Monday, November 15, 2004

Xtreme Tag-Team Driving

Back from the nationals. We didn't win, but we had some nice runs. Details later, perhaps, when I'm more awake.

My friend Jackie and I left Phoenix about 8:30 last night after a quick Mexican dinner with my cousin and then a gas-tank fill. About an hour later, 60 miles from Phoenix and 60 miles from Quartzsite (a teeming metropolis, I'll tell you), in the middle of pretty much nowhere, my tire blew out. Jackie, who had been napping, called AAA and tried to explain where we were. I said that we were about 90 miles from Blythe, a couple of miles beyond a rest area about 30 miles before the next rest area. AAA asked whether we had gone through Quartzsite yet. I said no, that's very close to Blythe and we're about 90 miles away from Blythe. So AAA asked whether we had passed 95 yet, and I said no, because that's very close to Blythe and we're 90 miles from there! They asked whether we could see a mile marker.

We were very fortunate for a couple of reasons--we pulled to a stop right next to a wide sandy crossover between the east & west sections of the freeway so were able to pull a good 30 feet off the freeway upon which large semi trucks were hauling away at 75 MPH or so--and right across the freeway Jackie spotted a large "WE 74" mileage marker. She told them this, and they still wanted more information about where we were located. I figured that, by the time they figured out where we were, we'd have the tire changed, let alone sending a truck from some far-off locale.

So we unloaded the parts of our haul that we needed to unload to have access to the tools and the spare, and Lo! all told we had the tire changed in about 56 minutes, just long enough for the AAA guy to arrive. He did serve a useful purpose--confirmed that my spare is a legitimate tire on a legitimate wheel, not a wimpy compact spare, so we could drive full speed all the way home to San Jose without a care in the world.

Then we took turns sleeping and driving, stopping briefly every hour or two at a rest area.

Anyway--got home about 7:45 this morning.

I have no photos of me or my dogs at the trial (why do I carry 3 cameras around all weekend and never think of this?) but I do have a couple photos of the site.

Westworld is a large equestrian site spread out over many acres with gorgeous desert mountains behind it. Our part of the polo fields was configured with 5 agility rings. Ring 1 had large bleachers on three sides, looking out over the desert at a beautiful range of mountains under pure-blue skies (except for those pure white or pure gray clouds).

Here are a couple of view over the Grand Prix Championship final round:


The sunrises and sunsets--under which people were walking and running courses, argh--were stunning almost every day.

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