If You Are Anywhere Along This Route, Come Out

Thomas Knivila and John Mendler make their way to Sudbury in their 1964 Volvo 544. (Photo courtesy of The Great Race)

Navigating over one lane bridge on the way to Greater Sudbury (photo courtesy Great Race)

Reflecting back on day 3 of the Great Race 2012, we are both exhausted and exhilarated. Exhausted from getting up at 4 am, packing for the next stop, figuring out the day’s route, calculating the speeds needed to make good times, driving over gravel roads, navigating carefully over one lane bridges and trying to avoid hitting bear, moose, snakes and turtles as we travel through Northern Ontario. Today on the road from Parry Sound to Barrie, we had black bears crossing the road. Right in front of us. Signs that say “Break for Snakes,” are around every bend. Signs that say “Moose Crossing.” We are 50 miles from nowhere, and we are in wildlife territory. But despite being far from civilization as we know it back in Detroit and Berlin, whenever we drive by a house or a church or a business, there are people sitting in lawn chairs, gathered in groups, waving and cheering on the drivers as we pass. The excitement about the Great Race passing through is truly something. At stops we are even asked to give autographs and sign programs. On Sunday night in Greater Sudbury, the rain stopped and we were able to enjoy live music performed by “The Blues Brothers”, it was a lot of fun. There was also a woman’s roller derby team there, with skates on, cruising around and checking out all the vintage cars. Remember a while back we wrote about roller derby as a niche market for heat printers? Well, here was living proof. Each gal had a custom printed T-shirt with a number and nickname. I checked and yes they were Stahls’ Thermo-FILM. Our numbers and letters do get around. Speaking of lettering, with all the thousands of folks who come out to see the rally, with all the enthusiasts from car clubs and book clubs and just about any kind of club, they all have one thing in common–t-shirts. Everywhere we look we see opportunities for custom printing. If you are anywhere along this route, even if you think you aren’t really interested in vintage cars, you will get a kick out of seeing some of the fantastic vehicles participating in this year’s race. To see more photos of all the cars, you can click on the photos in the TripTracker link in the upper right hand corner or the blog or go to the Facebook page of the Great Race. It’s not all fun and games, it’s a lot of hard work but it truly is an adventure we will never forget. If you are in Barry’s Bay, join the Great Race for an awesome lunch stop in Barry’s Bay, Ontario on Tuesday, June 26th at 11:30am!

It’s no wonder people enjoy coming to see the Great Race, with unique and unusual cars like this on the road.

Entering Sudbury on June 24th, this pick up truck shows his patriotism and was warmly received.

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