Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A new cruise in town....

Saturday, May 2, we decided to attended a new start up cruise in Fredericksburg, VA at the Pep Boys Auto Parts & Service.  This is managed by the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club….the same club that manages the Friday night cruise at VA BBQ.  This cruise is held once a month the first Saturday of each month; if it is successful maybe next year the club will have more Saturdays…..  This cruise fills a need of the car community around here, the closest other Saturday cruise, for us, is in Manassas about 29 miles away.  We were unable to make the inaugural cruise last month so this would be our first visit.

The parking lot will have room for about 80 cars and with the 60 that cruised in Saturday it filled up nicely.  The mix of vehicles varied from a stone stock ’51 Plymouth to a gaggle of big tire, Pro Street rockets and most everything in between.  New cars, old cars….fast cars, slow car….stock cars, streetable race cars….cars, motorcycles and yes even farm trucks are all welcome!  There are a few food choices close by and a WAWA for fuel. The cruise location is next to Rt. 3, a major East/West roadway with Rt. 1 & I95 within walking distance….it really is centrally located.  Ingress/egress is a little dicey with the speed bumps and major pot holes.  But once in the Pep Boys lot everything works just fine.  About half the lot backs up to a grassed area which is great for canopies….plus I always prefer to park my lawn chair on grass instead of asphalt.  This time the club had a novel 50/50….as usual the winner receives half of the value of the tickets sold in cash.  But a neat twist this month was that after the winner was drawn they drew another ticket….for second place!?  A person donated a really cool desk light made from engine parts; piston and connecting rod….really cool piece.  So….the Princess won it!  We are trying to downsize our life....I have been selling stuff on eBay, Craig’s List, online yard sales, and other places….and she brings home more….stuff.  The Princess was all squealy about her new acquisition; she likes to win anything….it’s what Princesses do.  So we now have a new addition in the hoarder room but there will be peace in the Shotwell hovel for awhile.  As I have often remarked, all cruises have a distinct personality….this one feels very warm & comfortable to us, like an old friend….we will be in attendance often.
Sunday we cruised 29 miles to the 34th annual Bull Run Street Rods Rod Run (show)….the 34th….do you get the idea this is a popular event? Do you think the club knows how to run a show?  There is no down side to attending this event and if you have a special ride, I recommend it.  This event is usually open to older vehicles only but this year they opened it to all years!  I personally like this idea, I like all kinds of rides.  I couldn’t count the cars adequately but I took pictures of about 130….I know there was more in attendance.  This is the second “big” show around here so people will bring out their new finished projects for all to see, variety is the norm for this event.   The weather was perfect and the fellowship was intense.  These large shows usually allow us to catch up with old friends we don’t see much during the year.  After we set up camp the Princess and a few other ladies invaded the host restaurant, Burger King, and didn’t return for a couple hours.  I was busy taking my pictures and Lou was talking to people about Fisher House Foundation and Cruisin For Heroes….we always get more done when a couple of us attend events together.
After the awards were given out and the event was officially concluded….Lou & Arlene, David and the Princess & I decided that we needed to cruise to Culpeper for ice cream…..a perfect ending to a perfect day…..I love this hobby.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Fighting with the Weatherguessers.....

The weather for the Friday cruise at VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA was perfect and because of that there were 50 other cruisers that thought the same thing and paid the parking lot a visit.  A lot of the usual suspects and a couple new rides rumbled in. 

John brought out his black cherry ’37 Chevy that he completed this winter….it’s so nicely done….you have to examine it closely when you see it.  The little original Mini attracted a lot of comments and I didn’t get to the red ’60 Chevy in time to take a good picture, but it was a mild custom that had that just right look.  With another cruise within 5 miles of this one, people cruise in and stay for a while then cruise to the other location so it’s difficult to really know how many people visit.  It happens all night….it is what it is.

