Welcome back to AutoGuide’s exploits at the Mazda Adventure Rally. With much of the even still shrouded in mystery, we check back in with Mike and Sami before a busy day of driving tomorrow.
Arriving at the hotel was a simple task. It was one of the only pieces of information Mike and I had prior to setting off. And we didn’t even need to know how to get there as Mazda took care of shuttling us from the airport to our accommodations.
The flight over to Denver was enjoyable, sharing stories and reminiscing with the other participating automotive press (aka, our competitors). Everyone tried to play it cool but there was no ignoring a the competitive tension in the air. No one (yet) has prematurely claimed the winnings.
TEAM EUNOS COSMO
The plane ride also gave Mike and I a chance to decide on a team name. And we shall from now on be known as Team Eunos Cosmo, in reference to the very awesome 300 hp twin-turbo rotary-powered luxury coupe of the same name.
Landing in Denver, we were quickly taken out of the city and into the gorgeous town of Boulder to stay at the serene St. Julien resort. The hotel itself houses a spa, and just like the rest of the residents, I had an opportunity to de-stress, although not in the form of a massage, or therapeutic candle.
No, it was when I met up with our friends at Mazda and received a few more details about our trip – the anxiety being scraped off my skin like an abrasive exfoliator. Tomorrow morning we depart Boulder and will end up in the ski-resort town of Telluride. From there, we depart Wednesday morning for Sundance, Utah.
Not all has been revealed though, as we still don’t know if the vehicles will be equipped with GPS navigation or not, but knowing at least the boarding locations for the next two days helps, and eases my worry that we’re camping somewhere (seriously, I don’t like camping). Somehow, after all our driving around tomorrow, we shall end up in Telluride. That’s a trip that would take about six hours of driving time and that’s without any obstacles or challenges we may meet along the way.
Fortunately, Mike is well versed in the world of navigational rallies, and his confidence is unshaken. Helping to organize an event called Rally North America in the past few years, Mike knows the theory of what it takes to win, but has never actually competed. Still, Mike reassures me, that all we have to do is drive.
Outside of our hotel sits the rally’s support vehicle: a brand new 2014 Mazda CX-9. The car has quickly adopted the Kodo design philosophy that’s making way into the Mazda range, and looks like a taller, more rugged Mazda6. It looks good, though instead of being happy to have a support vehicle, I’m realizing that needing one might not be such a good thing.
WAS I THE WRONG CHOICE?
Having a rough idea of where we’re going helps, but looking out the window reminds me that there are a few serious concerns about winning this rally. For starters, I’ve never set foot in Boulder, let along the fine state of Colorado. After mentioning this to Mike, he wonders aloud if maybe he should have brought along Colorado native, and AutoGuide.com News Editor Luke Vandezande, as his teammate on this event rather than yours truly.
The scenic mountain-scape is an awe-inspiring sight, and means more than usual. Stopping to enjoy the scenery will result in getting behind, something a rookie like myself can’t afford. Getting lost, or losing time requires us to drive quicker through unknown roads that could risk us getting lost even further, and losing more time. I don’t want to be caught up in that slippery slope.
Speaking of slopes, if you read our introductory post, you’ll see that impressive cliff-side road. Indeed, that’s one of the roads Mike and I will tackle in these next two days. With the mountain range setting its shadow on or hotel, it’s clear that this isn’t the only tough road we’ll take on. Follow our journey as we get more details tonight, and set off tomorrow morning. We appreciate the support, and feel free to tweet us back, if you think of anything that might aid us on our adventure.
GALLERY: Mazda Adventure Rally
Follow along as we take on this unplanned journey, blogging, Tweeting, Vining and Instagraming as we go. Will we emerge as the victors in this crazy stunt? We might even need your help so check out our twitter profiles at www.twitter.com/Sami_HA and www.twitter.com/mikeschlee, and don’t forget to follow AutoGuide.com’s main twitter account for more details and updates of our adventure.