We arrived at the Omaha checkpoint at around 4:40 PM and left at 5:10 PM. Taking the alternate route, we drove until 5:45 PM before stopping to charge. Therefore, we will start tomorrow at 7:45 AM, planning on making it to the next Stage Stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in the late morning/early afternoon. Tonight we are getting hammered by some severe thunderstorms, but are managing to keep pretty dry in our shelter. Tomorrow we can expect some debris and residual flooding on the roads to keep our scout car busy.
After stopping to charge, one car of team members doubled back to the Omaha checkpoint, where we came upon Principia’s team. Principia arrived at around 5:40 PM, an hour later than us (they left Neosho in second, one minute after us). It was nice getting to catch up with Principia’s team members and advisors–they were, as always, very kind and welcoming (they even offered us rice krispie treats and cookies!).
Reports from Principia members confirm that Minnesota left Neosho a half hour late due to their turn signals. Additionally, three of the four MPPTs they were using had malfunctioned. Hopefully they will be able to get their MPPT situation resolved in Sioux Falls. According to Missouri S&T (who are camped 50 miles south of Omaha according to their blog at http://solar42.mst.edu/), they passed Minnesota and Calgary–Waterloo also had a strong day. Hopefully we can piece together a clearer picture of the entire field tomorrow once we get into Sioux Falls.
Overall, a fast, sunny day with many miles traveled! In fact, we almost beat race officials to Topeka. Our weather car arrived at the Topeka stop while officials were at lunch, but the officials did a good job setting up before the rest of the caravan could get there. We’ll try again to beat them next time