RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

      September, 2000                                                       Rainier Auto Sports Club

* The Road Not Taken (August 12-13, 2000) ­ by Steve Richards
  It was somewhere between Centralia, and Kelso, that Mark popped the question.  We were on our way down to Grand Ronde, Oregon to run The Road Not Taken in Mark's Sube and this time it was my job to play the navigator's role.  Mark knew that I usually drove this kind of rally and on those occasions when I navigate, it is usually with a Curta calculator.
  "When was the last time you ran a Timewise, S ?" Mark asked.
  "Wwell," I stammered.  "Actually I have never run a Timewise.  What made you think that I ever rallied with a Timewise?"
  "But, but, you do have a manual!" Mark exclaimed.
  "Yes, I have a manual," I countered.  "I asked to have a copy of one when Gary and I borrowed Red Dog, which was Timewise equipped, to run Totem.  I thought I should know something about how the box worked.  But Gary was navigating on that one and I never actually sat behind the computer."
  "Oh," said Mark, flatly.
  I could hear the gears turning in Mark's head.  I would often hear the gears turning in Mark's head that night but this time they were exceptionally noisy.  It reminded me of the first time I navigated for Ken Maytag on the Alcan.  But that time I waited until after the eleven-day rally to tell him that I had never rallied with a Curta before.  But that's another story.
  We arrived at the start location, the Spirit Mountain Casino, at about 3:00pm.  After checking into our room, where I already had visions of falling into bed, exhausted, at 5:00am the next morning, we went to registration and got the car teched.  At 5:20pm we found ourselves pulling out of the casino parking lot for our all night trek in the woods on The Road Not Taken.
  Since I am prone to motion sickness when I navigate, I usually take Dramamine or a similar meclizine drug.  But those drugs also make me sleepy and this being an "all nighter" I thought I would try something else.  There is a fairly new product called ReliefBand which, when worn like a wristwatch against the inside of the wrist, gives a gentle electrical jolt to the nerves at the base of the wrist and somehow interferes with the motion sickness mechanism.  It worked pretty well on the Seattle/BMW Classic in June, so I thought I'd give it another try.   This time the combination of twisty gravel roads, at night, and dimly lit route book, and trying to become familiar with the Timewise 796, proved too much for ReliefBand.   In addition to all this, I was trying to learn a little different rally format which required live time and mileage through open controls and a new way of starting each section.  
  Without going into too much detail here, suffice it to say I was having some problems.  We managed to do all right through the first three controls but then, when we had our first new section start, I blew the start up procedure and we found ourselves about 3 1/2 minutes early into the next control.  It would have meant 350 points but the maximum penalty for any one control was 200 so that was to be our score for control number four.
   Fighting nausea through much of the first half of the rally (I didn't foul Mark's car however, except for a spilt Coke) we had our ups and downs, score wise, but I began to settle into a routine after two or three hours.
  We returned to the Spirit Mountain Casino around 11:00pm for what was to be about an hour break.  After checking into rally headquarters to acknowledge our existence, we headed to the casino to look for a place to grab a quick bite.  I had a rather dry and uninspiring cold turkey sandwich which, non-the- less, seemed to settle my stomach a bit.  
  It was surrealistic to come in off the gravel and dust and dark of the night to this casino environment, with the poker machines ringing and the somber players at the blackjack tables gazing hopefully at the uncaring cards.  Occasionally we would spot another ralliest amongst the crowd.  With our dust covered clothes and blank stares, it wasn't difficult to tell a ralliest from the gamblers.  I felt like a Klondike gold miner, arriving at Dawson City, after nine months in the mountains, eager to blow my meager stash of gold dust at the faro tables and fast women.  We didn't do any gambling and, needless to say, I returned to the car with Mark.
  After the "lunch" break our scores, while nothing to write home about, were acceptable. We eventually finished with a total of 315 points for 19 scored controls, including the 200 for control number four.  It was only good enough for a 5th out of 9 cars in the unlimited class and 8th overall out of 41 cars. Congratulations to overall winners Daily/Pfau, with 44 points and 2nd overall Jameson/ Broberg with 45 points.
  Particularly noteworthy was the fact that both cars were from the Limited class (sans computers) competing against some very good computer equipped cars.  
  A little before 5:00am, and with much relief, my backside finally hit the bed I had been longing for the entire night.  The roads were exceptional.  Generally they were quite smooth and there were only a few places with enough washboard and/or potholes to cause the computer to jump around a bit (physically, not digitally).  I can see why the organizers call themselves the "Twisty Roads Rally Group" as the straight bits are few and far between.  It was also nice to get to the "meat" of the rally without having to travel more than a few miles from rally headquarters.
  While I would venture to say that the same rally in B.C. would have been about 50% faster, the speeds were certainly adequate and obviously selected with an eye towards the cautious, or perhaps the legal.  I don't recall that we had to overtake one local nor were we met with any oncoming traffic during the whole event (except for the short transits to and from headquarters of course).  In addition to something about a full moon, I expect that the lack of local presence is the main reason for running the rally at night.  At my gracefully advancing age, however, all-night rallying is becoming more and more problematic.
  I liked the instruction format.  With plenty of space between each instruction, there were usually fewer than eight or ten instructions per page.  This makes for a thick route book though.  The CASTs were in something like 20 pt. font, the mileages in slightly smaller font, maybe 16 pt., and very large alpines, all which facilitate very easy recognition in a dimly lit, bouncing car.  There were, however, some supplemental notes in really small font, lower case, which were very, very difficult to read.  Most of the time this information was not critical but just about the time I began to gloss over it, there was something very important buried in the clutter.
Overall, we thought the event was very good.  Mark, who has run a previous TRNT, said that one was good but this year's rally was even better.  I would like to thank the Twisty Roads Rally Group for a fine event and I hope to return next year - but as a driver, thank you very much.  

