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Global Skywatch

CRX unleashed


My mission of mercy was to ferry my granddaughter from her Darby Montana old folks prison to Arco Idaho where her dad met us to carry her on for a few weeks with the rest of her family. While I scored a zillion points with all of them for spending the time and automobile miles on her deliverance, I will admit here that the retired race car driver flogging the retired race car is no chore at all.

Don’t tell the family. They are bestowing “Hero points” on me for “giving up my day” and putting the miles on my car.

Not everybody is suited to ride with me, but the 17-year-old was in the right frame of mind, looking forward to spending time with her Dad and Brother and willing to go along for the ride whatever it took … the faster the better. So I drove like I was alone and she was fine with it… occasionally urging greater haste.

We lollygagged getting out the door in the morning. I was HAPPY to make up the “lost time” on the road. Rand McNally and Mapquest figure it to be a 4 hour 38 minute trip each way. Three hours ten minutes including a ten-minute potty break landed us in Arco right on time to meet her dad shortly after he got there (early).

The refuel at the half-way point took 5.897 gallons, cost $15.33, computing out to fuel economy of 36.75 miles per gallon while being driven through the mountains vigorously, to say the least (see sample video clip below).

Spectacular open roads.
The stay-at-home crowds were absent from Montana and Idaho highways. Most of the inattentive cruisers were home wringing their hands, or puttering in their gardens. I had very little work overtaking slow-movers on this trip… something that I normally have to work at regularly.

Including a half-hour gab session in Arco, a fuel fill-up and a couple of pee breaks, my round trip was 0945-1630 … 6 3/4 hours minus about 3/4 hour instead of the no-break elapsed time of 9+ hours according to The Standard… that I cut 1/3 off of… on snow tires. (My summer tires are of such a specialized high-performance compound that they have to be kept above 40-degrees Fahrenheit.)

The real deal, however, is that nobody gets to have as much fun driving on the open road as people like me do. Most are so dang bored they are not paying attention to the task at hand, thus being far more dangerous to themselves and others than those of us focused on driving Con Brio.

The tale would be incomplete without a HUGE THANK YOU to Valentine One for liberating me of the paranoia normally attached to exceeding arbitrary speed limits designed by bureaucrats for average drivers in sub-par vehicles.

I was able to focus on the art and science of driving without having to fret about unwanted conversations with political speed-limit ENFORCERS. Thank you Mike Valentine for alerting me to several patrolmen who would have been happy to rain on my parade had I not drilled my brakes before their meter readings posted naughty numbers.

The video clip below is not from this trip, but includes my favorite part of it … the Highway 93 Hillclimb portion. The video pre-dates a summer tire upgrade and new, clear, unpitted windshield, which significantly improved the speed and enjoyment of my uphill sprints.

The return trip up and over the Idaho/Montana border that day: