#Hot Rod Power Tour 2017 Madison to Indy

The morning was much cooler than any other day of our road trip. Skies were overcast til 4 so the pictures were extra sharp.

Traveling the route 40 that old truckers used offered great sights. Look at the pictures and think about the engineering required to create these yard displays. We stopped and spoke with the grandad and grandson in Browntown, IL. The grandson said he was recycling some junk. He included waterfalls in each display.

We drove through Vandalia, IL and passed the old State House. I was too slow to get a complete picture. It was a huge,  beautiful white house sitting on a manicured lawn. I  did catch one fellow sitting on the corner watching the hot rods drive past.

With the time change to Eastern time,  we made it to Lucas Oil Raceway by 2 pm and met John Force and his daughter, Courtney. They were so interesting. We listened as they answered questions and told stories of growing up and racing. The fastest speed recently achieved is 338 mph.

John grew up very poor. He said he ate a lot of  bologna sandwiches. His first sport of choice was football but he wasn’t remarkable so he tried something else. He raced in Australia, he said he was the fastest American who ever raced there.

As a young child Courtney was always at the race track with her family. Her first memory was at age 7 when her father took her to the race track for the day. He was making it a special day for her because he missed another important day. Courtney was not allowed to drive or ride in any of her father’s cars while growing up. She first attended driving school when she got her CA drivers license at age 16. She credits her dad for teaching her everything about racing.

They graciously signed autographs for everyone in line. They are heading to the weekend race in Bristol,TN.

We watched drag racing because the weather was perfect. Trucks as well as Mustangs and Camaros raced the 1/4 mile. We saw a couple Corvettes run in the high 9’s. That’s moving down the track.  We have one stop left. I worried about the people racing their cars. If something blew up they would have to figure out a way to get home. I’m sure the racers weren’t thinking that far ahead. They just wanted to beat their opponent.


Tomorrow we meet in Bowling Green KY for the last leg of our journey. We will officially become LongHaulers! 7 cities in 7 days. Both You Tube and FaceBook have lots of cruise videos by amateurs. Type in “Hot Rod Power Tour 2017” to check them out.

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#Hot Rod Power Tour 2017 Champaign to Madison, IL Gateway Motorsports 

It was another beautiful day to cruise America’s heartland. 


The State Farm Center was a great venue dotted with trees for cooling off. The first task was to check in to get our card time stamped. Next we checked out the cars new today. 

Time for a break at the hotel and check out the others making long haul.


The next morning we headed to Madison IL, just across the river from St. Louis. We drove through small towns where people patiently waited for the cruisers to pass through. Gas stops were crazy, stations filled with classic cars. A few cars made stops along the roadside to check out a minor problem with their cars. We did because the car running with us had a low tire sensor illuminated. He had a portable gizmo to check pressure and inflate the low tire.

Arrived in Gateway at noon.


Here is the VIP lounge, where we took shelter from the rain.

But the rain blew over and racing started again.

I love this shot of the Arch with the sun making the buildings glisten.

Here is a view from the VIP lounge.


And another day bit the dust. Heading to Indy.

#Hot Rod Power Tour 2017

Rusty Wallace Speedway in Newton, Iowa was a popular spot with everyone. It was hot, dusty and crowded. But hot rod fans loved every minute. 


We had a 30 minute drive to our hotel for the night at Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona.

I found an interesting sculpture in the lobby.

Dinner at Jethro’s BBQ was the best!


We spent some time the next morning cleaning the bugs off our car. Mother’s polish made the task easier. 


Then it was time for breakfast at McDonalds with other car enthusiasts.


Then we hit the blue highways for our next destination, the fairgrounds in  Davenport, Iowa. 


The drive to the fairgrounds was lined  with hot rods. Here is a 55 Chevy, sometimes called a shoebox because of its shape & size. 


We checked in at the long haul booth on the fairgrounds, walked around looking at the displays and cars, visited the VIP lounge to cool off and grab a snack, then headed to our hotel. 

Davenport Iowa sits along the Mississippi River. Our hotel room had a great view. The parking lot just below our room was filled with colorful classic hot rods.

The picture below shows the scenic view of the Mississippi River. 

Some new friends suggested we could drive a few miles along the river road to Le Claire and see the home of Archelogy Antiques. We were ready for an adventure so we got back in the car to explore. Along the way we saw grand old homes built high on a bluff overlooking the river.


We found the store of pickers, Frank & Mike. It was much smaller than we expected, but interesting. Antiquefinds and touristy  mementos were for sale. 

While in Le Claire we drove by the museum for Buffalo Bill. It was closed so we ate dinner before heading to our hotel to rest for our drive to Champaign, IL. 

#Hot Rod Power Tour 2017

This is an amazing road trip. It began Friday evening in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. BBQ was on the dinner menu.

Saturday was the car show and time for talking with vendors and car people.


Cool cars everywhere.

Conversations with nice people from all over the country.


Then the fun really began on Sunday. We headed east & north through rolling hills toward Iowa.


People were waiting to wave to us and cheer us onward.


Our next stop was the Rusty Wallace Speedway in Newton Iowa for another huge car show.


Then we headed north to spend the night in Altoona Iowa. BBQ was what’s for dinner:


Tomorrow we head to Davenport Iowa. Expect more photos.

Travel Resolutions

A few years ago I resolved to travel more. I didn’t make a strict schedule, however by the end of that year,  I’d traveled quite some distance every month. During 2016 travel to the usual car shows and spur of the moment cruise travel occurred. I’m ready to again focus on travel. For 2017, I resolve to travel. I have a loose outline for several months. Some travel will center on attending car shows and swap meets for my husband, while other trips will be destinations without purpose other than relaxing and enjoyment.

