Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rain in the forcast!?

Thursday and the weather guessers were trying to mess up our weekend….calling for 30% rain on Thursday & Friday afternoon/evening and 80% on Saturday. Dan and I have been planning the 2nd Country Road Rally since last April and the thought of having another one washed out because of rain was more than I could stand….but here it was. The Princess and I decided to take the hot rods no matter what rain came on Saturday since it was a rain or shine event.

Friday evening we snuck out of Stafford using the back roads and arrived at the Glory Days Cruise in Dale City, VA early, in fact we were the first ones there. Prince William Cruisers hosts this event and they usually have 30 or more cars….tonight thanks to the weather guessers about 15 cars took a chance and came out. This is advertised as the Glory Days Cruise and even though you can see the Glory Days restaurant, the cruise is way off on the other end of the parking lot. If you go to Arby’s in the same parking lot you will be closer to the cruise. The cruise is almost like a family picnic without the grille….they take up a couple parking spaces to put the chairs in a circle and one couple puts a boom box on their Ranchero for all to hear 50/60’s music then we talk….and talk….and talk! About 6:30 half of us decided to mosey over to Glory Days….it was a very long mosey and I noticed it was downhill….hmmmm, later I would be full of food and walking uphill to the hot rods….I didn’t want to think about that right now…. The food was good and the service was good too but they didn’t have a table for us as Steve had requested when he called, which makes it…. interesting for me because I’m not a skinny kid and the booths usually just don’t cut it for me since they are made for undersized people and tonight was no exception. I wedged myself in and thought I would be there for the duration; I may need help to extricate myself from the booth later! After the meal we moseyed back up the hill that now looked like going up the side of Mt. Everest! We finally reached the hot rods and sat and talked again…till 11PM! And no rain!? I wonder what the weather guessers have been smoking lately? We cruised home and the Princess cleaned off all the bugs and we loaded up the cars for the Rally in the morning.

Saturday broke and it was raining at 6AM….I got on my weather site and checked out the radar. It looked like we would have rain till 10AM and then it would be clearing from West to East and we would be going West so we decided to wait it out till around 10AM to venture fourth. At 9:45 we left for the Manassas, VA BK to set up the start stop for the Rally. It rained for the first 4 miles then stopped….nothing else but dodging rain puddles all the way to Manassas.

As I said before, Dan & I have been planning this Rally since the end of the last one in April of ’09. Last year got rained out and it was nearly a bust but we did collect over $300. This year was looking to be a repeat of last year. Dan & Ramona left at 10Am to make their rounds and Ron, the first stop worker, left around 9AM to be at Culpeper Airport on time and set up his stop. The other 4 stop workers would be leaving an hour apart from their home beginning around11AM….the day was unfolding under cloudy skies and intermittent rain.

The Princess and I set up at BK and waited….and looked out the window at the hot rods getting wet and dirty….bummer. People started arriving….some in special cars/trucks and some in their daily drivers. Most of them hung around till 11:30 before departing and we waited till 1PM to give everyone a chance that wanted to participate. Nine cars showed up! The Princess and I also had the job of shutting down each stop so we would stay at each stop till the last car out time then release the stop worker and drive to the next stop.

The first stop was 26.6 miles to the Culpeper Regional Airport in Brandy Station, VA. The stop was provided by the host group, the National Capitol Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force. Every second Saturday they have an open house so the public can come out and see what they are doing. They usually provide breakfast for the visitors and are more than happy to show you around their hanger and airplanes and answer any questions you may have about what they do. They always have many vintage aircraft displayed and some flying. They have a British Ferret scout car and they sometimes give rides in it which is a cool deal! This Saturday they had invited the Ferrari Club of America to bring some of their cars out and share them with the visitors. These cars are way above my pay grade and they are not my cup of tea but they are magnificent nonetheless. The black one near the DH Chipmunk was especially sinister looking and I’m told the nastiest sounding one there! The engineering and workmanship in these factory cars is impeccable…. something to see. We visited with Ron, our stop worker, for a few minutes then thanked the host and had to move on to the next stop.

