BULLRUN 2014: Branson, MO to Dallas, TX
The Bullrnners awoke inside the stunning Chateau on the Lake resort in Branson, Missouri to a breakfast buffet before heading outside to their cars.
Bobby from Team 007 had his car parked out front, under the watchful eye of the hotel valet and concierge, as he was concerned about his Aston Martin rally car getting pranked again. A few nights ago, he and driver, Dharmesh, found their doors duct-taped, license plate blacked-out and headlights covered in tape.
Concerned that something like this would happen again, he wanted the car protected. But to his surprise, his car was targeted once again. This time the license plate was painted blue, so that he would get pulled over for having an obstructed plate.
Team Texas decided to swap out their Ford Excursion for a smaller, more nimble Ford Escape, for the remainder of the rally. This year Team Texas is taking it easy, and treating it more like a sightseeing vacation. For them, six years of competing is enough, and it’s more about being with their dysfunctional Bullrun family and seeing the country along the way.
As launch time came upon us, the drivers raced to grab their route cards from Bullrun Boss, Andy Duncan, and were off! Mike and new co-driver, Michael, took off first in their frozen black BMW M5, with Team ‘The Ben’s’ and Team Car Chasers in the Pennzoil Shelby GT500 hot on their tail.
As the more competitive teams made their way out of the town, Team Mustang Girls fired up their 1965 Ford Mustang and hit the road. Not five minutes later, they pulled off the road to get some photos of the scenic lake. Though some Bullrunners enjoy the competition, for some it’s about the adventure.
Today, Courtney and Lisa were determined to find a water park to play around in. We knew it was going to get hot, and with no air conditioning, the windows were kept down the entire way.
The lunch checkpoint today was at Fisherman’s Wharf, Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, but Team Mustang Girls already knew there was no point in trying to make it to the checkpoint, so they opted to take a more scenic route.
When riding with Team Mustang Girls, one has to understand two things: 1) it’s going to be a very long drive and 2) they will stop at any roadside attraction they feel like. But that’s what makes it fun!
About an hour into our drive, we pulled off at an Amish gas station, which was probably the strangest gas station I have ever been to. Upon walking inside to use the bathroom, I got dirty looks from the workers inside, and not one uttered a word to me. Courtney and Lisa came out with the exact same story.
We then headed onward to Texas, where we had a sneaking suspicion that we would be heading there after the rest of the teams.
Believing that everyone was still behind us, we were shocked when the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG of James and Andrew blew right by! Finally another Bullrun team! But they were gone as quickly as they appeared.
Not soon after the menacing Chevrolet 2500 Duramax of Team Royale appeared in our rear-view, with all the flood lights set on high. A loud train horn sounded, making us aware of their presence.
As their 1500hp beast of a truck screamed by, we knew we wouldn’t be seeing any ore teams for the remainder of the day.
We stopped an hour or two down the road to check out an antique shop with some Bull sculptures out front, after all, this is Bullrun! After stretching our legs for a bit, we began our search for the waterpark that Lisa and Courtney wanted to find so badly!
It was getting hotter by the minute, our clothes were sticking to the seats – it was becoming dreadful. With the windows rolled down, we encountered some unwanted guests inside the car, two wasps and a bee, who all hit me right in the face as we collided.
First to arrive to the lunch checkpoint was Dharmesh and Bobby, Team 007, but some controversy occurred when Bobby couldn’t produce his route card. Ben Taylor of Team ‘The Ben’s’ gave Bobby a fake route card, taking them off-course, but Bobby and Dharmesh struck back hard and arrived to the ckeckpoint first.
As the Bullrunners enjoyed their meal at the scenic lakeside checkpoint in the National Park, they readied themselves to hit the road.
After we knew the route cards were handed out to the teams, we contacted the checkpoint crew to verify the final location of the day, the Le Meridien Stoneleigh Resort in Dallas, TX!
We were already close to Texas at that point, and we knew that we wouldn’t be able to place in the points for the day since we missed the lunch checkpoint, so we found a hotel and casino with a waterpark and went inside. Though the front desk staff were happy to let us in, the waterpark manager ultimately said no, since we were not guests of the hotel. So Courtney and Lisa did the next best thing and played around in the water fountain in front of the hotel for a few minutes before we left for Dallas.
When we arrived in Dallas, we learned that we were not in fact the last team, which was a big surprise. Julie and Ryan in the red Camaro SS Convertible came in behind us.
Top spot for the day was claimed by Team Big Easy Bandits, Second to arrive was Team ‘The Ben’s’ and third was Team007. Right now, these are the three teams in contention for the Navigator Award.
Tonight we’re heading off to the Bullrun pool party, and tomorrow we hit the road again, heading to who knows where! It’s been a wild ride so far! Day 6 should be a lot of fun too!