Out small group of our trouble makers gathered behind our rides to discuss solving the world’s problems and learning more about each other till around 8:30 when the cruise ended with the presentation of the pig trophies!  A barbeque restaurant hosts the cruise so the club presents a couple trophies with a pig on it each week….too much fun.  The Princess treasures the one she got years ago….it sits on her side of the computer desk….right next to her pirate Santa clause and the Princessofquitealot pumpkin….it’s a process….it’s all good…. My side of the 8’ table is usually neat & devoid of clutter unless I’m working on a projece….her side looks like the inside of a hoarder’s closet, after an earthquake.  When the Princess began using a computer next to me a few years ago, she claimed one half of the table was hers.  She has been encroaching ever so slowly to the point that she now has about 60% of the horizontal space.  I guess Princesses need a lot of room for Princess stuff, what do I know….

Saturday it rained out our planned activities so we waited for Sunday morning to see if the weatherguessers were going to be anywhere close to their prognostications.  I know, I have to give them a brake….it IS a 12 hour forecast!   They were predicting that the rain would be gone by 9AM….

Sunday the Princess got up at 6AM….peered out the window and announced that it was raining….back to bed for an hour.  I got up at 7AM….the rain was just misting so I checked three different weather sites on the computer and they all said the rain would end by 9AM….so we go!  Fred messaged me to see if we were still going….it was still raining where he lives south of us. 

Our small group of 3 vehicles left WAWA promptly at 9AM and cruised 35 miles to Manassas Virginia to attend the ‘Remembering Fallen Officer Chris Yung’ fund raising car show put on by the Northern Virginia Mustang Club and hosted by Juke Box Diner.  Last year we had missed this event due to scheduling conflicts but we wanted to make it this year.  The ground was damp to wet in some places as we left Stafford, VA and cruised North.  But the closer we got to Manassas the drier the roads were so it looked like it might be a good day.  We arrived to completely dry pavement and sunny skies….in fact it was picture post card perfect weather….  While we were cleaning the cars, Fred & Debie arrived from their 2 hour, wiper intense trip to join us.  As we all were setting up camp the ladies began to chant something like….the restaurant is open, they are serving food, we are hungry, FEED US--FEED US--FEED US….when this crew gets together it is usually brutal.  So….we men (lower case on purpose) dutifully followed the ladies to the nourishment corral….opps, restaurant. 

We have never visited this establishment before and were pleasantly surprised on Sunday.  The variety of the offerings was staggering….the service was very upbeat and helpful.  It seemed that quite a few car people decided to dine at the same time and the staff was close to being overwhelmed….but we were taken care of quickly and without mishap.  The food was terrific and fairly priced (I thing they gave us a ‘Senior Discount’ too)…. we will come back!

When we retreated to our ‘camp’ behind the cars we all began to notice what a great weather day it was becoming….just perfect, you have to check out the pictures and the temp was in the low 70’s!

Given the weather pattern that was forecasted and the unreliability of the local weatherguessers I’m sure many potential attendees stayed away from the event.  That is too bad….it was a well managed event that raised money for a great cause.  And did I mention there is a great eatery close by?

 There was about 50 vehicles that did join in on the fun….some of the cars were notable and unusual.  The red ’59 Cadillac is a welcome addition to any event as is the red/black Studebaker.  The red/white ’50 Dodge 4dr with the Hemi is a seldom seen ride and it was just too cool.  There were a lot of very nice newer cars too, Camaro’s, Mustangs, Mopars and even a late arriving Viper….  Some say the newer cars shouldn’t compete with the classic cars….but for me…..a fund raiser is all about the money, if you want to raise $$ you need to include everyone.  And in the end it really doesn’t matter who wins or loses as long as the charity wins!  For me the best of show was the little green ’32 Ford push car….it was a primo build and the munchkin was really enjoying the attention he was getting.  Good job parents, you have initiated him into a wholesome hobby that he can enjoy the rest of his life!

As we were breaking camp to leave the event, Dan & Ramona joined us on their way back from the TSRA Rod Run in Williamsburg, VA.  A few of us decided to visit Carlos O’Kellys in Stafford on the way home to wrap up the day’s adventures.  And so we ended another great day visiting with friends and driving old cars around….I love this hobby.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On the road with friends.....

