Sunday, September 30, 2012

A very cool weekend

Saturday we left the WAWA in Staffor, VA at 6AM and cruised 115 miles to Topping, VA and the 17th Annual Wings Wheels & Keels show.  The event is at Hummel Air Field and presented by Middlesex County and Friends of Hummel Airfield.  We have been trying to get to this event for a few years and something has always come up so we were determined to make it this year.  At 4 AM Saturday morning the weatherguessers were calling for 80% rain at Topping but it would be reduced to 60% after 11AM….?  Pretty bleak….but since it wasn’t raining in Stafford we decided to take a chance and make the run.  We decided to break up the trip a little by stopping in ‘Office Hall’ (I don’t make these names up!) at the intersection of Rt. 301 & Rt. 3 to meet a fellow traveler that may come down from Annapolis, MD to run with us.  We continued on to Warsaw, VA to meet with a friend of Debie’s to give some stuff to and have another pit stop.  Then proceeded on to Topping, VA.  I have to file a complaint to the mapquesterians about their maps.  While plotting the route we would take I never realized we would be going over a bridge….a very narrow and high bridge, with low guardrails, that was about 720 miles long.  I really don’t like bridges….but this one was pretty bad.  If the mapquesterians would have warned me I would have plotted another course….but they didn’t.  So as we traveled south on Rt. 3 I was noticing little things like a lot more churches along the way….the closer we got to the bridge there were churches were every block or so?  Then the ‘last chance’ store?  What is that?  Then I saw the restricted truck sign and the high wind danger lights that should be flashing like a disco ball….I’m in trouble!  But I didn’t know the extent of my problems till we rounded a corner and came out of the trees…..There it was, The bridge to infinity and beyond!   It looked like it went into the clouds….I knew I was now on the road to 'The Cloud' that my techie friends are always talking about!  Sun was reflecting off my white knuckles on the steering wheel obscuring a clear view….or was it my eyes narrowing like an Eskimo in a blizzard.  My pucker factor was going to have to be surgically removed from the seat if we ever reached land again.  But then….just as the rusty super structure of the bridge was taking shape, we drove into the clouds and I heard a noise….like a voice out of the clouds….it said in a loud angelic voice   “Hey look at that ship down there, it looks like a row boat it’s so small” and “Look at that airliner, we’re as high as it is, wow”.  Mercifully while we are negotiating the rusty steel superstructure the voice couldn’t see very far because of the clouds.  Then the voice asks “Why is the bridge so rusty?  It’s still safe isn’t it?  Do they all shake like this?  Who inspects bridges? It will still hold us ok, right?”  And my favorite, “I think I can see through the bottom of the bridge!”  I’m doomed….  If I can just hang on a few more hours it will end….one way or another.  Later we emerged from the steel part to once again be subjected to the narrow part with very low guard rails….they might help to keep a street luge from going over the side but not much else.  Out of the clouds now and I can see land….then I started thinking about all the work I had done to the truck….the idler arm, control arm bushings, ball joints, wheel bearings, rotors, sway bar bushings, steering column rebuild, steering u-joint, brake pedal….the tape was playing in my mind of how any one of those things could fail and catapult me over the very low guard rails and I see myself falling…. falling…..falling into the cold Rappahannock River.  Finally, after what seemed like a week, we are back on land again….whew.  I have to write MapQuest a nasty letter about how they must warn travelers about bridges….the little line looks so innocent laying on that blue part of the map….it should be flashing red, with warnings and maybe little electric shock going to the mouse to alert the unsuspecting traveler about “The Bridge”.  At the very least there should be icons that say “Dragons Be Here” with blood dripping arrows pointing to the bridge.  After clicking back into my normal driving attitude the Princess yells….”There it is, turn right….quick….!”  We had arrived alive and I may be able to walk upright again in a few hours after I pry my fingers off the steering wheel. 

The event looked promising for me because of the airplanes but the variety of vehicles was interesting too.  We set up camp and began to enjoy the airplanes flying and the stream of incoming vehicles.  The rain held off all day but the breeze was relentless and very cold….very very cold.  The event had some very unusual antique boats but my favorite was the hand built Viking barge.  The local squadron of the Commemorative Air Force was well represented and I spent some time at their table.  There were many vendors present, more like a craft show which was neat.

While sitting in my chair and enjoying the event we struck up a conversation with our event neighbors.  They had a well done black ’32 Ford 5 window coupe….nothing too cosmic but very nice indeed.  The couple was easy to talk to, as most Virginians are, but we were all beginning to suffer from the cold wind.  Like the rest of us the lady had dressed for warm weather to include sandals with no socks, this will be important in a minute. The lady also had Diabetes.  She was getting very uncomfortable with the cold and her husband had some shop towels that he put on her feet, it helped but her feet were still cold.  I sometimes wear compression knee high socks to give me a little more support on uneven ground, like at this event.  But I also carry a spare pair of socks to change into if the compression socks start hurting or if it gets too hot for them.  So I dug them out of the truck and gave them to the lady with the cold feet.  I thought it was an ok thing to do….wrong!  When I did that the Princess was away getting food….when she came back she noticed the lady had socks….her friend Debie (who used to be my friend too, grin) ratted me out and told the Princess “YOUR HUSBAND gave them to her!  I thought I was putting into practice some of things I learned in all those sensitivity training classes the Princess makes me attend?  I guess that’s why we mortal men will never figure out women….ever!  It may be a long quiet trip home….hehehehe  I have a CD player….chuckle!
The judging class structure was new to us; we were in American 00-1945?  The vehicles ran the gamut from a Midget race car to a new Ferrari!  I have never seen a 1951 Crosley Super Sport or a ’49 Pontiac convertible, both were present.  One of my favorites was the yellow MGB with the 215 Buick aluminum motor, which is the cleanest MGB I have ever seen.  The Dodge fire truck was very unusual and the red ’40 Ford convertible was just too nice.  And the ’40 had a unique way to exhaust the engine compartment heat from the modular motor.  But my favorite was the ’37 GMC COE wrecker, something that looks like a lot of fun.
After the award ceremony we decided to cruise to the Family diner in Fredericksburg, VA for dinner and their cruise.  After another 2 ½ hour cruise we arrived at our destination and sampled some fine family cooking.  About 15 cars arrived for the evenings cruise but we were whipped….all day in the cold, windy environment had taken its toll.  We were so tired we didn’t even visit Carl’s Ice Cream….that never happened before!


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