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Monday, July 20, 2009

American Eagle Speedcar

So after the getting back from the Fourth of July, the next morning I headed out to the Black Rock Playa. The office asked for volunteers to go out and monitor a land speed car test runs, and I raised my hand. So back in 1997 the current record was set on the Playa at 760 MPH. The team I went to see was the North American Eagle. They had a pretty detailed article written up on them in the New York Times.

So most of Monday I was out there, I went exploring and GPSing roads for our inventory. I finally made it out to the Black Rock that the playa is named for. I also tooled around to the Double Hot springs and found the elusive Quinn River. I got one flat tire, but that is about average for out there.

At the Black Rock hot springs there is an old abandoned sheephearders wagon there. It was also one of the stops on the immigrant trail.

The Quinn River is a neat feature because it supports small plants on a soil that nothing should grow on. It used to be much more prominent stretching out in the playa, but has dried up over the years. It's more of a mud pit now.

I also finally got to the High and Dry's. They are a set of playas above the main playa that are much firmer.

That night was an amazing full moonrise and the morning was a great sunrise and moonset.

Tuesday I hung around the car camp most of the day and got to see it do one test run before I left. The track was about 4 miles long and all I could really see was the first 300 feet, so it didn't seem to be going that fast then. It was still pretty cool to see a jet engine power up on the back of a car.

I hope I can make it out next year to see the sound barrier be broken.

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