Sunday, November 18, 2007

Looking back thru the clouds

There is so much that anyone who has competed or taken place in the La Carrera Panamericana finds themselves wanting to share with others when they have returned and like all others I too have been wanting share so many amazing stories that happened on this adventure. Anyone who knows me will tell you I get excited about whatever race we run and while every one of them somehow stands out or seems special in it's own way I honestly believe in my heart this adventure will be hard to top.

Last night while attending the NASA awards ceremony in San Francisco Jon and I were greeted by many of our friends and peers with congratulations for our recent endeavor. What a great feeling it was to receive hugs and handshakes of respect and admiration from those we love and respect. There was something else I noticed and that was that everyone we spoke to with regards to the La Carrera or had spoken to others who took place found them sharing the same difficulties as us. The difficulties we share are realizing it truly is impossible to translate the true spirit of La Carrera. There is just too much to share. Too much to remember and so much excitement that even one of Hollywood's finest directors would have a difficult preparing a screen play that would make others feel what we do.

Back on September 28, 2006 I wrote "Everyone who has prepared for a major world class race knows the sleepless nights that accompany the dreams. What can I do to better prepare? What can I expect? What can I not expect? What I do know is to not expect luck. Luck is only a bonus for winners and winners never count on luck, they orchestrate it." Little did I realize back then that what I wouldn't expect was that it would ever be so exciting and rewarding.

After re-reading what I wrote in that post I am humbled that I can now look back with great satisfaction and say "We did it. We accomplished every single thing we sat out to accomplish. Not only was our plan a good one but due to the fact that everything we laid out was dealt with in a professional and passionate fashion we are able to know a great satisfaction. But there was something else I failed to expect. I have always thanked those who have helped in any shape of fashion with respect to those who helped our team regardless of how. It may have been our wives and children for their undying support or it could be a sponsor, a crew member, a teammate or whoever but what I didn't expect was so much support from even the fellow competitors and perspective crews. So many of us came away feeling like our families had just grown in leaps and bounds and the respect, friendship and even love are all very real. Yes, God has really smiled on so many of us and in fact it was Him that looked after each of us and kept us safe and happy and guided us thru many obstacles and then took each of us safely home again.

I remember so well just a couple days before leaving for Mexico when we gathered in front of the computer to check out the weather forecast for Mexico and it looked bad. The 10 day forecast was that of thunderstorms and lighting for the entire trip. And as we arrived in Puebla that forecast was looking as if it was going to be correct. I can't speak for anyone else but the thought of running Mil Cumbre or La Buffa let alone any other part of the race under those conditions wasn't what I had planned on some 15 months prior. Even though I grew up driving wet roads on the coast of Oregon as well as lots of racing expedience under those same conditions it was not what I hoped for. The Coyote Convoy became spread out as we all hit the five mile per hour stop and go traffic under what could be called horrific at best and this is where many of us gassed up and found time to get a bite to eat. (Thank you Anna for buying us a great lunch.)

As we finally made our way thru a terrible thunderstorm and South out of Puebla the black clouds and lightning began to stay behind us and only blue skies were to be found ahead. It was those same blue skies that were to be found on our horizon for the entirety of the adventure. How blessed was that?

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