The WSCC Bunny Run came so early this year I had to book my eagle-eye navigator Marguerite back in February. It took place just a week after St. Patrick's Day, 3 days after the start of the coldest spring, following the warmest winter in history. Our lady's team was looking forward to an evening of gossip and yes, the guys (my brother and GJ) challenged us. (Yawn.) The rally was staged by the husband and wife team of Jesse and Barbara who are always creative and always pretty accurate, partly because they both are so proficient on the computer. By a weird twist the guys ended up with car # 00 (which truly delighted my brother) and the ladies got #20. Jesse and Barbara threw a new fun twist into the general instructions: images. They had printed strips of digital images of road signs to tie into the route instructions. More about that later.
With a double-chocolate milano cookie in each hand, by instruction #7 we had started doing u-turns, in good company I might add. We 'ooooooh'ed at the windmill and the brightly lit flag sign (which we passed twice) in the middle of the woods. We snickered at the sneaky dead ends. Until one of them caught us. We stopped snickering when we couldn't find 'nature center'. We dropped our cookies when we couldn't find 'saddle.'
My new Wrangler tires gripped gleefully into the gravel on the dirt roads and spit out rocks once we hit pavement, twanging the underside on their way out. We rounded turn after blind turn somewhat expectantly hoping the road continued where we couldn't see it, both of us going 'weeeeeeeeee'! like we were on some wild amusement park ride gone bad. As usual we were completely alone most of the time. At one spot headlights approached rapidly from behind and I pulled over to let a red streak fly by, they passed with a thank you beep. I thought maybe someone had to go to the bathroom but later it turned out to be the Kanzlers pushing to make up time. We had time to make up ourselves, but on one dirt road the washboard ruts were so bad they set up a rhythmic resonance like wumpwumpwump and the back of my truck hopped sideways into some brush. Marguerite leaned left thinking we were headed for a tree. With minor scratches the truck whipped back to point sideways. She straightened out nicely and we continued to the checkpoint.
After speaking to other rallyers at Applebee's who had skidded in the same place I decided those bushes must be like the mythological muses, singing sweetly to us rally cars only to delight in us crashing against the rocks. Mental note to ask Jesse how many colors of paint he found there. In the end we had seen a record 51 signs (they were gently placed a little easier to see by vegetarians, I'm sure the trees cooperated nicely for them.) We finished around 15 minutes late, but we heard the guys had finished right before us so we knew we had beat them on time, since we left 20 minutes after they did.
Oh- one word about the images: (Jesse, you're gonna love this) you should have seen Marguerite trying to describe the signs we had to look for. Then she'd wave the little strip (the size of postage stamps) in front of me as I was driving with her finger on one 'HERE.' These were some very special moments. I didn't realize until the next day that all of my stuff in the back of the truck had jumped out of the compartments and was scattered all over. Dried mud on the wheels completed the rugged outdoorsy look. It was a terrific night.