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GoF West 2007

July 2-6, 2007, Park City, Utah

Page Three of Five

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Day Seven


The main event for the second day of GoF West was the rally. We started fairly early, and after figuring out how the rally was supposed to work we realized we had no chance. It was based on mileage correction, and our odometer was hopelessly inaccurate and the trip meter didn’t work at all. Still, we had a great drive on some beautiful roads.

We enjoyed the town of Midway so much that after we completed the Rally, we set off again on the same route to have lunch there. Not wanting to retrace our route back to the hotel, I consulted a map during our lunch stop and spotted a road which ran over the mountains directly into Park City. I wondered why the rally hadn’t taken that route instead of the main highway. It’s questions like these that have the most obvious answers, and it seems I am always blinded by an adventurous spirit that won’t go away.

Driving out of Midway on the road in question, we started climbing at an incredible rate. The valley below dropped away as we worked our way up a canyon and into the mountains and past a sign that read “Rough steep winding road next 7 miles”. Even after our adventure on Mount Hood last year, I never seem to learn.

A while later, the road turned to dirt. It wasn’t bad, and looked well enough maintained (sound familiar?). We decided to continue upward and onward towards the summit. Not unexpectedly the road became a bit rutted and loose, but we pressed forward. There were few people on this road and they were all in trucks and SUVs. The looks we got from the other drivers as they drove past were priceless.

The higher we drove, the more lush the vegetation became. Soon we were surrounded by Aspen trees and green all around. Looking back always offered a spectacular view of the valley we recently left, but it seemed much farther away than it really was due to the altitude gain. This certainly was a beautiful road even if not the smoothest.

At one point I decided to stop for a photo. After shutting down the engine, Linda asked what that weird noise was. She said it sounded like boiling water. I listened carefully and heard the same thing. Quickly I checked the temperature gauge and it was only at 93C. My first thought was that the temperature gauge must be malfunctioning and the car was overheating. Then it dawned on me. We were parked at an altitude of at least 8,500-feet. The water temperature was in fact 93-degrees, and the water was indeed boiling.

With no danger of overheating the engine, I got my photos and we continued up the mountain. The altitude was robbing the car’s engine of power, and the roads were so steep and rough at times that I was down to first gear, muscling our way through the sharply-climbing turns. The TC pressed on like the champion it is.

After spotting a small side road leading to a lake just below us, I figured a side trip was in order. Despite Linda’s fears of never making it back up the steep, loose side road, I drove carefully down to the lake for a rest. It was so loose and dusty that we smothered a family in a big off-road truck who were just leaving for the day. Sorry! As we departed for the main “road”, I devised my plan of attack on the unstable hill we would have to climb in order to get safely out of there. Spotting the best line up the steep grade, I pushed down on the throttle and gave it everything we had. Fortunately the engineers at Abingdon gave the car a first gear designed for pulling out tree stumps so we made it out of there without incident.

The road continued to climb and offer spectacular views of the valley below and of the mountain tops we were quickly approaching. After another photo stop we came to the top of Guardsman’s Pass at an altitude of around 9,100-feet. The road then dropped into Deer Valley past the top of the numerous ski lifts, and eventually brought us back to paved roads and civilization. Success!

After a well deserved rest, I was forced to clean the car again.


Day Eight


The Funkhana was the first order of business for the day. It went something like this… Start in the car. Get out and run to a bucket where you dig through a bunch of straw to find a set of keys which go to a fictitious car. You trade those keys for your “first born”, which is a male blow-up doll with a mustache and a hairy chest. Very, very disturbing. Getting back in the car, you drive to the bank where you sell your first born for money to buy car parts with. You pass the doll through the deposit window, then run to the withdrawl window and shovel up coins into a bucket. Don’t spill! Get back in the car and drive to Moss Motors.

At the Moss counter, dump all your money into a funnel (don’t spill here either) and then go pick out one of three nuts from the parts counter. Get in the car and drive to the garage. Fit the nut to one of three bolts. If it doesn’t fit the first one, you have to get back in the car and reverse to Moss Motors where you choose another nut, then back to the garage and try again with one of the bolts.

Once you get that right, continue on the course, which now becomes night time and your Lucas lights just went out. Put on a blindfold and drive through a bend, guided by your frantic navigator. If you survive this without the navigator divorcing you or getting out of the car, remove the blindfold and high tail it to the finish line. Raise your hands in the air to signal completion. We didn’t do very well. Our worst parts were finding the right nut (took three tries) and the blindfold area (lack of legible communication). But our marriage survived enough that we ran the course again for fun a while later. We spent the afternoon visiting with friends, going into town and viewing the arts and crafts competition.

Arts and Crafts Photos…

That night was the awards banquet and auction. Somehow we got out of there with most of our money still in our bank account. Part of the night’s activities was betting on MG races, which were sort of like those old horse racing machines only it was cars on sticks and the machine was powered by child labor. Next we honored all those present who had been to the first GoF back in 1972. There were quite a few!

During the awards presentation we were surprised to win second place in the TC class of the car show. Linda and I were also surprised that we each won second place in the arts and crafts, especially after entering late! Linda placed second for “best snapshot / M.G. action” and I placed in “general interest photograph”.

On to Page Four…