RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

July, 2002

Rally News


      So, there we were.  In the middle of nowhere.  Dusty road.  High sun.  It was a dark and stormy night.  No.  Wait.  Wrong story.

      After a few years of not being able to participate in Rainier Auto Sports Club’s No Alibi Rally, our time had come.  We would be working as a checkpoint crew on the June event.  As an added bonus, Steve Perret and Kathryn Hansen would be competing.  We even had someone to cheer for.

      The lure for the competitors would be the brisk speeds on the gravel back-country roads in that area.  For Sue and me, we not only got to play on those roads, but we also got to practice our orienteering by scouring our maps to short-cut the route and find our checkpoint locations.

      Saturday’s leg of the two-day event would run from Snoqualmie Pass to Spokane.  We would visit Quincy, Ephrata, Dry Falls, Davenport and other exotic locales along the way. 

      Our first control was north of Quincy.  We were able to pick up the route instructions and follow the course into our location at a cattle guard.  The tough part was finding a place to park off the road.  We found a side road leading up a hill to a farmer’s field and took it, got settled in, checked our clocks and had a look around.  Unknown to us was the fact that there was a landing field just north of our location.  The first hint was a tremendous noise as a military transport plane came very low over us.  

      It is always fun to see those who think they are on time and those who are not sure, as the cars come through.  Car #1 this year was one of a quartet of Saab Sonnets.  Steve and Kathryn were running Car 8.   After the last car, number 25, Sue walked down to the road to give our completed score logs to the sweep car as I picked my way through the deep ruts and sagebrush to join her.

      Our next control was southeast of Creston.  As Sue navigated us further and further away from civilization, my eyes became more and more transfixed on the fuel gauge.  We located our checkpoint, and it was really a neat site.  From our vantage we could track at least three cars as they approached us.  A wisp of dust behind the hill over there and a glint of sun off the windshield over here.

      The main excitement was waiting for a lost car.  It eventually showed up, and then sweep and one other control crew followed it out.  I, meanwhile, looked at the fuel supply.  Just as we were about to leave, a rally car appeared from the wrong direction.  The crew had somehow gotten twisted around and were incredulous when we flagged them down and told them they were going  the wrong way.  We eventually persuaded them to turn around and forget the assigned speed since they were now several minutes beyond their maximum allowable time.  With the little yellow light on the dash glowing brightly, we followed in their wake toward Highway 2 and the oasis of Davenport.  The little car must love brisk driving on gravel for we made it to Davenport with plenty to spare.

      The dinner that evening was at the Big Horn Brewery in Spokane.  It was fun to visit with friends we hadn’t seen in some time.  Most memorable were the tales and rally lore given by Bob Chandler.  Bob’s rally experience goes back to the ‘60’s, and the stories he told had many of us listening with tears of laughter.  The beer wasn’t bad either.

      Sunday’s leg would end in Wenatchee.  Before we would get there we would visit such places as Pine City, Odessa, Soap Lake and our first checkpoint, Hole In The Ground.

      The drive through the rolling farmland south of Cheny to our control was fun.  As we neared our control area the road became snake-like as it turned and twisted steeply to the bottom of the hole.  With no immediate parking available, we parked on a knoll above the narrow bridge where we would time the cars. 

      As we waited for the rally to arrive, a small boat with three people arrived.  We could hear the boat but couldn’t see it for some time.  The stream must have been built by the same snake that had built the roads leading to it.  It could best be described as looking like the ending scenes of The African Queen.  The river(?) was nearly narrow enough to jump across, and the vegetation on either side was tall enough to stand in and not be seen.  The trio in the boat proceeded to pull their craft from the water, put it on a trailer and then park near the middle of the narrow road leading to the bridge.  The fun was about to begin.

      Car 1 was driven by Satch Carlson and could be heard a half mile away as it worked its way down the hillside toward the bridge. 

