The Trans-America Challenge 2012
7th May - 8th June 2012
Page to Provo
MAY 19TH, 2012
Another blue sky morning dawned and after the rest day there was a lot more energy in the air. Well rested crews were up early and keen to get on with the business of the day.
Andy Actman's refresher course on regularity timing held last night had gone down well and over breakfast many crews said they'd found it quite helpful. We'll find out at today who really was paying attention.
In the carpark Martin Hunt was looking forward to trying out his new tyres. He'd had six of them flown in from the East Coast, 'maybe we'll be able to get the back end out a little more' he quipped. It's going to be another hot day and Ed' Howle is still worried about the fuel vaporisation problem his Beetle is suffering with.
So out of the hotel and past the greenest and, Lake powell excepted, the wettest place in Arizona, the National Golf Course. A little incongruous amid the pink desert but if you like that sort of thing I'm sure it was quite tempting. Over the Lake Powell bridge with the impressive Carl Hayden dam on the right and North on the 89 with the sun on our backs. Soon we hit the Utah state line, "life elevated". This was the 45th State to join the union, is the 13th most extensive, the 34th most populous and the 10th least densely populated. So now you know.
Turning right off the 89 into Cottonwood Canyon and through the valley known as the Cockscomb, dune buggies played along side us like dolphins 'buzz' a fishing boat as we followed the shallow Paria River. Recent landslips had been cleared and there were some soft and sandy sections to keep crews on their toes. There was a lot of dust though and Judith Rowe wisely sailed by sporting a pair of pretty industrial looking goggles. Later in the day she was to take the helm and let husband John have his turn on the clocks. Further into the Canyon we came across Peter and Zoe Lovett in their Porsche broken down by the side of the road in the lovely red section. Fuel vaporisation and or an electrical problem was suspected. Simon Ayris was quickly on the scene though and had the car up and running with a new rotor arm in no time.
The road surface changed from pink to rust to white back to pink again as it wound its way through the scrub and, fresh from a relaxing spa break the all girl crew of Tania Slowe and Caroline Greenhalgh in the Alvis were making good progress through the bends. They seem to know their car inside out and have had little trouble thus far.
Back onto the tarmac and the Kodachrome basin state park was an interesting option on the way onto Cannonville, but we've got a schedule to keep and had to press on to the PC at Clarkes Cafe where we enjoyed a welcome coffee and wished we could stay in the area a little longer to sample the nearby Bryce Canyon National Park. The road through it was sensational so heaven only know what it's like off the beaten track. We made our way through the Dixie National Forest, past the Lovelady Inn in Antimony and the Otter Creek reservoir.
Once through Koosharem it was left and northwest onto the 24 past the eponymous Reservoir to the TC and lunch halt in Mom's Cafe Salina, a traditional American diner where crews tucked into a hearty fare. Next door was Burns saddlery which boasted 50 used saddles in stock. Sadly we had neither the need for one or the time to look.
Back on the road, still heading northwesterly through the Juab Valley to the Nebo Loop test. A beautiful sinuous all Tarmac regularity through the Uinta National Forest. The views were stunning (we've come to expect nothing else). Then on to the night halt in Provo where we can report that the Ed Howles Beetle has received attention for the fuel vaporisation issue, a spacer has been fitted to the engine compartment lid meaning that more air should be able to circulate. Bruce and Judy Washington have had the sensor refitted on their trip meter having just about managed so far without one. The MGB of Terry and Sheila Wright needed the Andy Inskip fine adjustment tool to knock their exhaust back into place aft it was 'shifted' by a rock in a hard place. Keith and Nora Ashworth struggled on the regularity this afternoon due to overheating. Nora didn't see much of the scenery on the way in tonight as she couldn't take her eyes off the temp' gauge. The garage they visited tonight was closed however so they'll retry in the morning.
Overall another epic day, the scenery was absolutely fabulous and we'd echo the sentiments of Nicholas Pryor who declared that he was running out of words to describe it.
Having visited the USA many times on business he now feels as I'm sure many of us do that he's seeing the 'real America'.