The next stop was Tony’s Body Shop, 15.2 miles away in Culpeper, VA. This stop is hosted by the owners, Tony & Beth, who always go out of their way to make the visitors feel welcome. They displayed their toys for all to see and talked about what they do…. they both are an icon of our hobby. Les & Peggy, our stop workers, had done a good job again and we thanked our gracious hosts and started for the next stop.

The next stop was the Classic Car Center of Fredericksburg, VA and since it was 51.4 miles away I decided a pit stop was in order. While fueling I noticed the RedRat was sneezing some oil out the right valve cover breather grommet. I had been messing around with the breather the week before and must have nicked the grommet somewhere so now it was leaking out a little oil. More about this later. On the way to the next stop I called Sue, the stop worker, and we determined that the last car had left her stop so she could go home early. It was about 3:45 and the stop was supposed to shut down at 4PM! So….Sue left and Steve and his group showed up around 3:50! Opps! Steve called me to find out what was going on? I said it was my fault and that we were en route and would be there shortly…. We got there about 4:10 and checked in all the people….I thanked the stop host, Marty and beat feet to the next stop while saying gesundheit to the RedRat.

The next stop was 4 miles away at A1 Speed & Custom, also in Fredericksburg, VA. We arrived and one of the owners, Ben, was handling the check in chores for us. He processed the group while I purchased a breather grommet for the RedRat. Even though I didn’t have a cinderblock or beer I had to perform some driveway mechanics….it worked! Whew…. I thanked Ben for his hospitality and we all split for the last stop.

Foster’s is about another 4 miles away in S. Stafford and when we arrived the monthly cruise hosted by VA Stockers was in progress. As advertised at 6PM we determined who had the winning poker hand and awarded him $100. The winner was Tommy from Culpeper, VA….he is an active member of the Culpeper Cruisers and he returned his winning back as a donation to Wounded Warrior Project. What can I say? This is what “car” people do….I love this hobby/addiction.

So we had fifteen people buying nineteen Rally cards! We had the commitment of five stop workers; Ron from Aquia Harbor, VA, Les & Peggy from Falls Church, VA, Sue from Fredericksburg, VA, Ben from Stafford, to use up their Saturday for Wounded Warrior Project. We had five businesses; Commemorative Air Force, Tony’s Body Shop, Car Center of Fredericksburg, A1 Speed & Custom and Foster’s Grille that committed to host us in the Rally for Wounded Warrior Project….and Dan & Ramona helped with the planning, cost, ensuring everything went smoothly with the stop workers and were the stop workers at the end….their help and encouragement was/is critical for me. Many others helped to make this what could have been the premier road event for Virginia….but….fifteen people showed they cared enough about our wounded warriors to support them with their presence at the Rally. We sold nineteen Rally cards which made $190…. We had another $60 donated at the end of the Rally and the winner of the Rally donated back his $100 prize! So for the day we were able to donate $250 to WWP. Not a bad thing but it could have & should have been so much more. I think about how the wounded warriors didn’t choose not to go to work the day they got wounded….it might have been raining, hot, windy…. whatever it was, they went….we should do no less when the opportunity to support them is presented. If you feel guilty you may help at;

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

We hung out at Foster’s and talked with some friends till around 9PM. Our daughter from PA was visiting and came to Foster’s to be with us and our car crazy friends….she’s crazy too but with a Tea Party, you have to ask me about it. Al told us about the nostalgic racing he is doing with his black ’62 Chevy 409….no electronic, bottle fed, gooey tire tricked out stuff….just heads up honest old time 4 speed racing….it gives me goose bumps talking to him! I wonder if I could fit a ’63 413 Dodge in the garage….hmmmmmmm The Princess was getting whiney so we thought for the mental health of everyone there I should take her home….so off we went. I had to run up the RedRat on the 17 N, I-95 on ramp….just to make sure the leak was fixed….that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

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