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October 5, 2009

Not The Cannonball, Day 1: Vermont & New York

Filed under: Not the Cannonball — chuck goolsbee @ 9:29 pm

The red-eye flight from Seattle to NYC is miserable, but a smiling Dad is there to meet me for the next leg to Burlington, VT. I am able to catch some sleep on the next flight. The nice folks from RPM pick us up at Burlington and provide a ride to Vergennes. The 450sl is washed and waiting for us there. We pack up our stuff in the generous trunk.

Way more room than the E-type!
Way more room than the E-type!

Before we leave (around noon) however we take a moment to get a quick tour from Peter Markowski of their shop and current projects…

Always fun finds at RPM. For example, here's a Ferrari Monza.
Always fun finds at RPM. For example, here's a Ferrari Monza.

Charlie Goolsbee and Peter Markowski study historical photos of a Ferrari undergoing a restoration at RPM.
Charlie Goolsbee and Peter Markowski study historical photos of a Ferrari undergoing a restoration at RPM.
Detail of the Ferrari in question.
Detail of the Ferrari in question.
a gorgeous little OSCA
a gorgeous little OSCA
a gorgeous little OSCA
a gorgeous little OSCA

For this trip we’re focussed on distance, not scenery. Our itinerary essentially reads: Drive to I-90, turn right, continue to I-5.” The only real back roads we’re driving happen today, as we cross Lake Champlain, and then the Adirondacks on NY Highway 8.

Driving along a lake shore in upstate New York.
Driving along a lake shore in upstate New York.
Some fall colors in the Adirondacks.
Some fall colors in the Adirondacks.

Given my sleepless night I spend most of this part of the trip sound asleep in the passenger seat, really only waking when navigational assistance is required.

Westbound.
Westbound.

Once past the Adirondacks we meet I-90 in Utica, stop for gas, and a late lunch, then head west with me at the wheel. We made it as far as Buffalo before we pack it in for the night.

Tomorrow we cross Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. We hope to make a side trip to the ACD museum in Auburn. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here’s “day 2” of the original 1999 Cannonball Classic:


Monday, Sept, 27th, 1999: Scranton, PA to Detroit MI.

Oh shit, 4:30 am comes way too early. I’m still on Pacific Time and spent too much time
fighting the digital camera last night… I finally gave up and just erased the images from dinner (Damn!) since it is obvious they were corrupted and were killing my beloved laptop whenever I tried to grab them from the camera. Grrrr. (Later I discover that the software is incompatible with the new backside cache architecture of the G3 chip. Thankfully my upgrade lets me disable it.) Dad pushes my tired ass out of bed and we stumble, dazed and confused down to Breakfast. I need some heavy heavy fuel if I’m going to get moving at this hour and all they have cold danishes! Ugh. I’m screwed. We have a hasty drivers meeting in the dark hotel parking lot and then we give Scranton a wake up call with a collective roar of 25 beastly cars (OK, 23.5 since the 2 Saab V-4’s and the 911 don’t even equal the bestiality of a single ‘merkin muscle car…)

We are still doing navigation/rabbit duty for Jim Van Gusten and his Mangusta. We quickly overtake all but the SuperBird, on the fine Penn roads. We fly along at a pretty good average speed and manage to get past most of the construction zones and towns before the school busses come out in force. We are only stopped by one flag-lady and one school bus. We later hear that several folks have some trouble with the local authorities, and so we figure our high-speed run through western Penn must have woke them all up. We are making great time and make our plan of Ohio before lunch, despite going about 15 miles off course when we miss a turn. We stop just over the Ohio border for a quick burger and decide to cheat a bit and take the Interstate since the planned route has a lot of towns and we still have a lot of ground to cover. We enter the tollway and as I am pulling out into traffic I notice I have lost our tail… we pull over onto the shoulder and eventually the Mangusta limps into view. Jim says their is a horrible grinding noise in his front end. we are joined on the shoulder by an Ohio State Patrol Cruiser who tells us that there is a rest area 2 miles ahead. We limp off and Jim does some on-sight surgery on his right front wheel bearing.



Above: Adventures in Exotic Italian Car Ownership, starring Jim Van Gusten and his DeTomaso Mangusta!

We watch as several cars from the group go flying by. We spend about 2 hours while Jim removes the chewed up bits and repacks his bearings. We finally get underway again but are limited to about 70mph… we arrive in Detroit and find our hotel by excellent dead-reckoning and minimal directions (the plan had changed from the course sheet.)


Above: Dad driving down I-90.

We have a great dinner (chili dogs!) and some good conversation with Sherman and Scott Wolf (another father/son team) and Brock and Pam Yates.

Above: Hmm, chili dogs!Dad and Brock Yates chew a few. I bet this is the first time in history that somebody in Detroit had red wine with his chili dog!

Road Kill count for Monday: 1 Cat, 1 Dog, 1 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery truck, 1 Rabbit, 12 Raccoons, 5 Opossum, 1 1971 Dodge Challenger, 6 Squirrels, 1 porcupine, 1 Skunk, 1 1963 Jaguar XK-E (Lucas Electrics!!!), 1 drake Mallard, 1 Muffler, 1 wild Turkey, 1 DeTomaso Mangusta, and 9 indistinguishable piles of flesh guts and fur/feathers.

Note: Michigan roads SUCK!

Tomorrow we see some flatlands!

Goodnight!

–chuck

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