Rally U.S. 50 - Day One
Report from the Road
Bill Tumas - July 07, 2014 08:36 PM
Team CJ Pony earned the right to start up front.Bill Tumas
On the road for day oneBill Tumas
Rally North America organizers tend to find interesting places on the route.Bill Tumas
Part of the fun is also finding some "unofficial" checkpoints, especially when you're hungry.Bill Tumas
West Virginia is in the rear view mirror. Day two starts in Athens, OhioBill Tumas
My name is Bill and I am a rally junkie having done four rallies to date as I line up for the 2014 CJ Pony Parts Rally Route 50. If you are into cars and a road rally isn’t on your bucket list, it should be. Nothing like spending a few days on the road with 80 likeminded individuals all with the same goal, have a good time, find some checkpoints, and support a great charity - Accelerated Cure for MS.
Team CJ Pony, made up of myself and my navigator Tom, were third in donations, so we were able to line up on the front row. At 8:30 a.m., we were waved off by the Bud girls and we were off to our first checkpoint. We were given a vague clue and were able to determine the first checkpoint was the Confederate Memorial at the Indian Mount Cemetery.
With several other teams in front and behind us, we made our way there and then headed to the second checkpoint, a scenic view of Saddle Mountain in Skyline, West Virginia. This checkpoint was a little trickier than it appears because you had to park in a specific spot to get the correct picture… a drive-by picture wouldn’t cut it.
At this point, we realized we were way behind the leaders and decided to make up a few new checkpoints. We found a few teams looking to do the same thing and decided to make Biggie’s Hamburgers our first unofficial checkpoint. While the official checkpoints are always interesting, sometimes you find the best things by accident and Biggies was just that.
With a full belly, we got back on the road towards Harrison County Courthouse, an official checkpoint hosting the flags from the USS West Virginia. A quick picture and we were off to what was possibly the creepiest checkpoint in the history of the rally, the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. We signed up for the required tour and were led through a decrepit old asylum, where horrible things were most certainly done to those deemed insane. Since the tour was required, that typically meant there was a reason and sure enough we were given two additional checkpoints at the end, a car museum and another asylum.
After Trans Allegheny, we had enough asylums for one lifetime and headed to the car museum. Cliff’s Museum of Car Memorabilia felt like a step back in time to a real car dealership from the ‘20s or ‘30s. The owner was kind enough to show us around and even offered a few donations to ACP. We spent some extra time checking out his fantastic collection and then headed off to Kiser’s BBQ to enjoy some food and drinks with the other teams.
Just like every year, tomorrow at 7:30 a.m., the madness starts all over again as we continue to head west on US 50!