The Wishbone Alley Gazette
ONE CONTROL’S VERSION OF THE NO ALIBI RALLY By Ken Lingbloom
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
Our first control was north of
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
The dinner that evening was at the Big Horn Brewery in
Sunday’s leg would end in
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
has some sort of training/orientation “thing” going on at Café Veloce (
interested in working checkpoints on the first TSD section (
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
NW Rallyists’ Calendar
July 12 Friday Nighter NWRC
July 19 Friday
July 20 Mountain
to the Sea,TSD,
July 20-21 Gold
July 28 Rallycross.
Aug 3-4 ORV Rallysprints McCleary
Aug 9 Friday Nighter ORCA
Aug 10 TRNT,
Aug 16 Friday
Aug 13-22 Alcan 5000 :
touring rally by Chuckanut (
Sept 10 Kananaskis Rally AB, (stage)
Sept 13 Friday Nighter TS
Sept 14 Fri
Sept 20 Friday
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