The Tri Five Nationals - no bikes
Monday, August 10th - Drove the Chevy to the Levee and
the levee was wet. Just a three hundred mile test run to Albany,
Georgia, straight up US 19. Being unsure of fuel consumption, I stopped
in Chiefland and filled up so I could get a hint of fuel consumption
and to calibrate the gas gauge. That fill up got me the rest of the way
to Albany, so I guess the beast must be getting about 15mpg or more.
Fortunately, the hotel has a restaurant, so once we parked, the cars
stayed put for the day.
Tuesday, August 11th - Another 300 miles
to Huntsville, Alabama. Caught in rain three times, totaling about a
tenth of an inch maybe? This was the second day I managed to check my
gauges every mile of the way. Not paranoid, cautious. Although today was
the same distance as yesterday, it took a lot longer because of all the
city traffic we encountered and the 517 red lights. Lucky for us, we
passed a bad accident in Oxford, Alabama before the police and ambulance
arrived - we were able to get by before the first responders completely
blocked the roads. When we got into Huntsville, the stop and go (more
stop than go) got the Chevy hot enough that I had to turn off the A/C.
Who knew that there's a Wintzel's Oyster House in Huntsville? And right
next to the Hampton!
Wednesday, August 12th - A short day's drive
to Nashville. We got it before noon, so we grabbed something from a
brew pub across the street from our hotel, then hopped on the Gray Line
tour bus for three point five hours of every important sight and site in
Nashville, including the Ryman, and the Country Hall of Fame. Back to
the hotel in time for a quick dinner across the street and into a taxi
for a thrill ride through Nashville rush hour traffic to the Grand Ole
Opry. Because Charlie Daniels was holding his Volunteer Jam in town
tonight, no superstars were at the Opry. What we saw were mostly
contemporary recording artists, with Bill Anderson and Crystal Gayle
thrown in for us old timers.
Thursday, August 13th - an easy
day's ride to Bowling Green. We managed to get to the Corvette Museum
for a while, including lunch. Then we were off to the Corvette factory
for the tour. It was a full day.
Friday, August 14th - Our first
day at the Tri Five Nationals. The place was crowded with old cars, all
mid-fifties Chevrolets. Plus a lot of vendors. One tent held a
collection of NOS parts that a dude amassed over several decades. There I
found a NOS grille for my car, for just a little under the price of a
reproduction grille. I also bought a couple pieces for next year's
scheduled repairs. We spent most of the afternoon watching the drag
races. (no, the kind with cars, not men in dresses). After several days
of substandard dinners, we opted for the Outback and a steak. Dessert
was a trip through Cabella's.
Saturday, August 15th - Back to the
Tri Fives. A few new vendors found, a few more bucks spent. We opted to
buy the fancy photo that they shot on our way in on Friday. We went for
the mandatory t shirt, as well as another shiny part. Then more drag
racing. Imagine risking that much time and money for 8 to 18 seconds of
abuse and adrenalin. After the drags, we went to a nearby train depot
and rail museum. Our tour guide took us through a half dozen cars in
such detail that the museum was about to close when we were in the last
car. Tonight is Mexican dinner and rearranging stuff in the car, for
tomorrow we head to Lexington. Need to get the luggage and tools
arranged so all the new stuff fits, too. Not gonna be easy.
August 16 - No ride today. Instead, we drove the back roads of Kentucky
in the shoeboxes. From Bowling Green to Lexington in under 4 hours,
plus breakfast stop and one comfort stop for Roofus. We met William,
Lisa and Noah at the Man O' War dealership, but no bikes were purchased.
Both cars performed well today, no glitches. It was mostly open road
through tobacco, corn and crops. Over the river and through the woods.
Couldn't find Grandma. After we left MOW, we checked into our hotel - a
really nice place. That is, except for the elevator. It "tore up" right
after we got our luggage to the third floor. Service has been called.
Dinner tonight will be at a local place, Windy Corners. It's out of
town, in horse country. Good food and interesting scenery. There's also a
Graeter's close by, so a light dinner might be necessary. Oh, for
those who ordered Chapter T Shirts, I got them today. You get them when
you get them.
Monday, August 17th - A scenic ride from Lexington
to Franklin NC. Well, afet an hour or so on I-75 it was scenic. We got
off the big road at London, KY and headed south on US-25. We passed
through the Cumberland Gap, over lots of water features, across the
Great Smokey Mountains, through Gatlinburg and Cherokee down to
Franklin. A couple friends (remember the picnic lunch on our Maggie
Valley trip earlier this year?) met us at Willy's BBQ for dinner.
Fortunately, the rain came after we got to the hotel and ended before
dinner was over.
Tuesday, August 18th - Franklin to Tifton, GA.
Lots of back roads and a couple route changes. Ann got creative a few
times (Ann Oying, my GPS) so we saw some places we have never seen
before and made a few changes that were not in her plans for us.
Somewhere north of Tifton, WHN and I smelled the acrid odor of an
electrical fire. We pulled over and disconnected the electric radiator
fan. The smell went away, but now we had to avoid stopping. We made
Tifton without problem after the modification. Dinner was just a short
walk away, so the car had lots of cooling off time.
August 19th - First task of the day was removing the fan completely.
Without a fan, the backroads were out of the question. So, I-75 was the
required route home. Keeping up speed over 30 makes a fan unnecessary,
so Interstate speeds even let me run the A/C almost all the way home.
Ten days on the road, almost 2000 miles in a car that wasn't quite road
ready and a couple friends made for a good trip. I think WHN wants to do
it again next year.