DAY THREE BATON ROUGE TO HOUSTON
We are at the Batmobile early and the starting line is down by the bay, so we follow a line of fireballers to the starting line and line up. We take lots of photos and for the first time I feel like I may have a problem free day, as the weather is cooler than the day before.
GETTING STILL COVERAGE OF THE VIDEO COVERAGE!
After about an hour of milling about, we get our envelopes, and the race begins! One of the clues is “turn yourself around” so we ended up back at the starting line looking for a statue,
NOPE, WRONG ONE!
but we then get back into the Batmobile and on the freeway, to find the RIGHT clue, but it’s a ruse, then we find the right one and get our next envelope. We head off not listening to directions and get turned around in Baton Rouge, and are playing catch up the rest of the day! All my fault,as I got caught up in the other teams tearing away! Once back on track, we head for a local landmark, and after asking for directions from a few folks we find our way there, get our photo, pose for a few and head back.
Christopher puts in our next destination and chooses “shortest way” vs. “fastest” way, and we are driving the batmobile through rolling back hill roads, get stopped by a bridge with a boat going by, then a train! We are running out of gas at this point, so I see a one pump station and figure it might be our last chance for gas before getting to the freeway, so we pull in.
I ask for mid level gas, and hand her my card. I go to pump and nothing. I walk in and she says, the mid level doesn’t work. “Fine” I say, “give me the Premium.” I go out and no gas. Chris runs in and is told, that only works on the other side. While this was happening, someone pulled in on the other side. “FINE!” I go for the low grade, add some octane booster and buy a couple of drinks.
Meanwhile a nice guy in a truck has been asking me questions, and I ask him to lead us to the freeway and if he had heard of the restaurant we were supposed to be at for lunch. He said there were signs on the freeway, can’t miss it. So back on the road, only to see as we come around the corner that there is a twenty pump truck stop! grrr.
On to the freeway, find the lunch stop, get some water and sandwiches and pull out after the ford GT! Amazingly we were not in last place after all of that! Other teams had to get gas about half as many times, and could go faster and not worry about rain but we still beat almost half of the field!
So off we go with the new clue!
We were so hot we just wanted to get to the hotel, and I started doing math in my head that if the dinner was near Houston, we were all ready out of competition as it was too far away. But it wasn’t in Houston. Then we hit a bridge where a truck had jack knifed and was blocking the one big bridge, creating a standstill of traffic! The car starts heating up because it’s HOT everywhere, and I pull out of traffic into a small gas station. After refueling and getting a blue icee drink, a local said we could go around the bridge and go down to the next one! So off we go, recalculating and then of course, it starts to rain! I am driving through a neighborhood of homes, with no over hangs, nothing, and it started pouring. I then see a half finished house with no doors on the garage, and I pull in! Chris and I videotape a little, take some photos and wait out the rain.
Had we waited in line at the bridge, we would have been drenched, had the truck not jack-knifed, we would have been caught in slow traffic on the freeway, so it was actually a good thing!
Well, of course we are too far behind now, I decide! The rain stops and we head out again, over the next bridge and start making great time towards Huston. Well in the instructions for the game, it suggests that we have someone with internet access or bring a laptop computer with wifi, but our brains were so fried and we were both so sure we couldn’t make Houston, we just looked for signs that reference the next clue and drove as fast as the car would go. Right through Beaumont, home of the next stop and Dinner, in time to check in! Of course no signs, just listed on Google! So as the other fireballers were waiting for us in Beaumont, we got to about 15 miles outside of Houston, doing 80 MPH, just trying to get to the hotel and air conditioning, and the car SHUTS OFF! I coast as best I can over 6 lanes of highway with armstrong steering and brakes, to a place where there is a bit of a shoulder to park, and start going through what went wrong. I can’t find anything wrong with the car, so I call AAA. A nice lady stops with her kids and tells me that this was the WORST area to stop in, and right behind those front buildings is a very bad area! Great. Next some nice Cops stop,
and then the fireballers start showing up after I called in saying where we were. That’s when I found out they were waiting for us in Beaumont! So J gets some bags of fertilizer to help get the bat on the flatbed, the driver has about three teeth and was grinding my knife blade into his truck before we stopped him!
Get everything up on the truck and take a death defying ride into the Hotel, where we unload it behind the hotel next to Movie Mike’s RV.
All of “Team Sunburn” in the fireball Lincoln jump in and start checking everything.
THATS CHRISTOPHER PULLING THE BATMOBILE OFF THE TRUCK!
HE DOES HAVE HIS PERMIT, HOWS THAT FOR A FIRST CAR TO DRIVE!
Fuel, check, spark check, everything works! So we start it up and it works fine! We move it over to the hotel for the night, wondering what that was all about. Chris and I find the spa again, and a cool pool over looking downtown Houston, we had missed dinner at Beaumont so we had the best hamburgers ever in the bar of the hotel. I spend the night trying to figure out if I should put the bat on the rack and try to figure out what that shut off was all about, or just rest the next day while the teams who had roll bars and racing school experience tear around the track. Air conditioning, cool pools on the top of the hotel over looking Houston, and a cold bottle of water never felt so good! We were over a thousand miles closer to home, and happy to be getting out of the humidity! Believe it or not, the crazy towtruck ride was GOOD LUCK, for a couple of reasons, but that’s later. If I had just waited for the car to cool down, it would have started, but as AAA was my sponsor and I have a high end AAA membership, it was a very good thing I had it towed a few miles, even though it started up fine after a rest! But that’s all later…. Stay tuned, batfans!