Cross Country Rally Green
Check it out on YouTube: Bill 30 jul - YouTube
The 2010 Rally Green is over, and all the cars are home licking their wounds and preparing for next time. If there is enough interest we will consider running the event again. The public reaction to prototype cars if fabulous, and the route below offers a terrific set of real world driving conditions in a beautiful setting.
Last summer there was an event called The One Gallon Challenge here in New England. It was a 100 mile rally from Greenfield Mass to Boston to see if anyone could complete it by burning less than one gallon. Dirigo was there, as well as four other interesting vehicles. The general public was so receptive to the cars that a few of us toyed with the idea ¬†of organizing a cross country version. What better way to get across the message of sustainable fuel use and alternative transportation options.
The other motivating factor is that some of the Rally Green entrants were at one point contenders for the Automotive X Prize, a competition to design and build a practical, manufacturable 100mpg car. One of the original components to the X Prize was a multi city stage race to demonstrate these practical high mileage cars engaging in everyday activities.The public exposure for both the cars and the idea of sustainable fuel use would have been immense. Unfortunately they eliminated that component of the competition, hence, Rally Green.
The plan is to have ¬†public conversations at each stop on the way, while also competing for daily mileage honors . I've tried to keep the runs around 350 miles a day so there will be time at the end of each day ¬†to maximize our public exposure/educational outreach, and re-charge for the next day. ¬†Most routes are on on US highways and secondary roads as much as possible, but there are some Interstate runs, too. These will avoid the stop and go of the four lane drags through mall-villes with their traffic lights and depressing ambiance.
1 Day One begins on rt 14 in Knoxville, south to Chariton IA. Pick up US 34 west. Consider stopping just past Oceola. There is a small lake less than one mile north on I 35. ¬†In Creston there appears to be an interesting restaurant called Casa de Oro. Press on for ¬†Lincoln Nebraska, ¬†210 miles total, a nice distance for the first day. We meet at the beautifully restored Burlington Central railway station in the Haymarket section of down town. Take US 34 right into the middle of town, turn right on tenth st. Go two blocks and turn left. You'll see the train station.
2 Day Two US 77 south into Kansas. In Marysville there are a number of cafes on Broadway, one block south of the main drag. The next town, curiously named Blue Rapids has a wonderful circular town square with an assortment of eateries. Turn left on Main St. ¬†On US24 in the town of Glen Elder there is Waconda Lake with a number of access points for those of us ready for a mid day swim. Stay on US 24 west to Colby, known as the Oasis on the Plains. ¬†A town of five thousand with five public parks. Our venue will be in Fike Park, right down town. ¬†Turn right on Franklin, the park is two blocks down on the right. 350m.
3 Day Three has it all: a long flat run across western Kansas and eastern Colorado, but ends in Aspen after climbing ¬†three passes over ten thousand feet. US 24/I70 to Limon, where US24 takes off on its own to Colorado Springs Check out South Side Food and Drink on the right going through Limon. On through Colorado Springs. We can see the mountains by now, and start climbing at Manitou Springs, a charming town with creeks and springs running all over town. Lots of possibilities for lunch as well as a dip. (it's August, don't forget) We drive along the base of Pike's Peak. Some will be tempted to climb; maybe we all should. But, we'll be doing plenty of climbing. The first big pass is Weston, at 11,900', just beyond Buena Vista. This town might be the last stop for supplies before turning on to ¬†rt 82. which takes us up ¬†over Independence Pass, 12,093' and down into Aspen. A real mileage buster, but well worth the scenery. The town of Aspen has us at the entrance to one of their charming pedestrian malls at the corner of Cooper and Galena. Rt 82 takes a sharp right, but we park. 340m.
4 Day Four is down the valley to Glenwood Springs (a stop for a dip in the hot springs is ok) and onto I-70 west. This will be an easy cruise down the backside if the continental divide, especially considering the hard climbing of the day before. Taking US 6 out of Grand Junction may be a pleasant ride after the few hours on the interstate. Just before Grand Junction in the town of Palasade there is a nice looking cafe called the Red Rose at 3rd and Main St. Another possible eat stop is in Green River, called Tamarisk Restaurant. An easy loop goes through town and back on to I70. Just past Joseph UT there is a nice loop into the hills on a road that starts out as Sevier Hwy, becomes Rt 70 then Clear Canyon Rd before joining back to I70. In Salina we get on US50. Check out Mom's Cafe at 10 E. Main St. US 50 takes us to Scipio where Scipio Lake might be the place for a cool dip before getting on I15 S for one exit to US 50 again. We're almost to to Delta, Utah, our stop for the night. Downtown Park, on the right in the center of town, is another lovely ¬†park well shaded from the August sun. 370m.
5 Day Five is on what is known as the loneliest road in America, ¬†but with some of the most amazing scenery. US 50 out of Delta is rather pristine all the way to the Nevada border, about 90 miles. There is the archetypical last gas stateline place there which I know we won't want to miss! We have two 7000' plus passes to cross before coming to Ely, but just before is a place called Major's featuring Lake Comins. Might be time for a dip. On the far side of Ely is the Silver Street Restaurant. If we're not ready to stop there, hang on for Austin and the International Cafe and Bar. I think the name is as in the international worker's song, and they serve Serbian and Balkan specialties. Just past Fallon hang a left to stay on US50. ¬†The Lahontan State Park could be perfect spot to jump in the lake for a freshening up before rolling in to ¬†Carson City, Nevada. ¬†Our host here is ¬†Comma Coffee, directly across from the state capital and Supreme Court building. Just stay on 50 all the way in. 450m.
6 Day Six, around the north side of Lake Tahoe on rt 28 to rt 267 to I-80 in Truckee. Take I-80 pst Sacramento to I-505 north to Winters. Rt. 128 to Napa. Turn right at Oakville Grocery Co. onto Trinity Rd. There are two wineries on this small mountain road which could be good lunch stops. Over the ridge to Glen Ellen and rt 12 s to Sonoma. Rt 116 to Petaluma, then over the Coastal Range to Pt. Reyes where you pick up the spectacular US 1 south. We'll pass through Stinson Beach where there might be time for a dip in the ocean, then up over Mt. Tamalpias to Mill Valley. 250m.
CLICK HERE for complete set of interactive maps for the rally.
CLICK HERE for an image gallery of the rally entries.