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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.

Sunday, 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.

Wednesday, 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.