We’re down to the wire.
It is the final 12 hours before the close of the 2009 Iron Butt Rally. This year with a personal stake in watching Catfish’s rally unfold, it has been an emotional rollercoaster. The feelings of excitement and pride in a friend’s accomplishment stayed with me throughout, though.
Now that Catfish is 400 miles from stopping the IBR checkpoint rally clock for the last time in 2009, I find myself happy that his long journey is coming to a close and yet, strangely sad at the same time. There can be so much personal value in the undertakings of others. I think I will miss being excited for him. I will miss wondering how he is doing in those quiet spells when there is nothing more than the knowledge that he is in the middle of nowhere and just how exciting and terrible that can be.
He spent last night in Jasper, Canada after having a tough go of it. The route that he was following from Montana into Canada had roadwork going on. As a truck was approaching he turned off his HID lights so as to not blind the oncoming driver. While his eyes were adjusting and while traveling at highway speed the paved road turned to dirt. He said, ’I basically jumped my FJR into the dirt at 70mph. I screamed like a little girl in my helmet. Not the first time this week, either.’ Some participants didn’t make it through their trials so easy. Catfish is one of the lucky ones. ::knocks wood::
The Final Curtain Call
At last glance around 10:30pm EST, he was on the move around Vancouver, Canada. I’m hoping that crossing back in to the States doesn’t eat a lot of time. From there,according to Google Maps he’s looking at a 400 mile ride on the slab in to Spokane. Each and every person back here at home on Long Island is sending an assortment of good will, prayers, wishes and every other thing we can muster to try to carry him along safely in the final stretch.
It’s been a long ride for him and I know that he is concerned that maybe he hasn’t acquired enough points to be a ‘finisher’. Though we’ll find out tomorrow morning just what his status is, no matter what, to us he’s really number one. What an awesome task. We’re so proud. I hope he is too.
For the last time before the final check in…Go, Catfish, Go!
Checkpoint 3 – Rally Finish
Friday September 4
Spokane Washington, 7am-9am PST
Scoring opens at 4am
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Photos from Checkpoint 2 in Santa Ana: