Saturday, July 14, 2012


There are three parts previous to this you should have read : The House on the Rock, Montana, and the ProSolo...

"“Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today"
-- James Dean
Most anyone who autocrosses will tell you that the worst part of an event, no matter how you finished, is the trip home. It doesn't matter if it's a local or a National, if you've won or if you've been DFL, the fact that you're heading home means the weekend is over, and it's time to head back to reality. It sucks, no matter who you are or how many National Championships you have.

They didn't have anything to look forward to on the way home.

Snake River, looking down towards Shoshone Falls

Perrine Bridge over Snake River in Twin Falls, ID
Parachuter. He almost ended up in the river.
Like last year, I did not have a particular itinerary for my trip home; I just wanted to get there by Thursday morning so I could have IAG Performance do the 120K service. They were flexible enough that if I wasn't home by Wednesday night, they'd reschedule, but I was also somewhat tired of being on the road.

That didn't stop me from cutting down US93 from Twin Falls, ID to Wells, NV so that I could see the Bonneville Salt Flats..... again.

It's salt. Some sodium and some potassium with some chloride. Stretching out as far as the eye can see. Nothing special, right?
If it's nothing special, why does it call to me so strongly? What is it about the bleak beauty of the landscape that drags me back again and again?

It's like the opposite of my obsession with railroad photos. The railroad is a pathway stretching out into the distance, but very distinct, unwavering.

The salt represents choice. It's still an endless pathway into the future, but the choices of how to get there are infinite.

At least this time, there were morons to distract me from my thoughts. An SUV and a Chrysler 300 showed up about 15 minutes after I did, and of the vast expanse of the flats, they stop next to me.

Really? Endless acres of salt, and you need to ruin my photos with your dumbass presence? And then the driver of the 300 takes it further by deciding to take a child out for a top speed run. That's all well and good, execept that a) you had to dodge cones marking the soft, wet salt heading out here from the road and 2) even the best of the land speed racers has had an accident on the salt. Do you really want to risk your personal car?
Cones marked where the salt was soft and wet just off the pavement at the end of Salt Flats Road
I moved the WRX to a different area to get away from the shenanigans, and took a few more pictures, then left to get some lunch at the Cafe.

Poster of Burt Monro at the Cafe
I left around 6, then planned to stay somewhere north and west of Park City for the night. I called Choice to make the reservation, but the woman I was speaking to wasn't very helpful beyond, "We don't have a property in Park City." So, I opted to pull over at the eastbound Salt Lake rest area not too far from the Flats exit in order to consult a map. I ended up with a reservation in Evanston, WY, then walked back to my car.

It wouldn't start. It cranked, but no fire. Crap.

No creepy feelings of doom crawled up my back, so I wasn't too worried, yet. I called Billy Brooks, but got his voice mail. So, I sucked it up and called Greg. He answered on the fourth ring.

"Hey, what's up?"

"Hi, Greg. You know I wouldn't be calling unless I had a serious problem."

"What's going on?"

"The car will turn over, but won't start." I turn the key again, and the car starts. "Okay, nevermind. I guess it just wanted to hear the sound of your voice."

I'm mortified. Seriously, car? I get out and shut the hood, and say thanks to Greg for answering the phone, then get back on the road. I stop in Park City for gas, then again in Evanston for the hotel, but no other issues come up.

The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful, besides the fact that the WRX randomly wouldn't start once again on Tuesday (at the hotel, after I checked in) and on Wednesday (after I stopped for gas at the rest area before Breezewood). I pushed myself to get home on Wednesday night, partly because I had scheduled the 120K service at IAG Performance for Thursday morning, and partly because I was just sick of being on the road at that point.
At the Continental Divide in Wyoming
These keep the cattle, horses and other hooved mammals from moseying up an entrance or exit ramp onto the highway
It may be the Continental Divide, but that doesn't mean it's civilized

I80 through Wyoming and Nebraska is called the Lincoln Highway
A full rainbow across I 80 in Cozad, NE welcomed me back to reality

So, nine days after departure, I finally arrived home at almost 2AM. The car was acting funny most of the way, so I was happy I'd scheduled service for it prior to leaving. I probably went to sleep around 3AM, and headed out to IAG around 9:30AM on Thursday. After changing the oil and running a borescope through, JJ comes into the showroom and gestures that I should follow him back to the shop. This can't be good.
I have my own video borescope to look at internals!
The turbo is dead, but doesn't know it yet. I'm just lucky that pieces haven't ended up in the motor. JJ lets me baby it home, but it needs to come back in for surgery, ASAP.

And so, like last year, the trip ends on a down note, despite all the awesome. But even that downer has a bit of sunlight glistening, as the turbo didn't self-destruct, and I don't need a new engine. And TD04s are a dime a dozen.

Hey, Newman.... I got this!!! :)

“We know how it ends practically before it starts. That's why stories appeal to us. They give us the clarity and simplicity our real lives lack.” 
-- Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

"Wild Angel
Untamed and beautiful in the sky,
You walk by without even looking my way."
 --Heather Swearingin, Wild angel 

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