Monday, May 28, 2012

Blue Ridge Mountains & Coca-Cola 600

Saturday we headed north to Moravian Falls to visit friends, Scott (he was one of Ray's partners at LAPD) and Mary Ann. They took us through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the city of Blowing Rock for dinner. No we didn't see the blowing rock so I have no pictures of it, but I understand you have to lean over a hole to feel the wind blow through the hole. I don't like heights so I'm ok to not experience it. We had a very nice dinner in an outside patio under the trees; very nice.
Scott stopped a couple of times for the view and I took pictures. I won't bore you explaining why they're blue, but isn't it pretty how the mountains just seem to fade away.

I forget the name of this lake, but Scott & Mary Ann love to play here.
They even stay out late at night just playing cards with friends on their boat.

Sunday = Race Day!

We kept hearing that we need to leave early because of traffic and parking. Well, we're from Southern California where there are lots of people and lots of traffic. With the gates opening at 12:30 and the fun stuff starting around 4:00 we decided to leave at noon and make the 45 minute drive figuring even if it took us 3 hours we'd have time to get settled before things started happening.

We drove right there and parked right away - in the free lot. As we were walking to the racetrack we saw these guys from Tennessee and had to stop and talk to them. They were fine with me taking their picture of what they called a "red-neck hot tub". Yes, that hose (hooked up at the dump station) is filling the tarp lined bed of their truck.
There were several times during the very hot day I wished I could have hopped in there.


We continued walking toward the race track through the campground on the property. (Note: the little bit you can see in the background is where we sat.)
We found this camp site decked out for the Memorial weekend. The guy here to the left of the site, Harry, is the Mayor of this campground. The other people, mostly veterans, are signing a banner that is going to a veteran for his 50th birthday. Harry had Ray sign it too.
Another fun person. Gotta love it!

I was telling the tall guy under the awning that this race is such a deal:
-the ticket was cheap
-with the ticket, on Friday we went to a cook out and a walk on the track
-a Darius Rucker concert before the race
-parking is free
-and you can take in your own food and drink
What a deal! All this would cost so much in Los Angeles.

He said, "Welcome to the south."

So we were here hours early. We walked across the street to the vendors area to look for some deals. Here we met, this kid, Hunter Stewart. (The man is his dad.) He started an organization called Racing2Cure after his mom got cancer; he's even been on the Ellen Show. For more info check out:  I got the tank top behind his head.

After checking out all the deals under the vendor tents, yes we bought more stuff, we went back to the race track. This band was playing patriotic songs. No this is not our seats; we couldn't see this area from our seats.

Here's our seats, right in the sun.
We tried to sit there and had to run for shade.
Plenty of time for it to cool down before the race.

Once Darius Rucker started singing we were in our seats.
Yeah, we couldn't see him,except on the big screen, but we could hear him.

There was lots of patriotic pre-race stuff.
Medal of honor winners, local soldiers, fly-bys, etc.

This flag was being towed by a plane.
I love how this cloud looks like a monkey checking out the flag.

The race begins!
See the cars on the track and the big screen.

The clouds put on a show too.

Dale Jr in the white car.
Most of my pictures of the cars are blurry; my running man setting is slower than the cars.

The sun sets and it cools down.

The sun goes down and the track lights up.

For a while Jr was in third place, but he finished at 6th.

Kasey Kane won the race! We left the track expecting a huge traffic jam. Within 20 minutes of getting in the truck we were on the road. Gotta love the south!

It was so exciting - the roar of the engines and the smell of hot tires - and it seems so much faster in person than on TV. Our cheap seats were great; we could follow the cars around the entire track. The only thing I missed was the announcer. There was one, but he was really hard to hear, especially when the cars were on our end of the track. There were several cautions, but we didn't really know what they were except when we saw a truck drive out and pick something up off the track. And it's kinda hard to believe that there were no crashes.

We got back late and had to get up early to get the trailer in the shop to have the roof sealed. Yes, we had a leak during the last storm and we don't want a repeat this week. Well it's taking longer than they originally said so tonight we're in a motel.

Tomorrow we head toward Raleigh to help with Annie's wedding.

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