Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kinetic Grand Championship Race

Saturday: (05/29) We woke up to find that there was no water. It turns out the entire fairgrounds lost their water due to three large breaks in the water main. It created no problem though because our water tank was full. Lou fixed French toast for breakfast using some of the Somoa Cookhouse bread we bought when we had lunch there yesterday. After breakfast we headed off to downtown Arcata where the Kinetic Grand Championship race was to start. We arrived a little before 10am when things were to get started with the safety checks, pageantry, and bribing of the officials. Then at the noon whistle, there is a Lemans style start of the race and the racing sculptures are off toward the beach along the Somoa peninsula.

After the start, Lou and Dawn looked around a newly found thrift store I accidentally parked in front of. Then we returned to Eureka to pickup some mosquito repellent from the RV and had lunch at KFC before heading out to the Somoa peninsula to the beach across from the cookhouse where the racers would exit from the beach having to get up and down several sand dunes including Deadman's Drop. We spent the rest of the afternoon watch the efforts. Lots of difficulties had to be overcome by most before they made it out. After the last racer went down the Deadman;s Drop we walked back to the car and drove to downtown Eureka where the racers would spend the night and walked around looking at the racers and talking to the people fixing them up.

We returned home for dinner of chicken, rice and green salad.

(05/30) We had cereal with bananas, dried cranberries and yogurt for breakfast then were off to the waterfront to see the flotilla of kinetic racers pass by. They started at 10:04 but didn't arrive where we were at "F" Street until after 10:30. It toow more than two hours for most of them to pass by. It is amazing that any of them float. Engineering doesn't seem to be a primary concern of the builders. But, many of them are vetrans of previous years races and they haven't lost a crew member yet.

We went by the China Buffet again for lunch. Seems be be my favorite and lou is racking up points for her next pick of a restaurant. We looked around Old Town for a while then returned home to relax. Watching nd looking is hard work!

Monday: (05/31) The sixth anniversary of the my first day of retirement. Before I retired, I was a workaholic and worried I might have a problem transitioning into retirement. It was no problem at all. Now I'm a "retiraholic." I've hardly ever thought about work at all since that first day.

I fixed Don McMuffins for breakfast. We were off nice and early toward Ferndale, until I read the event information sheet and was reminded that nothing will be happening until 2pm when the sculptures cross the Ell River slough and start heading toward Ferndale on their final leg of the 42 mile trip. So, we headed on the Fortuna to look around then stopped by the Bear River Casino in Loleta for the quick loss of a dollar then headed on out to Ferndale. We decided to just wait in Ferndale rather than walk out to where they cross the slough since it was threatening rain. We had a slice of pizza for lunch at the local parlor while we waited and also looked around the shops. The first racer, Woody, finally arrived about 3:10. After another hour and a half only one third of the racers had crossed the finish line. They have until 6pm to arrive but even arriving later only giveds them a chance at another award for the latest arrival after the official end of the race. As we were walking around looking at the sculptures that had arrived it started to rain and we left just before 6pm.

The founder of the race is quoted as saying the race will go on even in the event of sun and that kind of says what the weather is usually like for the event.

Lou fixed salmon with Spanish rice and a salad of all the leftover vegetables from the fridge. (peppers, avocado, tomatoes. and a little lettuce.)

Tuesday: (06/01) Lou fixed corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. after breakfast we took a final walk around the fairgrounds. The weather was pretty nice even a touch of sun today. we enjoyed a final visit with the cats, horses and pigs that live here on the grounds.

This brings an end to our stay here in Eureka and our 5.5 months on the road. We prepared to roll then Lou and Dawn were off for a final visit to some shops then i met them at Winco market. We don't have one near our home but really like the stores so stoked up on some things that are way cheaper there. We got some pizza slices from Winco for lunch before we hooked up the toad and headed South a little ways to the Loleta cheese factory for some cheese then finally on the road.

The weather continued to be nice. We stopped in Willits for dinner at a Mexican restaurant and a look in a book store. We then continued down to Ukiah intending to stop at Walmart's for the night as we have done many times before but they now have "no overnight camping" signs posted everywhere so we continued on.

We saw signs for the River Rock Casino and thought that might be an alternative. Nope!. Definitely not RV friendly. The road out toward the casino is nice, narrow and windy but typical of the roads in that area. However, the Casino is on the side of a hill and the last half mile up to the casino is straight up, windy and then there is no RV parking, nor a place to turn around. We wound up at the top of a multistory parking building with three options: turn on a steep road that said it went up to a cemetery, continue straight against a "do Not Enter sign to who knows where of make an extremely tight turn between two concrete walk with ony about 9 feet clearance. Fortunately there was no boom to prevent our entrance and was enough room on the small parking area to turn around. I did have to exit the entrance to be able to make the turn back down the road. I figured if I made it trough one direction, it should work in reverse and it did. We slid on down the hill and returned to the highway heading for home. Needless to say, we wont be returning. A sign might have helped, better yet a parking area.

