We Made it To Ottawa (Kanata), Ontario

Here’s the scene in Barry’s Bay, our lunch stop, where large crowds come out to see the cars. (Photo courtesy Great Race)

We’re not sure how, but we managed to make it to our final check point tonight in Ottawa (Kanata), Ontario. After leaving Barrie, Ontario this morning–we had a wake up at 5am and were in the 16th start position at 7:46 am– we started experiencing trouble with our water pump and were grateful that we made it to the lunch stop in Barry’s Bay. The rally itself is very mentally draining, with detailed instructions that are handed out just before each leg starts. When you combine that with car troubles, it can get downright stressful at times. Unlike the brilliant folks who come up with the course, we can’t use computers or anything to determine the precise formula for staying on time. We have to figure out how much time needs to be made up whenever seconds are lost due to a curve or a turn. It’s not easy but there are some champions who can make the course time within a second or so. It comes down to the second on every leg. Very, very challenging but highly addictive!

There are many drivers who come year after year to experience the camaraderie and enjoy the excitement that we meet in every town. The people of Barry’s Bay were out in full force at lunch, with another wonderful assortment of sandwiches and other lunch goodies. There are people of all ages, little kids that want to sit in the cars, seniors that remember driving some of the models when they were young and just a great exchange of stories and good will. We feel like we almost have a certain celebrity status at times. After leaving Barry’s Bay we kept our fingers crossed that the water pump would hold out as we experienced the breathtaking natural beauty through which we were driving. The Algonquin Provincial Park is a true gem, and we still had to keep watch for moose and bear road crossings as we drove. We arrived into Ottawa–by some miracle our water pump held–and we were welcomed by huge crowds of vintage car enthusiasts once again. We have updated the TripTracker, you can click on this link to see all the newest photos. Or you can click on the new link at the top of the page that says Great Race Photos for our Flickr stream.

A picture of the detailed instructions we receive for each leg. We can’t use any type of GPS or electronic devices to calculate the precise times needed…seconds count! (Photo courtesy Great Race)

Here’s a photo Mary snapped of me as I study the directions for the next leg of the course. A navigator’s work is never done!

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