The weekly Friday night cruise in Fredericksburg, VA at VA BBQ had been cancelled two weeks in a row because of rain.  This Friday the weatherguessers were calling for rain to stop by 4PM so we waited in Stafford.  When it had slowed to a fine mist we launched for the cruise, around 4:30….only to get a call from Fred, who was already at the cruise, wanting to know where we were!  On the way we ran into heavy rain and massive amounts of road spray…when we reached the cruise Fred informed us that it began raining soon after he called….  But it was over by 6PM….the pollen was washed off the trees and the temp was a pleasant 70 degrees….life was getting better!

No doubt the rain kept the attendance down at the cruise….but….for those that came out they were treated to a very cool rig.  A 1953 Ford with period correct speed equipment on a little flattie cruised in dragging something.  But the thing that made the deal so cool was the boat he was towing!  It was a wooden 16’ Whirlwind with a white Mercury OB and an early “speed” prop!  The whole rig was just immaculate….a very welcome addition to the nights mix.  The rest of the rides were the usual suspects….I think we all had fun catching up.

Saturday some of us gathered at the N. Stafford, VA WAWA to begin our cruise to Renegade Classics in Fredericksburg and the start point for the Rolling Thunder Poker run.  The Virginia Chapter 3 of Rolling Thunder, Inc puts on this run as one of their fundraisers for the year….they do a lot of good things for our Veterans with the funds that are donated, so we wanted to support them and have a little fun at the same time.  We also brought a couple cruisers that had never participated in a ‘poker run’ so they could see how it was supposed to play out.  The Princess & I had participated in many poker runs when we rode the Harley….we have even designed and managed a few poker runs for motorcycles and cars.  But ‘car’ people don’t seem to like poker runs I guess, as they never caught on. 

The Princess & I decided to wear our biker vests so we could blend in a little better, I even wore long pants!  The guys & gals of Rolling Thunder made us feel welcome as I knew they would and some of the comments from the ‘car’ guys later at dinner would validate my way of thinking.  Bikers occasionally have an undeserved bad rap….something we dealt with for 40 years!  It all boils down to respect….if you give it to them, they will give it back to you….really simple! 

The Princess bought 3 poker hands….three!?  She really likes to win.  She had the highest hands (2) when she drew her last cards but she bought a couple extra anyway….It was only the Slacker’s money!  As the last bikes started arriving it was obvious the Princess was not going to be a winner….the whining will not cease for a week.  Oh well….then she said I had to take her to a nice restaurant so she wouldn’t feel so bad….you have no idea.

The poker run route was about 100 miles long with stops at Rescue/Fire stations in Fairview Beach (King George), Colonial Beach and Bowling Green….then we ended back in Fredericksburg, VA at VA BBQ….the same place we cruise to on most Friday evenings….unless it rains….  The roads were great, the weather was picture perfect and the stop workers were enthusiastic and helpful.  The event unfolded like a good book….It really was a fun day. 

Sunday we met members of the Fredericks Classic & Muscle Car Club in the Target parking lot of the Cosner’s Corner Mall area.  Fourteen cruisers left at precisely 10:15 and began our 46 mile cruise to Tappahannock, VA and Lowery’s Seafood Restaurant.  The route is easy, mostly flat road….with great scenery this time of year.  The redbuds and dogwoods are blooming while the other trees are starting to leaf out….it’s a nice time of year to be on the road.  When we crossed Rt. 301 we made a pit stop at Horne’s store where we were joined by six more cruisers!  When we left we had a string of 18 hot rods motoring down the road….and David & his Harley!  I think it’s cool to have a few bikes mixed in with the cars….the adventure is for everyone!

After eating way too much food at Lowery’s, some of us decided to perform a little community service work.  We would visit Carl’s Ice Cream in Fredericksburg to make sure the ice cream was ok….it’s a public service we perform from time to time.  It’s a responsibility some of us take very seriously for the public good….someone has to do it!   Grinning & chuckling….

