The tale of a wrong turn

Escape to Wisconsin 2017. We finished dead last again, but did I really loose?

3y ago

It was a dull grey morning as we got into our car for the journey down to Port Douglas Park for the Escape to Wisconsin road rally. This event heralds the start of the regular road rally season as winter is supposed to be behind us. But the word "snow" had appeared in the forecast a few days before much to everyones chagrin. In the end the rain was not persistent, not even hard. It just kept trying to ruin peoples day.

Only six cars turned up for the event, a disappointing number in some respects, perhaps some were put off by the less than stellar weather forecast. But that was their loss, the roads in this part of the country are truly excellent. We always enjoy driving them.

It's been a good 12 months since Lorrie and I had run together in a rally, and we were sure to be rusty and had no hopes of a good finish. I was hoping that some of the good luck from running with Bob Neilsen at Yucatan would still be around, helping us to some good scores. So I dug out a rally App on my iPhone (MSY Apps - Control Zone Rally) to get us through the event. I remembered using it at the previous years event and it seemed OK to use back then, so we'd use it again this year.

To start with things were going well. I was feed Lorrie information continuously as to wether we were up or down on the required pace and it seemed to work quite well. We posted a 12, then a 2, an 8 and a 10 before posting another 2 and a 5. The rally was timed in cents (hundredths of a minute) and any time we score in less than the teens on a stage we're happy. So I was really quite pleased with the way things were going.

Then it happened. I misread an instruction and we took a wrong turn. Quite what caused it to happen, I don't know. We were surprised by a crossroads coming up too quickly, I could blame the small size text on the odometer section of the App, that caused me to misread the display. But the upshot was that we followed an instruction and turned left, when we should have gone straight on. But what was really amazing that the next two instructions matched up perfectly. So we were a good three miles off course before we realized something was awry. We ended up missing two controls scoring a maximum of 200 points on each that meant we were pretty certain of coming last.

I was pretty annoyed with myself for making such a mistake. But we regrouped at the next break, and vowed to carry on doing the best we could. Which as it turned out was pretty darned good. We posted a 3, a perfect 0, a 4 and a 1. So we really had things dialed in.

If it hadn't been for those two maximums we would have turned in a pretty handy score that could probably have netted us second in class. But as it was we finished dead last. Just as we had done the previous year. At least we are consistent.

So you'd probably think, I'd be pretty disappointed, but not so. The prize for dead last is always some beer, and this time it just so happened that the beer was one of my very favorites. "Todd the Axeman" from Surly in the Twin Cities.

Dead last but finished prize. Todd the Axeman

Dead last but finished prize. Todd the Axeman

So, I have to ask myself. "Did I really loose?"

See you on the roads next time. :)

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