More specifics to follow: retirement, method of travel, locations…

 

 

Belize

Another excursion on our cruise was in Belize. I was told that Belize was beautiful so I was excited to see for myself. We spent half a day on the Belize River. It was indeed beautiful. We saw: bats hovering near the river’s edge, Howler monkeys sleeping in flowering trees, an alligator in the water, a Jabari stork  and huge iguanas resting in the flowering tree branches. 

Our tour guides genuinely shared their knowledge of Honduras. The trees with orange flowers were called Flamboyant tree. I think it is their national tree.

They eat armadillo, green iguanas, and lots of fresh fruit. Our lunch at the planned stop alongside the river was delicious BBQ chicken, rice and something similar to a sweet potato, washed down with a Belikin beer.

Their language is a mixture of English creole. The guide suggested to us, “take off the ‘er’ and add ‘a’ to our words. For example, sister becomes Sista, driver becomes Driva. The ‘th’ sound becomes ‘d’ , for example this becomes dis.

Their culture culture mixes African and Mestizo cultures. Approximately 11% of their population is of Mayan descent.

In the afternoon we toured ruins of Altun Ha. The site was used for Mayan ceremonies and was one of the richest sites. A large emerald head was uncovered there. You can read more about that here: http://altunha.com

  At the top of the pyramid blood letting ceremonies were held. The steep steps were made of limestone mixed with shells.

In the hot, humid afternoon, after a break to pour my water over me so I would not pass out, I climbed to the top of Altun Ha! The tour guide kindly stayed with me until I had enough steady strength to climb down. When I made it down I bought a freshly cut coconut, the lady deftly used a machete to whack it open. I could feel my electrolytes stabilizing as I sipped. 
 

Visit to Roatan Honduras

In late April I took a Carribean cruise  with some family members. It was my first ocean cruise. We stopped at three ports, the first was Roatan, Honduras.


The island is beautiful. Small communities are scattered along the coast line. Individual, colorful homes built around the curvy, hilly roads.image

The food was delicious but I didn’t eat their delicacy, green iguana. While riding a tour bus along the winding roads I spotted a green iguana. The tour guide got excited when I told her I saw one, she loves to eat the green ones.

My family owns a hardware and lumber business so when I spotted a Sherwin Williams paint store along the highway I quickly snapped a picture. While driving through the countryside, I noticed the use of tin for most house roofs. image

I saw industrious people working to make a life. Some raised livestock or sold crafts.

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We were directed in traffic by a beautiful policewoman.

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We toured a training school that taught how to carve cameos from shells. The cameos were unique. I was too indecisive, ran out of time and didn’t purchase one.

The city was clean and surrounded by lush green plants. Back on the ship our evening meal paid homage to Honduran food.

 

Traveling in the 1950’s

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This set up reminded me of the movie made during the I Love Lucy television show.  In the 1954 movie Lucy  and Desi attempt to travel to the Sierra Nevada mountains in a 32 foot long trailer. I’ve included a link below to a clip from the movie. It is a great one to watch on a bad weather day.

This car is a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door wagon. I snapped the picture during the Tri-5 Chevy Car Show in Bowling Green KY. The car show displays classic cars made during a range of three years, 1955, 1856, & 1957. The popularity of the low priced Bel Air helped Chevrolet surpass Ford in unit sales in their first year of production.

Increasing popularity of the Tri-5’s today can be seen at this 2 day car show. It will be the second weekend of August at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green KY. While there you can visit the Corvette Museum and tour the Corvette Assembly Plant. I visited both sites in April. Touring the factory reminded me of my 5 years working in a factory, good memories mixed with an occasional  feeling of drudgery. This factory uses robots to transport boxes of parts around the factory floor. We had a conveyor belt. Anyway today’s children need to have a glimpse of what factory work is like. And you can see the latest Chevrolet Corvette as it rolls off the line.

Yellow Springs

What a quaint town in Ohio! Lots of little shops sit along both sides of US 68, attracting young urban professionals. Even the trash cans are pleasantly decorated.

  
We went there for an estate sale. This kind of estate sale was a new experience for me. The agent listed the items online then had an open house today. Items were priced and on display in their natural surroundings so interested patrons could make purchases.  But tomorrow the items that didn’t sell will be discounted 30%. Then on Sunday and remaining items will be discounted further to 50% off. It becomes a game to find how much you are willing to pay to get the item. 

We didn’t stay too long because we didn’t fall in love with prices on the beautiful oriental pieces. We headed to the downtown area. There I found a great cup of coffee and a Tiffany style desk lamp decorated with dragonflies. It reminded me of our recent paintings that you can view in the picture from my  last post. I haven’t bought the lamp, but the weekend isn’t over.

  

Painting Class

For weeks now, 3 or 4 ladies gather for an afternoon of acrylic painting. We focus on completing one painting each time by watching a you tube video from The Art Sherpa. We get so engrossed in our painting the times flies. I feel that painting with acrylics is relaxing, not too much stress. If you don’t like it, you can paint over it when the painting dries. At first I usually think I’ll paint over my painting. Then I start to like part of the painting, maybe  the colors or the shading. I hang it for a while and it seems ok. I’ve even given away a couple of my paintings. Each time we’re done, I’m already thinking about what we will paint next week. Here is a couple of our attempts: