Tuesday, July 30, 2013

There and back

Friday evening the Princess and I cruised to Fredericksburg, VA and the weekly cruise at VA BBQ, managed by Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club.  This is a weekly cruise till it starts getting cold in October.  We arrived early, about 4:30, so we were able to park in our favorite parking spaces next to Fall Hill Ave.  The DJ, Coach, always plays just the right amount of old and new tunes, his playlist is just right!  The 65 or so vehicles that cruised and parked or just cruised through help make this a cool spot to be on Friday night!

Most of the vehicles were the usual suspects except for the two Tesla’s….a white one and a grey one.  I guess they are a glimpse into the future of the automobile but at north of 100K and no noise….they are not my cup of tea.  And I read that if you drop your spotted owl sandwich on the seats it really leaves a mark….grin
We had a large group of friends come and sit with us and we all caught up on what we have been up to the last month.  There was a higher than normal bunch of hooligan drivers Friday, doing burnouts and driving recklessly.  It is an unfortunate thing that the club cannot really control, they can tell everyone to take it easy but in the end the individual drivers make the decision to be stupid or not!  So by 9PM we all packed up and cruised home.
Saturday the Princess and I took one of our “alone” cruises.  We like to just drive around the Virginia countryside and be thankful we can still enjoy this hobby together.  The preceding couple weeks I had done a lot of repair work on the truck as well as performing the mid season maintenance and wanted to make sure the parts didn’t fall off or start leaking before we ventured out too far.  So we cruised about 80 miles and ended in Fredericksburg at Family Diner for the cruise that evening.  We didn’t get in any rain till we came out from the diner and found the truck was wet….it had rained while we were eating!  It was about 6PM and there were no other cars showing up so we waited a little till the roads dried then cruised 17 miles home.
Sunday we met seven other couples that came out for the first annual Summer Screech Cruise.  We met in Fredericksburg, VA at the WAWA where Rt. 17 runs into Rt. 1.  The sky was foreboding with angry black and grey clouds and we actually got a couple rain drops on the way down from Stafford to the meeting location.  But it wasn’t actually raining so we launched on the inaugural cruise.  Our first stop was about 50 miles from the start just a little south of Tappahannock, VA.  We cruised into the Sheetz and filled up the tanks and drained the bladders….reminded me of riding the Harley those many years.  After about a half an hour we formed up and ran the last 60 mile leg of the cruise to Williamsburg, VA and Capt. George’s Seafood Restaurant.
The restaurant is nestled in the outskirts of Williamsburg on Rt. 60.  There are a lot of “tourist” things to do in that area, many outlet shops and the College of William & Mary is not far.  The original American settlement at Jamestown is just a few minutes past Williamsburg….so the area is always a very busy place.  But we came to eat and eat we shall. 
We started visiting Capt. George’s in the late 70’s and have never had a bad experience with either the food or service.  They serve some traditional American food but their specialty is seafood….any kind of seafood.  And did I mention it’s a buffet?  If you go away hungry from Capt. George’s….you really didn’t try.  Our group was ushered into the large group room where we had a long continuous table set up so our group of 16 people could all be seated at one table.  That was a very nice surprise.  Almost all of us exerised a modicum of restraint while eating and didn’t embarrass ourselves by the number of dirty plates the wait staff cleaned off the table around us….  Then there was the Princess….  She came to eat….crab legs!  It was a very dangerous place to be found between the Princess and the crab legs in the buffet.  I think she had 5-6 helpings heaped on the plate about a foot high.  Then there was the fried oysters, scallops and rice pudding….I started getting a little queasy watching her make each new mountain of food disappear….one fork full at a time….  She used to complain about eating so much and then riding the Harley for 3 hours….now she can sit in a nice comfy bucket seat in the truck….I’m doomed.   I think everyone’s belly button was popped out so we paid the bill, emptied our bladders and headed for the hot rods.
The weather had been nice coming down….a little cloudy but cool.  Now the weather was hot and sunny, what a change! 
We formed up and began the next 47 mile leg of the cruise to a Valero gas station right past King William HS.  Unfortunately a couple cruisers started getting low on fuel so an impromptu fuel stop had to be made.  We stopped about 2 miles from the scheduled stop and when we were back on track I didn’t know if everyone else wanted or needed to stop again so soon….so I kept going.  Big mistake!  Months ago I set up the stop for a lot of reasons….the clean restrooms, multiple fuel islands, a busy station so the fuel is not old and easy egress to Rt.30.  I also planned to use that stop to thank everyone for coming on the cruise as there would be no more stops after that.  So I began getting stressed about that and started looking for a place to stop again….but it was Sunday, we were in the country….not all fuel stops are open on Sunday.  We cruised through Bowling Green and switched to Rt. 2 and still no place to stop.  But as soon as the Bowling Green sign was fading in my rear view mirror….the sky ahead and to the west was getting dark….very dark….and I began to see lightning flashes!
The rain started easy for about 20 seconds then it looked and felt like we were driving underwater.  The wind was howling through the trees, stripping out the dead branch ends from the cicada hatch a month ago along with some good size branches and other debris.  I had put the windshield wipers on the truck before we left the house as insurance it wouldn’t rain.  But rain it did….so hard that visibility was about 50 feet and closing.  The lightning and thunder was incessant….the wind was blowing across the road buffeting the cars….especially the high and flat ones like Ron’s ’28 Dodge sedan.  It was a wild ride for about 25 miles till we were close to Fredericksburg!  Then communication broke down and people started leaving the column.  First Steve & Elaine disappeared then Bill & Linda stopped.  Then Roy & Sharon and Paul & Kim left.  Ron & Gene and Dan & Ramona followed me into a WAWA so I could get fuel and figure out where everyone went.  Ron & Janet honked as they went by us and soon after Bill & Linda did the same.  So….I think all were accounted for but it was a little stressful trying to figure out if anyone had trouble from the rain or were just close to home.  I need to do a better job of that next time.  The 6 of us talked a little at the WAWA but soon decided it was time for us to motor on home too.
I think all enjoyed the day….even the rain….even the 210 miles….it’s good to drive them cars a little….that’s why they have wheels & tires on them!

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