“Any port in a storm.”
by Duncan & Dee
Like everybody else we got locked-down during the Covid-19 health emergency, our motorsports events calendar was wiped clean of events, and binge-watching reruns of “Hot In Cleveland” on some cable channel was a poor substitute for driving the back roads. Worse yet, our three school-age grandsons didn’t get to visit Grandma & Grandpaw’s farm for their annual spring Easter Egg Hunt around our woodsy acreage. What ever should we do?
Aha! We did save their candy and the big plastic eggs we would hide it in. When restrictions were relaxed in early June we invited the family for a cookout and dusted off our personal motorsports experiences and turned the event into an Easter Egg ROAD RALLY, only done on foot around our yard. Emphasis on rally, which even when scaled down to back yard size converted little kids’ play into a Big Boy Activity and generated curious interest from the motorheads of the future. We set up a genuine Rally Checkpoint sign in the driveway to welcome everyone. Each boy got a set of printed driving directions to follow a complex route around the yard and locate six obscure checkpoints. At each checkpoint they had to find a hidden egg, put it in their tote bag, and boogie on down the rally course. Each “rally car” was sent on a different route, so no conniving. This is sounding more like a real sports car rally every minute. The finish line was decorated with Valvoline Oil checkered flag banners. Course marshals and checkpoint workers (the adults) were stationed at strategic intersections to direct traffic. Boys will be boys, and the Brothers Three picked up on the concept quickly and tore through the course despite it being declared Not A Speed Event in the General Instructions.
Here’s a sample of typical route instructions. [With explanations added for readers without childlike curiosity.] Does this look like some Official Club Rally?
ROUTE INSTRUCTIONS (Car No. 1):
Straight out of garage.
CHECKPOINT: Did we get any mail? [Egg was hidden in culvert near mailbox]
Keep electric and gas meters on your left.
Left after detached garage on your left.
CHECKPOINT: Beware of spiders when looking for pick ax. [Egg was in a musty tool shed]
Go north out of checkpoint.
CHECKPOINT: Be careful on baby grass where sandbox used to be. [Egg was in bushes near newly seeded lawn.]
Go toward hydrangea plants with water bags, then…
CHECKPOINT: Keep on your lookout. [Egg was up in the lookout tower on backyard fort the boys built on earlier visits.
And on and on until they got them all. Nobody DNF’d. No protests were lodged. We didn’t have to wait for scores to be calculated. The expected post-rally food and beverages and “bench racing” awaited contestants and officials at the finish line. No Miatas were harmed in this production!