* Wild West, Sept 15-16---------------------
  The National-level circus comes to town with a lot of excitement. A huge crop of Mitsu EVOıs and hot Subaruıs have impacted the previous dominance of the Hyundaiıs.  For controversy, how about a national rule requiring catalytic converters on all cars. The Chizmaıs hung one on their Porsche at Ojibwe, and as some after-thought changes do, the engine was damaged.
Friday's stages will start at 6 PM: three roads run twice, including Dayton and Taylor Towne stages.
  Saturday: Two stages north of Shelton-Matlock road, the long stage we ran in the last rally and a stage starting at the Spider Lake gate and finishing at the Beeville gate just North of Matlock. Then the rally will move south to the Summit Lake area.
The RASC crew has the stage from Spider Lake Gate to Matlock.  Familiar ground for us. Need 3 RMıs, all at great viewing spots.
  Since we need to be ready for Advance Car at 10:30, I have to get in and setup at 8AM. This is unreasonable for many Seattle-area workers, so thereıll be a second "meet" at 9AM, with a HAM to escort them out.  Because the previous stage finishes nearby, access to the Spider Gate end is limited. Weıll work it outŠ
  Since it worked out so well last time, Nolte will conduct another backwoods bar-b-que with burgers and potato salad.  Hold the rainŠ
  As expected, they need workers on Friday night. Iıll probably be at Taylor Town about 5PM. If you decide to join me, remember that you have to get off at the Hwy 108 (Casino) exit since thereıs no left turn off of Hwy 101 at that point anymore. I have 2 scanners "spare", hit me up if you need one.
  Reviewing the route map, it looks like the organizers went to a lot of trouble to keep spectators where they belong (out of the stages) and at good corners.  -MN

* Interstate 5, MP 99 to 101----------------------
  On Sunday, August 20, the SCCA rallygroup cleaned their little section of I-5. In case you didnıt know, the rallygroup is composed of anybody and everybody who volunteers to work on the NW stage rallys.  
  We met at the Thurston County Maintenance shop, conveniently close by. Two of us were new, so we got to see the well done (with Bill Nye) video on procedures for cleaning a freeway shoulder. Issued with helmets and orange vests, we went to the north end and walked south. The state also gives out a big orange "Workers Ahead" sign to erect. Even with big rocks on it, we later found it blown over. Frank Hamilton, the county cop, also got out a red box for disposing of found syringes.
  Frank walked "point", apparently looking for "evidence". John Nispel pushed a little cart, where the heavy stuff ended up until enough accumulated to justify a pile for the DOT to pick up. John Forespring mentioned that the first time they did this, they left a "pile" every 100 yards, now it was much "nicer".  He recounted picking up milk bottles that had particularly yucky contents.
  We mostly found wrappers and the expected cassette tape ribbons. More than one tire left its parts on the roadside (Firestones?).  Curiously, the whole length was strewn with quarter-sized pieces of flat plexiglas, possibly from boatersı window.  Even if we had found something of value, it would be "tainted" by the debris it was associated with.
  It felt safe, with traffic whizzing by a few yards away, until someone honked their horn. Suddenly, the mind races as I looked up to see if I had to jump into the puckerbushes. Just a friendly "toot", but it doesnıt feel that way when so fast and close.
  The State workers clean the center strip, and someone else has the southbound shoulder.
The next session is November 20, followed by pizza. And stories.
*Friday Nighter(s)----------------------------
   RASC will have a checkpoint at the September event, this Friday night. Joel Wright, Nolte, Mike Jones and Kirk Simons will be somewhere near a RASC sign. John Humphrey is rallymaster for the "all NWRC" event.
  Kirk is working on the RASC Friday Nighter (October 13). Contact him if you want to get in on the checkout activities.
 TRIVIA ---------------------------------
  * Rumor has it that The Feds have quietly coerced the states into a program where new license plates will be issued every four or five years. Vanity plates will need to be re-submitted each time, according to rumors. Nobody has said where ham plates will come down in this whole mess. Since ham calls are federal, and can only be issued to the license holder in any state, it seems silly to just re-issue the same plate over and over again.
Oh, right. Government. Never mind..... (Roy Ward)
  * Scanner buyers: The State Troopers have moved most of their communications to the 800 Mhz Trunked system that cost so much. This apparently includes the air-to-ground enforcement arm, too. Now King County has moved to itıs own trunked system.