      Did I happen to mention brisk speeds?  Within seconds after Satch’s passing, we learned that the group from the boat probably was not on their way to church after a morning of fishing.  Cars two, three and four passed amid a chorus of curses.  The men got into their truck and proceeded up the hill into the oncoming rally traffic.  We prayed.  When car 8 arrived we finally exhaled.  Everyone made it OK, but we will never understand how.

      Our next control was near where our first one had been, just northwest of Ephrata.  No worries.  On our way to the finish we stopped at the White Heron winery and sampled some nice dry wines.

      As usual on RASC events, we thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.  Kirk and Terry Simons organized a fine event. The crew packets were actually 3-ring binders containing all the necessary information.  We will need to keep up with that format.  Very handy and usable for checkpoint crews. 

          Oh, yes.  The team from Chuckanut finished mid-pack and second in class.  They have the trophies to prove it.  Well done!

Dryad Quest/Shitepoke June 15/16- MN

Scheduling is tough.  These two Club Rallys ran up against family commitments- Father’s Day, various graduations, and more than one wedding.  The rallyists will show up. Where to find workers?

The best solution for the Black Sheep marshals was to shorten the stage. That was Plan 1. John Nispel suggested Plan 2- go into the start in Shelton and shanghai some spectators or other “hangers-on”. I gave up on that idea and sho4rtened the Stage, then John Nispel showed up with a couple of cars in tow and rearranged the thing an extra 3/4 miles back. So much for planning…

          Other than that, the stage went as well as things get.

          Saturday’s “cast” was different from Sunday’s…you can guess why. Vince Plancich came out of retirement, and worked the Start with Mike Jones. They had good company in the form of a happy couple who had a pickup with Nevada plates, but live in Idaho- and are welcomed across the US where an EMT with a HAM license is always welcome.  Ron Sorem has had some trouble getting his rally car rebuilt, so he was THE Starter.

          On the road, I recruited a worker from the old days- Wes Rider, who made himself a name by cooking pork chops for us all on a SummitLake stage on a cold, wet night. He’s retired now, and travels much lighter.  Said the cars look pretty much the same- just a blur…

          Gail McDonald has a new foal to take care of, but John persuaded her that horses have been doing this without human help for a few years, so she planted herself on a sideroad and got her needlework done.

          Marvin Crippen has been doing the TSD stuff, so sitting at an intersection watching cars go by every 2 minutes or so was his introduction to stage rallying.

          Once the RM positions got covered, there were enough people to make sure the spectator corner was “safe’, Joel Wright and 2-3 more.

          It was such a panic, I don’t recall who was holding down the Finish- Mark Simons appeared when Kirk was called upon the keep making airplanes, and Dave Folker was doing something….

          We only had the one run on Saturday. By time the rally got to us, the 42 starters had dwindled to 31. Or was it 30?

          Sunday went the same way. I didn’t bother to set anything up, since Mr. Chief of Controls has a habit of showing up and rearranging things.

          We tried the shanghai trick again, but do you know how many people are “hanging out” in Shelton at 7:30 on Sunday morning?

          Ron Sorem took pitty on me and showed up, even though he had to be working later Sunday evening (who needs sleep?). Debbie Sjodin just rallymastered the Friday Nighter, and didn’t have any urge to show up (from Lynnwood) at 7:30, but did Starter here last September, bringing husband Bob along, who ended up as a RM or something…

          David Heath has been doing TSD rallys, and came down to see how the “other half lives”. He set up a tent and guarded a road a mile from where Wes Rider.

          Now Wes was the only RM to have civilians show up, On Saturday, it was a fisherman who didn’t know…on Sunday, it was a couple who got their schedule messed up.

          Jarvis asked for a nice, quiet place where he could relax with his dog. He got it- nothing much happening except a rally car every 2 minutes. He takes the “hard luck” award, since his tires attract sharp rocks. This happened a few years ago, too, so it’s not just his choice of tires. (Or maybe it is…) He drove out of his RM position very slowly on the thin space-saver, still picking up bannerguard as he went.

