Look what is currently adorning the center of our drawing table! Did Team Evil drop it on the way to their car? Nope, we actually came away with this smart little trinket this past Saturday from the Rubbermade Road Rally.
RGBisMe & I were lucky enough to be able to register to enter at pretty much the last second. Because of this, we had to scramble and get everything we needed together very quickly. We didn’t have any specific maps of the area and had never been there before. Any other road rally we had every heard of sounded like you needed to rely on knowing the local land marks and decrypting where they might be. So we went into it with the idea that we were not going to have a chance at placing but we would have fun!
Rain was the theme of the day, thank goodness the temperature was not too low. We pulled into the parking lot and quickly hid a letterbox for the Rally Master and crew to find if they had any quiet moments. Us newbies were really nervous meeting all of the LbMA letterboxing icons. We shouldn’t have stressed, LightninBug, Cyclonic ( both of Team Evil) as well as the Rally Master himself ( Natty Bumppo) made us feel very welcome the moment we introduced ourselves. Soon after came the Red Hat Boxers ( sewsowbizzy and Irene of Hikers & Hounds) and they were equally as warm and pleasant to meet.
You would think I would relax and enjoy the company but our post time being the 3rd of the morning kept me on edge. We watched Team Evil splash away as Janila and Billy Boy of Team Little Dog came in. I had written to Jan a few time so it was a pleasure to meet her. They didn’t get to stick around long before they too got their clues and were off into the down pour.
I barely remember saying anything to Whisper Foot and Midnight Boxer of the Compressed Air Junkies when they came in but made a point to note their faces. “That’s who will be passing our sorry butts in no time,” I thought. *Gulp*, we were next. I was determined to watch the speedometer so we would not speed nor go under the judge’s official run time. I was dreading what kind of clues were in those envelopes the Rally Master was handing to the teams as they left. Might it say something like, “make a left at the place where the 7th PA governor was born”? Sheesh, I was sure we were going to run a close race to last. It was lightly raining as the Rally Master gave us a friendly smile along with our clues and wished us well. We were off.
I ripped into the envelope. The directions were totally clear! Left on this road, go so far, right onto that road!! “We can DO this I shouted!” RGBisMe smiled and said, “Which way?” We followed the directions to the first park without a hitch and were the only car in the lot. We took many paces across a very wet grassy area until we spied the bridge in the clue then ran to the blazed trail. We kept running until the 2nd blaze after the second right fork. Zip zoom, got it!! Umbrella up to stamp in. Jeep by May Day Lillies. Ooooo! There is a bonus box nearby. “Leave it!” I snapped, RGB says, “But it’s just right here.” Ok, ok, we got that too. RUN!! Back to the car
Well so much for reading the directions perfectly. We pulled out of the park and went the wrong way so we carefully corrected our mistake and we on to the next park. We were almost there when we were sure we made a mistake. We were to drive .2 mile farther but the road was gated. Did we go the wrong way? Should we turn around and check? Just at that time Team Little Dog pulled up behind us and we both agreed that it should be down that road. I thought we should start walking just as someone pulled up and opened the gate. We waved Team Little Dog on through and pretty much found the box, Hummer by LightninBug and stamped up with them. We waved Team Little Dog ahead as we re-hid the box. “That’s the last we will see of them,” I knew.
Nope, we were all reunited at the 3rd box, and went down the path to the 4th together. Both of these stamps, My Dream and My Reality were both carved by none other than Janila herself. Oooo! There was another bonus box. Jan decided to decline searching for it and we thought we would go for it since we saw we hadn’t been passed yet. We then ran back to the car and Team Little Dog was long gone. Shoot, we got really turned around because the names of the roads suddenly didn’t seem to make any sense. Coming in they were different that going out but they were THE SAME ROADS. Oh well, we went for what seemed reasonable and it soon worked itself out.
We knew we lost some time making it to the 5th box because Team Little Dog was no where in sight. We parked in the lot and ran like mad following the directions to the box. I was sure that Compressed Air Junkies would show up at anytime but we carefully got out our umbrella as we stamped into the first part of the very clever Tell Tail Lites by sewsowbizzy . There was a tempting clue in this box but we really felt pressed for time. “Leave it, we gotta go.” We left it, re-hid it and started back. Way down the trail coming our way was one of the Compressed Air Junkies . At least we were done stamping up… wait! It wasn’t Whisper Foot , it was Team Little Dog ! AW!! We talked as we passed and they had gotten turned around too. I asked if it was ok if we went ahead and they said to do so.
Off we go to box #6. The rain was off and on the whole way so we stamped up into Peugot 206 carved by Carvin Carmen of Hikers & Hounds while sitting in the car and left just as Team Little Dog arrived. The way to box #7 was long and the roads shifted around in a crazy way. The clues to find this box were a lot of fun and I was carefully reading my compass, counting my paces while RGBisMe was double checking everything and also noting which way other muddy foot prints had preceded us. We stamped into the beautifully carved The Flying Lady by Scarab of The Doubtful Guests near the building that allowed us to avoid the rain and made it back again just as Team Little Dog pulled in.
I kept a careful eye on our speed as we navigated our way back to the pavilion. “After we park, we need to run and stamp in as quickly as possible so we don’t get in the way of Team Little Dog . Wow! It really started to rain as we got back. We got in, asked for the final box, the second part of Tell Tail Lites by sewsowbizzy , and finished up.
I was exhausted. I could have taken a nap. It turns out the real fun was just starting. We exchanged stamps and stories with all of the boxers that we had heard so much about. The fire and the conversation was delightful all afternoon. Teams came and went and we rooted them on. It was fun to greet the teams who had departed while we were already out on the road. We would cheer for their arrival, watch them stamp into the final box, and after they were warmed up and had a bite to eat we would follow the lead of Team Evil and line up to exchange stamps with them. Some folks went BACK out into the pouring rain to find some of the boxes that were in the park. I was too overwhelmed with everything else so I just sat around and took it all in. What a great group of people!
I felt badly when I heard some teams were having car problems and some stamps got switched. I though, “That could have been us.” Everything seemed to be under control and no one was needing extra help. Two teams didn’t show up at all because of the rain but finally the last of the 11 teams arrived safely back to the park. Rally Master did his figuring and tallied the times with his magic formula of merits and demerits. When all was said and done, an unbelievable number of goodies were awarded and we ended up with the 1st place trophy!
RGBisMe and I gabbed about it the whole 4 hour drive home. We couldn’t believe it. How had we ever pulled that off? We didn’t break the speed limits, we didn’t cheat. Was it the Central PA geocaching Scavenger Hunt we had entered before that had readied us? We decided that we had 20 years experience in cooperating as driver and navigator that was our strongest point. It gave us just one more thing to add to our ever broadening smiles as we drove home that night.