After performing our public service task we all headed for home….the rain was threatening but would hold off till later that night.  I’m glad this club has discovered over the road cruising….it’s so much more enjoyable for some than sitting for 8 hours in the sun…. 


Monday, March 30, 2015

The 2015 Season Begins....

The year’s first cruise in Fredericksburg, VA begins with the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club gathering at, where else, VA BBQ!  This long standing weekly cruise happens every Friday evening from 4ish to 9ish….  The weatherguessers were doing their best to scare cruisers away by pushing the rain our way….but in the end a few of us dared it to keep raining and drove our hot rods to the cruise.  But….it was cold. 

A lot of people had done major work to their rides over the winter and this was a kind of “coming out” deal for them….Darl brought out his completely updated blue Camaro….that sounded very lumpy!  Carl brought his old green ’64 Plymouth….such a cool ride.  Denny, AKA Snowbird Agitator, arrived in his Bernardini with blue hands, it was cold.  Then Bill herded that mountain of parts that is his Model T Speedster to the mix….and he was very cold.  Fred joined us with his ’57 Dodge, sporting new chrome reverse/baby moons thank you very much….they give his ride “that” period look.  David brought his Fox and Paul came with the Sponge Bob car.  It was cold.

The host club has a new music set up that worked just fine playing the old radio stations with DJ’s chatter….they also built a new ‘Corn Hole’ game (bean bag tossing at a hole in a board) for this season….A few hardy souls tested it…..I think it worked just fine, but it was cold.  This club also has begun a new Saturday night cruise at Pep Boys in Fredericksburg on the first Saturday of each month.  We have needed a Saturday night cruise in that area for quite a while….check it out if you are in town.

I took my pictures but when I came back by our truck….I noticed the Princess was seated inside!?  She said it was way too cold for Princesses to sit outside….her magic wand wouldn’t work?  So she waited patiently for me to get done with my minion stuff….she needed to go home.  It was cold….

And so begins the 2015 season….  We will be attending fewer shows and more cruises this year….we really want to drive our hot rod instead of sitting in our lawn chairs so much.  We will also be going on a couple “vacations” this year so expect some gaps in the reporting.  There is a lot going on around here and you need to check the calendars at these two sites for choices, remember it’s your time, your ride….go where YOU want to go;

And I always post my pictures here; https://www.flickr.com/photos/53063560@N05/sets/

The Princess and I hope to see you on the road this year….join us if you can/want….I send out a weekly email with our itinerary….if you want to be on that list just email me at; wherewereyouin62@comcast.net



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas....all ya'll....HO HO HO


Monday, December 8, 2014

Toys For Tots 2014

Saturday December 6, we cruised about 4 miles to the Chili’s Restaurant in N. Stafford, VA and the beginning of the 5th Annual Toys For Tots run.  Our friend and fellow Cruisin For Heroes member, Dan, pretty much orchestrates the whole event.  The Chili’s manager has his staff open the store early so we can start forming up around 9AM….they usually open at 11AM.  We don’t leave till about Noon so there is plenty of time to socialize and have brunch.  The Princess flits around taking pictures and checking on people to make sure they are being taken care of and are having a good time.  I usually take most of the pictures at the events we attend.  But the Princess is getting much better dealing with the technical aspects of photography to the point that she is taking much better pictures and giving us all a run for our money on the quality of her images!  Fred and Bill also chronicled the day’s activities in photographs and were joined by Yvonne at the Museum.  This year Chili’s has embraced the Toys For Tots charity full tilt as there are many more Chili’s stores that are collecting toys for the program this year.  Our Chili’s also gives 20% of the days gross to Toys For Tots!  And there is to be a special presentation to the USMC Toys For Tots program this year from Chili’s!

