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May 22, 2008

2008 New England 1000: Day 3, Wednesday. Whiteface to Woodstock.

Filed under: 08 NE1000 Rally — chuck goolsbee @ 2:58 am

From a start at the top of Whiteface Mountain, to Woodstock via The Trapp Family Lodge… the hills were alive with the sound of roaring engines!

Maserati expresses its carbon footprint
Maserati expresses its carbon footprint

Above: A Maserati displays its carbon footprint.

Above: Same Maserati reflected in the Cunningham C3 Vignale Coupe

We started the day with another great breakfast in the Mirror Lake Lodge dining room. We had heard that the road to the top of Whiteface Mountain was closed and that we’d be starting the days rallying from the bottom. We packed up our bags and hit the road, with me driving the short transit stage to Whiteface.

We were pleasantly surprised to find the road open and we drove to the top!

Above: Scenes from the top of Whiteface… including push-starting the Michie 330GT, which had stalled.

Below: Parked for a rolling start!

We had some time to soak in the view before the start of the rally. I wandered around shooting photos and latter walked down the tunnel to the summit elevator, rode it up and shot some scenery.

Above: The road up Whiteface Mountain

Above: Looking down the tunnel towards the opening from the elevator.

Above: Looking towards Lake Placid

Above: Looking down at the start and road from the summit

I came back down a several cars into the start. Cars go off at one minute intervals. We were parked way back up the line so it would be a while before our turn. Meanwhile, I shot photos:

Above: Can you tell I REALLY like this car? It photographs so well!

Joe & Marge Costa’s Series 3 E-type Jaguar. You can’t see Joe & Marge in this photograph, but I can bet they are smiling. They had grins like Cheshire cats all week. 😀

I even took photos after I got back into the car!

Above: Geri looking serious at the check-out/start line.

We received our check-out time, and I drove this segment while Dad performed the navigation duties. It was a pleasant drive down the mountain, then along a wonderfully deserted, and suitably twisty backroad going mostly north out of the Adirondack mountains. From there the route lazily made its way along a mixture of state highways and complete back roads north and east to the shores of Lake Champlain, then due north to the bridge to Vermont, just shy of the Canadian border. Along the latter portion of this route we encountered several police employed in speed patrols, and even saw some rally participants engaged in intimate discussions with said police officers. Thankfully we had our detector and it provided us with plenty of warning. So much so that another rally participant who was following us asked about what brand we used.

The checkpoint for this segment was located on an island on the Vermont side of the bridge. We arrived at the stand-off point with plenty of time to spare. It was a mildly tricky checkpoint run with a long, u-turn 1/3rd of the way in. Dad checked our clock while I snapped some photos.

Above: The exhaust tip of the Fischer’s Porsche 356.

David & Paula Fischer prepare for their segment checkpoint run at the stand-off. They were concentrating so much on the task they had no idea I was there!

Sure enough, our clock is off the rally master’s by quite a bit, a full second and a half. We calibrate our timing to adjust and go over in our heads how we’re going to get it right. Confident in our planning we switch drivers and dad nails it on the zero. We grab a check-out time and run the next segment. It follows the string of islands down the center of Lake Champlain, through wonderful Vermont countryside.

To our delight, and for the second time on a New England 1000 that we can recall, we encounter a string of pre-war Bentleys going the other direction!

Above: A pre-war Bentley and a 70s Jaguar pass each other in Vermont.

The route left the islands and navigation got tricky, so other than ogling the occasional Bentley, I was too busy for photography. That changed when we went up and over Smugglers Notch on our way to Stowe, and the check-in. Navigation was minimal-to-non-existent (no other road but this one!) and the terrain interesting. I shot photos on the way up…

…and switched my Olympus digital camera to “movie mode” for the trip down:

It looks and sounds like we were going real fast. In reality we’re going the speed limit – that’s just wind noise and what your tires sound like when you hang your ear a few feet away from them on really twisty roads. Think of driving around a parking garage and that sound will be familiar.

I wish I could have held the camera a bit more steady. I really need an eyeball on the end of my fingers.

The checkpoint was in the front of the Trapp family lodge. Yes, that Trapp family.

Above: A few dead bugs on the nose of a 911.

Above: The Costa’s in their Jag wait their turn at the stand-off.

The checkpoint was in the parking lot and had a ludicrously short run. Oddly, or clocks were in sync with the rally checkpoint this time, so no compensation had to be calculated. We zeroed and happily went inside for lunch, after parking our SL next to the 300. There was also a 230sl on the rally but I never managed to get all three in a shot together.

Lunch was great, as is the view from the dining room. The lodge is filled with family memorabilia and would make a nice pace to stay for the rally (something my father communicated to the Rally organizers. The Bentley group was staying there too.)

After lunch I drove the next segment, which wound its way south through rural Vermont to somewhere near Woodstock. We zeroed that checkpoint too, and I also drove the short transit stage back to the hotel. Just outside Woodstock, literally a mile or so from the hotel we were caught in a construction delay that went on for ever. Clouds appeared and we just barely raised the convertible top before it transformed into a deluge!

We enjoyed a dinner at a restaurant (ironically) named “Bentley’s” and collapsed into bed quite exhausted from a long day of rallying. Thursday will be our last day of the rally.

1 Comment

  1. you were looking ‘down’ in the elevator?


    Comment by gondwana — May 30, 2008 @ 4:09 am

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