Day 2 - Jamestown, NY to Wellsboro, PA
Team 99 Tied for 6th Place - 24 points behind the Leader
To put it in the words of a famous TV show, today was all about movin' on up! Not that it was all sunshine and lollipops, to quote Leslie Gore. In fact, we managed to actually snatch victory from the jaws of disaster and hopefully learn another crucial lesson on our way to the finish line.
Starting out in Jamestown a little late on a chilly morning, we were immediately stymied by every one of the missions and their obtuse clues. No amount of googling or requests for help from the minions following us on line gave us any sense of momentum in figuring out what we were supposed to do. In fact, all we had going for us was our ability to follow some of our competitors, blindly believing that a few had the same assignments and knew what was up. Frustrated, we started looking at the other missions and bonuses (M&B) for the day and got even more depressed. Nothing was clicking; then there was a series of breakthroughs and we were knocking off one after the other, leading us to several curious sites including the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame in Belfast, New York.
We picked up the pace so much that we wound up being the first team in for lunch and, thus, the first to depart, which gave us a bit of a cushion relative to the others. And that's when it got funky. Our team quickly identified a state park near our final stop of the day of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. This preserve is known for the "Grand Canyon" of Pennsylvania, a stunning gorge of impressive size. We had it all mapped out and even purchased the sheets required to serve as togas in the required photo with this big ditch in the background.
Oh, yea, I forgot to mention that little detail.....more about that later. That said, we rolled up to the park, found our entry road and proceeded to descend into the valley. Down and down we went, the road transforming from pavement to gravel and then dirt. We wanted to turn around but there was no place to do so. Time deadlines were evaporating rapidly and we were lost. Ya shoulda seen us. Rocks flying, dust swirling, and we weren't in no all-terrain vehicle, by a long shot. Finally, we come to a dead end, with a road crew building a bridge; we slide to a stop; they look up, see the Fisker out in the middle of nowhere, and one guy says:" This is interesting!". We laugh and Bernie immediately shocks them (not) by exclaiming that: "We're lost!"
Surprisingly, they are no help, except they gave us a map of the park and assisted us in turning the car around in virtually no space. We regroup around the map and realize that we aren't supposed to be down in the valley, but up on the mountain top on the other side.....and it's a good ways away. Time is now the ultimate enemy. If we don't finish this mission on schedule, we will lose so many points that we will never catch up, no matter how well we do the rest of the week. Driving as fast as we dare, we race to the overlook, where Bernie and Matt don their makeshift togas, sans all else, even socks.....they were so adorable.....and we are back!
The rest was a bit anti-climactic, although the fellows did a yeoman job of finishing five more missions in fifteen minutes once in Wellsboro. The day was won and as noted at the outset of this edition of our travelogue, we are now in sixth place. We resolved to do a better job of verifying directions in the future and felt lucky, but smarter. We'll see.
One more thing, at dinner tonight, we retraced our travels today and agreed that there was something else that needs saying. So many of us often take exciting jaunts to places like New York City, Boston, San Francisco, and so on. Seldom do we ever put together a trip exploring beautiful, smaller towns like those we've experienced to date on this escapade or the ones to come later in the week. The reality is that they all have so much to offer in terms of culture, the arts, shopping, regional dining, and some of the finest people that you would ever wanna meet. We can't wait to pass along more of these experiences as we head both North and "Down East".
P.S. Don't forget......be sure and ask to see the toga pictures!