Day 18 – Idaho Falls to Elko

This morning, as was usual, Steve got to work on Betty’s bonnet, to lift it from the support end to allow heat from the motor to escape and to prevent fuel vaporisation. With the tools at hand he lifted to bonnet up about 1 cm so there was approx 190 sq cm more opening. He checked everything else, topped up oil etc and we were ready to go.

Boy what a drive we had today. Some 660kms of hot Tarmac road, much of it having to be done (500kms) in the morning, before lunch. We started out at 7.30 when the day was still cool to Carey to a time control, 178kms, then to Duck Valley another 314kms for a time control and lunch. We traversed into Nevada and the desert which stretched forever in front of us.

Welcome to Nevada!
Welcome to Nevada!

We did not have the top down due to having had too much sun the previous day so Steve unzipped the rear pvc screen allowing the air to pass through. Cool.
Boy it was hot. And for mile after mile the road just appeared in front of us. What a vast country.

The road ahead through Nevada
The road ahead through Nevada

Betty ran like a dream, just purring, eating up the miles.

Image Copyright Gerard Brown
Image Copyright Gerard Brown

In the afternoon we had a regularity test which was run on Tarmac.
This was the test to see if the extra air escape in the motor cavity would work.
It may have had an effect but in the heat of the day, the fuel began vaporising as we sat at the starting gate and the motor struggled to get forward motion. A very slow start and Betty struggled to get up to anywhere near the required average speed. She spluttered along and with the four time checks in this leg, we failed miserably.
It was no satisfaction to hear later that we were not the only car to experience such serious power loss. Many cars were effected.
Then another 109kms to go to the destination at Elko for the night. We got in on time and after a shower to cool down, a beer or two before dinner,   Bed.
This type of driving really has an effect as driving on straight boring roads does wear you out.
It is necessary to get these miles under our belt as the end of this rally in San Fransisco is now only days away. We have from tomorrow another 2000kms to go, so another 583kms to Reno and a rest day to give the cars some tlc and a look around.
We have also just moved up one place to 27 again. To get further up the ladder at this point in the rally is a little hopeless though.

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