Monday, October 04, 2010

Pacific Forest Rally - Merritt

We decided that this year, we would stay the whole day at the rally and take as much of it in as we could. 14 hours later, we had the dust from 1 million years ago covering every inch of us and our stuff(camera), we sat on every single hard surface you can imagine, we walked on rocks that dinosaurs walked on, and I made fool of myself, but we had a great time.  What a difference in weather. Last year, it was rainy, and cold. This year, we had to change into shorts and t-shirts and figured it was a good 20 degrees warmer than last year. Until the sun went down and smarty shorts and I froze our toes off.
 No play-by-play, but this is Antoine Lestage and they won. They did not end up in the ditch because they can control their cars, like magic, and instead kind of drifted thru the corner.
 Antoine's co-driver is this guy's sister. Came in second, I think.
 There's a car to the left, you can make out the roof, that's the dust I ate for lunch.
 This is Kerry. He was covered in dust afterwards.
 Neat! We drove back to town and the rally cars were all around us on the highway.
 Stopped here for lunch.
 Wished for 2 seconds that I was this guy, but then saw this guy struggling to carry his 400mm f/whatever for the  1/2 mile we had to walk and thought "Ha Ha, I'm not you!" Also thought that later on  when he picked the 'best' spot, only to see him later covering his baby up every single minute because of the dust blowing his way!
Found a pack mule for my camera bag, Mr. 400 needs one too.
On our way to the last heat at Helmar Lake, on our almost 1 km. walk into the forest, I was daydreaming about how much I loved my Keen shoes, and how I should buy another pair just like them, when I saw a SNAKE. It was green and yellow and had it's upper body raised off the ground. It was 2 feet long and right in front of me. I grabbed Kerry's arm and screamed and yelled "SNAKE SNAKE SNAKE". Which wouldn't have been so bad if it was just the 2 of us but about 30 feet behind us was another couple. It took about 5 minutes before my heart rate was normal and we could laugh about it. 

 Totally blurry shot of 'pretty bird'. He kept swooping down around us. People near us held out cheezies (the environmentally sound bird food) and he would fly down and take them from their hands. It was a bit hard to see from behind my hands, gotta protect my eyes.
 Lestage came down the hill and around the corner too fast, but the crowded loved it as he drifted in the gravel, it was a good show, but then everyone else slowed down in the corner.
We were about 20 feet from the cars. We got hit by a rock and both Kerry and I looked at each other and said "COOL!" The poor kid infront of us got hit so hard he had an instabruise, but he didn't move and he was so funny to watch. He was pretty sure the cars were coming straight for him and he'd jump every time. We got a chuckle.
See that group of guys behind the dust, they started at about 9 am. and the one in the yellow shirt sang and yelled and cheered all day, 12 hours later, he was drunk and still going. Rumour has it, they have been at 7 yrs. worth of rallies, coming from maybe the coast, but originally from Paraguay. Which would explain the cheering in German, and the funky Polka Reggae music they had playing.  All day we heard "You say Yoka!  I say Hama!" And then he'd say YOKA, and HAMA and we'd all laugh at him. The Yokahama tire guys liked to egg him on. By the end of the night, some were hoping a hunter might accidentally mistake him for a deer.
Next year, we've made plans to head to Helmar lake sooner so we don't have to make the 1 km. walk and we will take some kind of padded seating with us. We were not made to sit on rocks and sticks for that long.

1 comment:

Rae | Lifestyle Photographer said...

Sounds like a fun time!...except for the part about the snake.