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Team Millenium/IRSA
Terry Zmrhal and Tracy McKay

pictures and commentary by Pamela Blalock


Well, it is Western Oregon, so rain should be expected. It drizzled on and off, and at one point, we had quite a heavy shower. We were to do leapfrog support for the first 80 or so miles. We did a fair amount of roadside cheering in this section. We also got our first penalty here, as Tracy flew right through a stop sign. Apparently a few others did the same, but we reminded our riders to stop constantly throughout the remainder of the race.

This was to be my view of America for a lot of the race!

Although for half of it, there would be this rider in front of us!

We left rainy western Oregon, as our riders climbed over Bake Oven Hill into dry eastern Oregon.

It was dryer, but still quite chilly.

The plan for day and night shifts was that the night crew would find a motel in the afternoon and get some sleep. The day crew would take over this motel at the shift change. The tough part was trying to figure out where we would be at the designated shift change time and to find a motel nearby. Muffy found a motel in Fossil and relayed this info back to us. Of course excitement and the fact that they hadn't been awake long meant the night crew only got cursory rest at this first stop.

Tracy was riding into Fossil, so we drove to the motel (which was a mile or so off route) for our crew switch, and sent Terry and his night crew back out to rendezvous with Tracy for the rider exchange. Michael was in charge of driving Da Bus initially, and drove Tracy's night crew out to do their crew shift at the rider exchange which was to happen near or at the time station.

At this point, we heard rumblings that Chris and Steve weren't getting along. As a group of strangers thrown together, there were likely to be crew conflicts. We'd all try to deal with and rearrange as necessary.

Eventually all the day crew and Michael were at the motel trying to sleep. Unfortunately the room only had a double and a twin bed, with 5 folks needing sleep. Michael and I took the floor with sleeping bags and pillows. It was on this first night that we discovered Michael has a mighty snore. Where did I pack my earplugs? I was still too wired to sleep, and had a restless few hours.

The other unfortunate thing was not coordinating on race time. Muffy said to rise at 3 AM to head up the road, which we took as 3AM race time (two hours ahead of local time), but she was still thinking local time. This left us a little short on sleep, and had us catching the riders well before shift change. Most of the crew got a bit more sleep in the van, but I was still wide awake.