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The other difficulty is determining which shortcuts are viable, and which might have you calling for a tow truck. Steve and Rose took a little from Column A and a little from Column B with one particular mud-filled road. Though the road was treacherous, they pressed on and gave that tough little TR one heck of a mud bath. The mud turned out to be worth the final result.
||The final results were:
Steve and Rose Skegg (CMGC)- 585.1 miles
Jason and Eric Durham- 603.3 miles
Mark Z. Michalak (CMGC)- 613.8 miles
It should be noted that the Durhams and Skeggs were competing for the Triple Crown Series title, which means they have participated in three endurance rallies this year. Congratulations to Steve and Rose Skegg- the 2013 Triple Crown winners!
The Checkpoints (in no particular order) were:
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park near Sheffield. IL
Chalet of the Golden Fleece- New Glarus, WI
Railroad Mural- Milledgeville, IL
Stonefield Village near Cassville, WI
The Gaylord Building- Lockport, IL
John Deere Historic Site near Dixon, IL
Belmont Mound State Park near Belmont, WI
Starved Rock State Park near Oglesby, IL
Taliesin Visitors Center near Spring Green, WI
Ulysses S. Grant's Home- Galena, IL
|~~ Mark Michalak
The Abingdon Trials
The inside story as witnessed by Rose Skegg
The Abingdon Trials was only my second rally, but I took to that race like an old pro. My father Steve and I took plenty of time to plan out our route, mostly because my dad didnít bring the Wisconsin Gazetteer (he thought we would actually head to Abingdon) but luckily, Bolingbrook was only 20 minutes from home and we had my flu-ridden mother drive out to bring us the map. I may not have known it at the time, but Iím pretty sure that extra time planning is what brought us our victory.
The drive had a few snags, as one would expect on any rally. I failed to direct my father through a turn and he then proceeded to scold me for my inadequate attention span. This lasted only three minutes until I navigated him through the next turn. His attitude didnít hurt for long, because once it was my turn to drive, he started looking forward in our journey and missed my next turn. I got to scold him back!
We had a few more ups and downs. We ran into a large group of BMW rally runners at the John Deere Historic Site, and had a fabulous time taking the ferry between Iowa and Cassville, WI. It may have lost us a few miles, but it was great fun! To even that out we had one hell of a time traversing Adrian Hollow Road. Never again will my father describe a gravel road as a dirt road. This road was a pleasant gravel road for the first half; there was a sweet dog and a smiling, knowing local, a grazing pony and some beautiful foliage. However, the second half of the road was along a river and entirely mud. It was too late to turn around, so my father was forced to grit his teeth and use the accelerator, steering wheel and spectacular skill to stop us from slamming into the fence edging the road or fishtailing a complete 180į. It was a stressful half a mile or more. When we only just made it to the other side, the car was covered in mud and our hearts were beating out of our chests. If we werenít on a rally, our next stop would have been to get a much-needed beer, but alas we had to continue on.
The muddy road outside of Cassville was not our only trial, for we got horribly lost in Spring Green, WI losing us about five miles. We learned our lesson though; when you think youíre at the right location the first time, look around in the area in more detail before moving onward. The historical marker we were looking for at the Taliesin Visitors Center was in the dark beneath some trees and to the side of the building there. It was very hard to identify in the middle of the night. The lost mileage was disappointing, but we soon moved on to our next objective.
We won the rally by 18 miles, and the Triple Crown by a total of 30 miles! It was a wonderful trip. Now, if my father gets moody off the course, I need only remind him of our success on the trial to elicit a smile. I look forward to next year, and hopefully with more competition chasing our heels.