Several people have inquired about this further, so I thought I'd go
ahead and send more info to the group...
St. Valentine's Day Massacre
P.O. Box 53
La Canada, CA 91011
Since time is short, you may want to give them a call between noon and
3PM PST at (213)790-4937. Deadline for entering is Feb. 14.
For $24, they will send you the Rand McNally Road Atlas, and a 50-page
booklet with all of the rules, course instructions, questions, and
answer sheet. Here's a sample of what it's like:
1. Begin the 1982 St. Valentine's Day Massacre at the interchange
north of the Golden Gate Bridge (NC-19 on page 11), where you find
two cars from which to choose your first Massacre conveyance:
a 1960 Falcon and a 1930 L-29 cabriolet. Hmmm: Ford or Cord.
Ponder the selection for something under a second, then hop in and
head south on state highway.
Q1. How many "San Gregorio"s do you see?a) 0 b) 1 c) 2
2. Left on 152
Q2. How many of these do you see?Bell Bells a) 0 d)3 Bell's Station b) 1 e)4 "Bells Station" c) 2
3. South onto 33.
Q3. Do you see Devils Den? a) yes b) no
4. Left on 58
Q4. How many of these do you pass?Calloway Oak a) 0 b) 1 c) 2
5. South on 99
6. Southeast on Intersate 5
Q5. Which of these do you see first?
a) Los Angeles b) Burbank c) Gorman - - - - - - - -
By the time you start answering these questions, you will have read
through the 6 pages of rules which spell out VERY PRECISELY just what
it means to "see" something (be within 1/4 inch of it on the map),
the difference between going ONTO a highway and ON a highway, and
the difference between "Bell" and Bell. The course following rules
can be very tricky, telling you when to try to stay on a given road,
when you can turn, when you can switch maps, when to start and stop
consideration of a given question, etc.
Later in the course you will be given various puzzles (visit all 6
National Monuments in 4 Arizona counties by travelling only on U.S.
and state highways with no U-turns, for example.) At one point you
actually travel by balloon at 120,000 feet--this turns out to be about
1 inch above the paper for purposes of "see"! The instructions are
filled with various tricks and traps which will take you miles off
course if you're not careful. But they are also cleverly constructed
to eventually get you back on the right track again so that you don't
realize your mistakes. One of their favorite tricks is exemplified by
Question 5 above: you're tempted to say Gorman since it is north of
L.A., until you realize that you see Los Angeles COUNTY first!
They give you plenty of help on the first leg so that you get an idea
of what it's all about. You can stop after 4 legs and compete for the
Class C trophies, or else go onto legs 5-7 to try for a Class B
trophy as well as one for Class C. Legs 8 and 9 are for the Class A
trophies, and are the hardest of all.
I've entered a couple of similar contests put on by the same people
(The Great Maltese Circumglobal Trophy Dash) and even though they're
a little slow with scoring and sending results, I've found them to
be very fair and reasonable. As soon as the contest deadline passes,
they will send you an answer booklet with a complete explanation of
the entire course and reasons for each answer. You then have the right
to challenge their reasoning if you disagree with an answer. If they
agree with your challenge, they will eliminate that question from the
scoring. After the protest period ends, they do the final scoring,
sending out a complete list of scores for all participants as well
as trophies. The top 10% in each class all get something, which
gets progressively fancier for the higher percentiles and classes.
Depending on how careful you are, you can expect to spend anywhere
between 30 and 100 hours if you complete the whole course.
Personally I find the entry fee a little high, but considering the
free road atlas and the number of hours of tortu...er, entertainment,
I guess it's worth it!
If you have any other questions, let me know.
--Clive ------- -------