We ran into heavy fog crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and some rain through San Francisco and South a ways but it was clear at home. We arrived home about 2330. Nice trip!.

Photos of the race:

Kinetic Grand Championship Poster Kinetic Race Map
Kinetic Grand Championship Race poster above left. A map of the race route from Arcata to Ferndale above right, 42 miles over three days.

Kinetic Racer, In Arcata Before Race Started Kinetic Racer, In Arcata Before Race Started
All the racers have to go through a safety check, and bribe as many officials as possible before the race starts.

Kinetic Racer, In Arcata Before Race Started Kinetic Racer, In Arcata Before Race Started
They test their brakes and may do a song and dance presentation as well.

Kinetic Racer, In Arcata Before Race Started Kinetic Racer, Fire Truck, In Arcata Before Race Started
It's a good opportunity to get a close look at the sculptures while they're still in one piece.

Kinetic Racer, Kinetic Racer,
The racer on the left (Still In The Race) bribed with moonshine. Do they look fast?

Kinetic Racer, Porpoises, In Arcata Before Race Started Train, In Arcata Before Race Started
Some have great detail and still work.

Kinetic Racer, Eccentric Wheeled Racer, In Arcata Before Race Started Kinetic Racer,
The eccentric wheeled racer is more like a scooter. It moves forward by shifting weight or by walking ton the wheel. The "Nudes" sculpture was peddled by a ten member crew.

Kinetic Racer, Kinetic Racer, Slug, In Arcata Before Race Started
Lots of color.

Kinetic Racer, Taco Truck, In Arcata Before Race Started Kinetic Racer, Owl, In Arcata Before Race Started

Kinetic Racer, Picnic Basket, In Arcata Before Race Started Kinetic Racer, Lobster, In Arcata Before Race Started
Some were a bit impractical.

Kinetic Racer, Flying Carpet, In Arcata Before Race Started Kinetic Racer,
The flying carpet never left the ground, the only form of travel they don't do.

Kinetic Racer, In Arcata Before Race Started
Seems like they didn't have a chance to decorate?

Devil's Drop Devil's Racer At Devil's Drop
Our next viewing opportunity was out on the Somoa peninsula at the beach. The location is known as Devil's Drop.

Devil's Racer At Devil's Drop Devil's Racer At Devil's Drop
The red devil racer goes down the slope safely.

Kinetic Racer At Beach Kinetic Racers At Beach
Racers had to climb up off the beach over this hill. The racers came several miles down the beach.

Kinetic Racer Giraffe At Beach Kinetic Racer At Beach Heading Toward Devil's Drop
They do look interesting as they race along.. The giraffe on the left on the beach and going down after climbing the first hill from the beach. Notice the entourage following the racer.

Kinetic Racer At Beach, Fire Truck Kinetic Racer At Beach, Nudes
Getting traction coming up the hill was difficult for most of the racers.

Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Boneheads
On day two, we watched the racers float along the Eureka waterfront.

Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Slug Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront
Some went along with apparent ease.

Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront Kinetic Racers Along Eureka Waterfront, Eccentric Wheeled and Porpoises
Some seemed made for the trip.
Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Taco Truck Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Red Slippered Giraffe
Some don't seem to belong on the water.

Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Red Devil Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Whirled Peas
The red devil appeared to be made of paper mache. Must be good waterproof paste. The pease even whirled on the water.

Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Nudes Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Black Tie Affair
Even the very big ones floated.

Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Barrel Roll Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Fire Truck
The barrel roller seemed made for the water. The fire truck became a fire boat.

Kinetic Racer Along Eureka Waterfront, Lobster
The lobster looks right a t home.

Kinetic Racer, Woody Crossing The Finish Line In Ferndale, Winner! Kinetic Racer, Devil Arrives At Finish Line In Ferndale
In Ferndale on the third day, the racer called "Woody" arrived first. That probably means they won some award. There are many awards for all sorts of different achievements.

Kinetic Racer Arrives In Ferndale Kinetic Racer, Eccentric Wheeled Racer At Finish In Ferndale
The big and th small made it.

Kinetic Racers In Ferndale
Toward the end of the day it started to rain. Evidently not too much a problem for racers that can travel on land, water and mud.