          Marvin Crippen was set down at a wide spot in the road, handed the clock and a FRS radio, and told to be the Flying Finish. Well, I did explain to him that Flying Finish is our whole reason to be here, so don’t make mistakes. He got expert coaching, via the FRS radio, from Dave Folker and Jay Shukla. The Finish HAMs, Tom Masterson and Sherry Sicks kept things level and reasonable at that end.

          With several hours between runs, we consumed 36 hamburgers; good company rounded out the picnic.

          Who won? There seem to be almost as many classes as an autocross, so one must put it in perspective. For instance, it seems that all the Tabors were here, and all finished  (I wasn’t counting…but it seemed that way). Carl Jardeval was a crowd-pleaser in the Volvo; he has joined the Mitsubishi EVO crowd, but reportedly is still entertaining until he learns all the AWD tricks. The WRX of Paul Eklund/Scott Huhn was somewhere in the low points. I think 36 starters on Sunday, and 29 finishers.

          Janice Damitio was Fast Pace. Part of the job is to investigate the course for “gotcha’s” that should be noted (we’ve done this before as water puddles fill and fill to become small ponds). She found a hole, parked her car in it, and remained there for a whole stage. That’s dedication!

Alcan – No final count on motorcycle entrants yet, but its going to happen.

Jerry has some sort of training/orientation “thing” going on at Café Veloce (TotemLake) on Tuesday (8/14)

Anyone interested in working checkpoints on the first TSD section (SaukRiver section, north of Darrington) on Wednesday, August14, get hold of Roy Ward at 425-485-6225 or email at roy.ward@verizon.net.


* Roy got a 4-dr Cavalier. It's a 1999, white, and vanishes at any distance beyond 20 feet.

Next, he wants to find a rally odometer to put in it.

* Nolte changed e-mail adress. “Qwest.net” is going away.


* ’94 AWD Voyager, loaded. $4600 call J. Hines (425) 823-6343

* 1957 Chev Belair.   350cu V8, th400 auto.  Turquoise and Ivory 2dr post with 17" polished Torque Thrust wheels.  New brakes, radiator, fuel pump/tank, carb, intake, headers, flowmaster custom exhaust, + many other misc. Interior and Exterior beautifully restored.   No Disappointments.  $18,500.  Contact Pete Shelton 206 783-5681 or email at paaz@peoplepc.com

NW Rallyists’ Calendar

• Call the NWRC Hotline (206) 256-9627 for latest info on Puget Sound TSD events.

* In Bellingham? Chuckanut is conducting classroom instruction on weeknights June 11 and September 10 at FaithLutheranChurch. $15.Class from 6 to 6:30, rally, then follow up at 8PM.

July 12              Friday Nighter  NWRC

July 19              Friday Nighter (Portland)

July 20              Mountain to the Sea,TSD,  Oregon

July 20-21        Gold Digger, TSD, BC

July 28              Rallycross.Oregon

Aug 3-4            ORV Rallysprints       McCleary

Aug 9               Friday Nighter            ORCA

Aug 10             TRNT, central Oregon

Aug 16             Friday Nighter (Portland)

Aug 13-22 Alcan 5000 :


Aug.24             "anAUGUST”, touring rally by Chuckanut (Bellingham)

Sept. 1Rallycross, Oregon

Sept 10             Kananaskis Rally AB, (stage)

Sept 13             Friday Nighter     TS

Sept 14             Fri Niter (Portland)

Sept 20             Friday Nighter (Portland)

Sept. 29            Rallycross, Oregon

Oct 5                 Night On Bald Mtn TSD, ORCA

Oct 5-6             Reno Rally (stage)  NV

Oct 5-6             Pacific Forest Rally (stage)  BC

Oct 11              Friday Nighter     RASC


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