The weatherguessers were forecasting rain most of the day with periods of heavy rain.  But when we were ready to leave home it was dry!  And last year snow was forecasted so the only one that drove a hot rod was Dan and his black ’55 Chevy.  Dan was committed again this year so I decided to take the truck even if rain was likely to fall.  I knew the Northern Virginia Mustang club was going to join us this year and most of them would be driving their Mustangs….so we HAD to show up with something special.  In the end there was about 20 “special” cars and another 30 daily drivers.  Some other people met us at the Museum and made the day’s total near 60….I think?  It is exceedingly difficult to count them all but I think 55-60 would be close.
Dan arranges to have the Stafford County Sheriff Deputies escort us all the way to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, located in Triangle, VA., about 9 miles away.  This makes herding the vehicles much safer and enjoyable than if we tried to find our own way up Rt. 1 with a group that large.  I think the Deputies like to help us plus they get a free brunch at Chili’s thanks to the donations of the cruisers that make the trip with us.
At 11:20 it began to rain so about 11:45 the participants began to make their way to the commuter lot on Mine Rd. where we would all assemble for the trip.  Deputy Crane ran the “drivers meeting” explaining which lanes we needed to stay in and why.  Also which route we would be taking and that we should keep the distance between vehicles closed up if we can and other pertinent safety information.  Everyone listened intently and knew we would be in good hands.  After all the necessary instructions were given to us I asked Deputy Crane “were we allowed to do burn outs”….everyone laughed….I think Deputy Crane was laughing too….I think….grin.
Our cruise to the Museum was a thrill with the Sheriff’s cruisers blocking traffic so we could have safe uninterrupted passage north.  I think some of the people that were held back at intersecting roads thought they were witnessing a funeral or something.  Some just stared, some looked solemn and some waved….I wonder if people wave at a funeral procession?  Anyway it was a hoot!  Too soon the trip was over and we all parked, then carried our toys inside to the waiting Marines by the Toys For Tots display.
It seems like every year we bring more toys to the Museum….even though we have fewer cars because of the foul weather.  Could it be that some are just bringing a lot of toys?  Yup….I think that’s what is happening.  The amount of toys was overwhelming the Marines that received them.  They moved the security ropes out a little farther every few minutes as they unbagged more toys.  That’s always a good sign that the event is doing what it is supposed to do….provide toys to kids that would otherwise have a bleak Christmas.   The United States Marine Corps Reserve has managed the Toys For Tots since 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks began the program.  This time of year the Toys For Tots presence is ubiquitous around here since the Marine Corps Base Quantico (“Crossroads of the Marine Corps”) is part of our local community.
After all the toys were delivered some in our group, that had never visited the Museum before, began exploring the facility and those that were not first timers visited parts that held a special interest for them.  This museum houses the storied history of the Marine Corps displayed in real artifacts and other teaching aids.  There are a number of ever helpful Museum staff members that can assist you with your visit or you can self guide your travel around the building.  There are a few different levels and many individual rooms; you just can’t see everything adequately in one 2-3 hour visit.  If you haven’t been to this museum you need to put it on your bucket list.
Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus was in the Museum from Noon to 3PM and the ever lengthening line of munchkins waiting to talk to the jolly old round guy, stretched half way around the first floor!  The line consisted mostly of little people with their parents in tow.  Mr. & Mrs. Santa look, talk and act just like the real deal….you have to check them out when you can.  They visited with each child and talked about what the child’s parent had written on a “wish card” when they queued up.  Then as they left Santa, they put the card in a waiting mail box….to be sent on to the North Pole.  How cool is that!
After an hour or so Tony led some of our group in singing some Christmas carols, acapella!  This year he passed out lyric sheets….which is good….but some of us….senior folks couldn’t read the small print, grin  My thought about singing is that it’s better to be loud than good….  We all enjoyed the fellowship, the day, the mission.

