I’d been looking forward to bush camping. The quiet, the nothingness. I thought things might become more peaceful.
This post will be a short summary – I’m in Darwin now, catching up on backlogged posts, and I don’t really want to talk about testing. I like to tell myself that nothing ever happens the same way twice, sometimes for consolation, and this cycle sure isn’t like last cycle, that’s for sure. I digress.
For the first day of the mock race, the team hit the road and did speed runs between Cadney Homestead and Coober Pedy all day. The day came and went and we bush camped at a rest stop south of the dingo fence and practiced array normalization. We also saw some cows on the horizon.
That evening was Maggie’s birthday, and she and I remembered the Amazing Rainbow Lotus Musical Candle that Maggie had purchased from The Fry’s for our birthdays. We had forgotten to light it on my birthday, and that evening, we again forgot to light it on hers. I later said that we could light it at Devils Marbles. Plot spoiler: that didn’t happen either.
The next day, we started our for realz mock race, now featuring the strategy model, and convoy drove up towards the border between South Australia and Northern Territory, where our permit to test drive would end. We didn’t quite make it there, as the strategy model needed some TLC, so the team stopped in Marla to work on that.
While we were in Marla, we had snacks and saw Michigan’s Novum have a control stop.
As interesting as it was to see Novum the Monohull, my attention was directed elsewhere when we lifted Sundae’s topshell and discovered our wheel shrouds were all having issues. The mech team was disappointed, but as it was the mock race, it was time to say goodbye to the wheel shrouds for this cycle.
It started raining later, and we waterproofed our electronics with trash bags.
Once the strategy model was in a better place, the team set off again, this time in a bit of a drizzle. Due to rain, we cut our day short and stopped at another random rest stop for the night. Sharky bush camped too. The rain was kind of peaceful from inside the tent, and at least the rain scared all the flies away. I wrote my previous two posts that night.
During the final day of the mock race, the team passed Novum doing their own mock race. We drove down to Coober Pedy again for a control stop, then had a long shift all the way up to the border, where our mock race and our testing would end. I had to pee pretty badly the whole time, but everyone successfully made it to the border with no incidents. When we arrived, Michigan was there too.
The team packed up Sundae and drove the final 20 km stretch to Kulgera, where we’d be stationed for the night. Hayden and I got another cabin there and I took a shower.
That was the end of testing. It was a pretty big milestone, and Sundae had proven to be a solid car, but I was just happy there hadn’t been any incidents and everyone was here safe.
The next day, the team would start a 2.5 day drive to Darwin to begin preparations for the race.