For Sale
  * '80 2.6 Plymouth Fire Arrow, and lots of rally parts, on jack stands in my garage. Excellent shell, stripped for welding in a cage.  Apart, not a roller. $500 to any Club Rally aficionado. Everything goes.
Helluva' deal! "Health forces sale! Mike Jones (425) 823-8329
  * Pair of Chrysler-type (I think they're LeBaron) bucket seats left over from the Turismo project.  Light blue. Also MoPar 2.2 Turbo aluminum valve cover. Free locally. Roy Ward, 425-869-3836.

RASC Calendar
* Call the NWRC Hotline (206) 256-9627 for latest info on Puget Sound TSD events.
* 9/8 Friday Niter Eastgate, FCO 7:31
* 9/15-16 Wild West SCCA ProRally, Shelton  (Call Nolte if you want to work a stage or two)
* 9/ 23 Pacific Forest Stages in Cache Creek BC
* 9/30/Oct 1  Midnight TSD Nanaimo BC
* Oct. 13 Friday Niter by RASC FCO 7:31, Eastgate
* Oct 14  Night on Bald Mountain by ORCA FCO 5PM.
* 10/28-29- Coast To Coast TSD (Vancouver Island, overnight Duncan.)
Nov 4 Armageddon TSD in Washington
Nov 11/12 Totem TSD in BC Interior, part of P.C.C.

You might be a Seattle area stage rally worker if
- You have an umbrella. In the trunk. Used twice.
- Youıre going to your car in the Safeway parking lot and look at tires.
- You notice the ground clearance of the cars ahead of you on I-5.
-You plan family events around the rally calendar. Or even go to a rally on your honeymoon.
- You know the shortcut from southbound 101 to westbound Highway 8.
-You can describe, with approximate mileageıs, 4 ways to get to California Road, but canıt remember which freeway exit gets to your house.
-You considered a skid plate for all your vehicles. Even measured.
- You can speak knowledgeably about the various tow straps/ropes available.
- You want a HAM radio, whatever that is.
- You think its perfectly normal to stand in 3 inches of mud, in a heavy drizzle, holding a clipboard with no cover on it. You watched the ink run.
-You know what "Weyerhaeuser Pea Gravel" is.
- You remember where the Spur 10 gate is, and wonder if its ever open.
- You know where Brooklyn, Washington is.
- You know youıve been to Matlock, Washington, but not sure where it was.
- You canıt remember the last time you replaced your windshield wipers, but its time.
- You canıt look at a car without wondering what it would take to make it into a stage rally car.
- You wonder why someone would "jack up" their pickup truck, which ruins the handling on gravel roads.
- You pity people who wonıt drive on gravel roads.
- You can recognize a WSP car, even if itıs a gray Volvo wagon or a dark green Yukon with smoked windows. This became important after a bad scare.
- You know someone whoıd still be at the bottom of a steep ravine except for one, thin tree.
- You think the State DOT is clueless, but this isnıt all bad, just expensive.
- You see a bumper sticker "Dirts for racinı, pavements for sissies" and agree, but youıre not quite sure the guy with the bumper sticker would agree with your use for dirt.
- You go on vacation and see many, many roads that would make a nice stage. You tell your friends.
- You know where "Pee Corner" is, and how it got itıs name.

Rainier Auto Sports Club
will meet this coming Monday,  September 11, 2000 , at 7:30 PM at CoCo's in Bellevue,
(520 112th Ave., between the "NE 8" and "NE 4th" Exits of 405 on the west side of the Hwy.) We have a meeting room set aside in the back. Monthly meetings are the second Monday of each month. Past Members, visitors, and spectators are welcomed.
Agenda: Plans for Wild West.  Planning for the Friday Nighter. Corrections to the WAG.
2000 Board Members:
President: Terry Simons- 425-806-1741; Vice-President: Jerry Hines (425) 823-6343 Secretary: Pete Shelton- 206-365-4173;  Treasurer: Ed Millman (206)361-7389

The Wishbone Alley Gazette is published for the members and friends of Rainier Auto Sports Club. Subscription price is $10 per year.
The editor is Mark Nolte, ph. 425-226-3155. Contributions and paid/unpaid ad eagerly received at
2108 NE 12Th. St., Renton, WA 98056  or e-mail: mnolte@uswest.net
Rainier Auto Sports Club, P.O. Box 852, Kirkland, WA 98134



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