Bentley that was supposed to be a minute in front of us timed it nearly a minute in front putting us , in theory if they are doing everything right, in the right place.
Luckily not long after we got everything situated we got our mark. From there everything was a clean slate. Unfortunately we were so happy about our mark and writing down the time we passed, and such, that we did not notice the sign that immediately followed it, in which we were supposed to have a speed change. That actually became our worst time for the day.
The highlight of today though was when we were off the clock and drove through Valley Forge National Park, where the Continental Army stayed from 1777-1778. The land looked completely untouched. Along the roads around the park were all sorts of commemorative statues, cannons, shacks that looked like they were from the 18th century, as well as all sorts of historical stuff to see. Of course the best part was the caravan of vintage cars driving through. I would love to come back at some point and walk around to see the entire area.
After our scenic drive we continued to the Valley Forge Casino Resort, where we are currently staying for the night. I had never been to a Casino and it is a different experience, for sure.
Funny enough we couldn’t go to the festivities tonight, the hosted dinner, because it was on the casino floor, which you need to be 21 or over to enter. It was kind of a bummer that us, and some members of the other X-Cup teams couldn’t go. Oh well we did our own dinner and enjoyed ourselves.
Today was pretty good, score wise. Three of our four sections were pretty good. Our best score was three seconds early, which was the leg that we were most lost at. Our worst score was 0:51 seconds late, which was due to that one missed because of its placement immediately after the mark. It shows that we are getting really close, just a little more honing.
Tomorrow onward to Portsmouth, Virginia.