Wednesday, October 31, 2018

VOID 13- Deja vu all over again

We have been part of the Void Rally since its inception in 2005.    We are Plankowners; a term reserved for the original crew of a ship when it is first put to sea.  We are Riders Number 4.  That being said, our participation as riders has been sporadic at best.  We rode 2-up for the first couple/three Voids, including the one where it was below freezing as we left Lynchburg.    Rick decided to ride again this year; first time since his Yahtzee disaster.    He: 1) needed miles to complete the MS5000 challenge to support Paul Pelland's million mile chase for the cure of MS, and 2) he needed to go for a good ride.
Choosing to start in Kingsland was a no brainer as it solved both nicely.  Also, rallymasters have a history of eliminating unpopular or under used things, like starting locations in a spider style rally of which the Void belongs to.  The "southern" starting location is historically the lowest attended, usually under a dozen leave from the south; not sure why other than the Void has a reputation for just nasty weather for the southern starters: hurricanes,tornadoes the usual.
To compound the fun, Hurricane Florence dumped feet of rain in the Carolinas, destroying homes and businesses, wiping out roads, bridges and livelihoods.  As a result, Rick was planning his routes to avoid the coast despite having some juicy bonus locations.   Travel to Kingsland was uneventful; most of the businesses along 95 have reopened unaffected but there is ample evidence of water/mud that covered sections of the Interstate.
The rallybook didnt make any major changes to the physical bonus locations.  Convinced the winning routes went through Atlanta, he dialed in a route that hugged the coast to Hilton Head then went basically due north through Columbia to Winston-Salem for the massive rest bonus

At this stop, Rick realized that using Bubbler on the clock would involve using his right hand to take pictures; normally he holds the camera with his left hand, but the HammyHolder is lefthanded so the camera must be held in the right hand.

  Uga was gone!!

worlds smallest church- one of many to make this claim
He located his pocket knife and cut the right index glove tip off to allow smart phone acceess.
globe water tower

great white

yup, this guy is walking a gator  
worlds smallest police station

coffee pot diner

peanut on a stick

hope the dogs arent to scale

carolina pottery- lots of lawn oraments


King Richard- feet not life sized

another coffee pot

Having been burned before trying to find a decent motel to take a weekend night rest bonus, Rick booked a room at a Rodeway Inn that was along his planned route that he would arrive at between 10pm and midnight, to maximize the value of the rest bonus at 6 hours.  Unfortunately there was no real close place to get a good receipt to start the rest bonus so he snagged some food at a 24 hour McDonalds about 3/4 a mile away and checked in to possibly the worst Rodeway Inn ever.  The first room was already occupied which surprised the clerk as well as the occupants.  The second room was around back of the motel on the second floor; it came complete with a soaking wet carpet from A/C condensation and lots of interesting characters on the parking lot.  When Rick checked out at 3:30 am, they were still going strong.  Back to the 24 hour Mickey Ds to find it closed.....    yup, it's open 24 hours, just not in a row.  2 miles later, he found some gas pumps that were still active which yielded a good receipt but cost a couple of minutes in grief.
back on the road, the bonus locations piled on- at this point, the last time he saw a fellow rally rider was in Savannah;  that is always expected to change as riders approach the finish line.

Wilbur the pig and a Squatch

milk carton on a stick
WTC steel flagpole

junk art

giant flower pots- watering can on the other side

sizing up the buttthis was only available from 9-11 for some reason so Rick went to the butt bonus above first rather than wait 45 minutes for it to become available

Rick was forced to bail on his only optional bonus pickup for the planned route which were the wolfs in front of the Williamsburg Great Wolf Lodge.  Eastbound traffic on I-64 was all backed up heading towards Williamsburg; who knew besides everyone.
 Taken this Ice cream Cowboy's photo at least a dozen times in the past three years.

Pre-scoring for the Void is done on the clock; it's a real motivator to get your shit together and make sure it's correct before it goes into that envelop.  Rick was using Bubbler GPS Pro and a Spotwalla trip to submit his photos for scoring.  He wanted to try it under rally conditions to get better appreciation for what 20-20 riders go through while the stress of the rally clock running.   While it was a pain short term, he got used to it; it was just  a change to his rally routine.
Scoring itself was a breeze and made so much smoother when the bestest hostess in the world was corralling riders.  Rick got the dogs settled, the car and bike unpacked plus a quick nap and a shower before the banquet.

Salty revealed why Deja Vu; it was last year's bonus list with new values since nearly every rider did the exact same route last go round.  Of the Kingsland starters, Rick had the lowest score which meant he came home with the first place trophy which was a shock considering how few miles he rode compared to the other Georgia starting riders.

thanks to Salty and his crew for a fun way to close the official rally season.... well sort of close.  see the next post.

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