Pictures here; https://www.flickr.com/photos/53063560@N05/sets/72157647312913083/

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Over The River And Through The Woods Run 2014

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014, a small group of cruisers left the N. Stafford, Eustace Rd. WAWA to begin the first leg of the 6th Annual, ‘Over The River And Through The Woods Run’.  We would meet others at the WAWA in South Point, VA and leave there precisely 10AM for our 47 mile trek to Oilville, VA.  About 20 cruisers rolled south on Hwy. 1 to the old Arcadia Store where we turned onto Arcadia Rd. and made our way to Chilesburg where we would meet up with 5 more cars.  Winding our way south on the lesser traveled Virginia country roads through Beaverdam, VA and a few more little wide places in the road.  The road was enchanting and the scenery was amazing.  This is why we take the “back roads” whenever we can….it is just adds so much more to the day’s adventures.  When we arrived at the intersection of Rt. 250 and Oilville Rd., we made our only pit stop at the BP station.  Three of our group had stopped way back near Arcadia Rd. to assist Richard and his radiator belt problem on his ’60 Corvair….so while they caught up with us we all waited in the parking lot of the BP and adjacent car wash.

As soon as we were all together we started the last 6 miles to Page Custom Rods & Restorations, which was the destination of the day.  When we arrived we found another group of 15 cruisers already in the parking lot of the shop.  We drove around and finally parked on the access road to the shop….  I knew some were going to meet us at the shop….I just didn’t know how many would be there or what time they would arrive. 
The owner of Page Custom was one of the friendly staff that showed us around their shop.  They do really magnificent work….and they do just about anything from adding an upgrade to complete, frame off restoration or custom hot rod.  It’s always better to see how a shop operates when they “showcase” the projects that are under construction AND the completed ones.  You can tell a lot when the car is apart and going together.  Mr. Page & Rusty graciously showed us around and answered any questions we had….they were impeccable hosts.  They have a painter named Bobby that is renowned by most that know what a great paint job is supposed to be….really top notch.  Some of the shops we have visited over the years had a “snobby” persona….not at Page….they are “car guys” that are happy to serve your needs.  If you have anything you need done to your ride that you can’t handle….just check out Page and see what they can do for you.  http://www.pagecustoms.com/
Since the other group of cruisers arrived before us, they had done their visiting of the shop and were milling around in the parking lot.  Some left for the next stop at the restaurant before we got the whole group together.  We cut our visit a little short so we could all cruise to the restaurant as a group.  I had called the restaurant twice with the increasing number of cruisers that would be visiting for lunch.  My Mom once told me that if you can’t say anything nice about someone….don‘t say anything at all.  So….all I’m going to say is that I had to wait 2 hours for a glass of water at the restaurant….that’s all I’m going to say about the lunch.
Our group cruises a lot….if you have read my blog you know that.  Most of the times I lead because I know where we are going and I think most expect me to be in front.  But….sometimes I ask others to pick up the front of the pack so I can enjoy the trip too.  As any of you that travel over the roads know, sometimes the GPS or maps take you somewhere you weren’t expecting….  You get lost, or as my Marine Corps friends say “temporarily bewildered, never lost”.  We usually manage through the process and always have another “story” to tell that adds to the humor of our group.  I always wanted to have a sort of traveling award for the leader that gets us lost.  So the Princess and I made a certificate up and bought a coonskin cap and presto the “Boone & Magellan Broken Compass Award” was born!  Since our excursion to Ft. Belvoir recently, to present a donation check to the Fisher House on base, went a little awry when Fred & Lou led the pack, we decided to make Fred the first recipient of the BMBCA.  At the restaurant we presented Fred with the award and with the charge that he must take it wherever he cruises….and prominently display it for others to see, and ask about it.  He was further charged to protect the coonskin cap from his puppies so they don’t use it for a chew toy.  Fred good naturedly accepted the award and began his lobbying for Lou to lead soon!?  Fred will keep the award until the next “leader” has an ‘opps’ moment, then he can award it to the new confused leader….fun, ever heard of it?  After the presentation some of the cruisers began leaving the restaurant and by the time we ate there were only 8 of us left!  So we began the return to our homes via a different route from the one we used to get here.  We always try to change the look of the scenery on the way home.  It was a good day to cruise and be with our friends while checking out a primo shop….next year you have to join us.  It’s always the Saturday after Thanksgiving.