Monday, May 26, 2014

The longest three days yet!

Friday we left N. Stafford and cruised 40 miles to Culpeper, VA and the weekly cruise at Arby’s.  This cruise is not run by a club….just some hot rodders that gather to talk about cars and keep connected with each other.  There were 15 cars, not a lot but everyone knew each other and it was like a weekly family cook out.  We all ate at Arby’s then went back outside to talk cars and family.  The Princess and Arlene escaped to the nearby shopping center to browse.  I started getting nervous about that since we are driving a truck now and there is basically no limit on the amount of stuff we can haul.  So I asked Lou if the girls said they were going shopping or shopping shopping?  He said they just said shopping….whew!  I knew I wouldn’t be getting a call from BB&T asking if all those purchases were legit or had our credit card been stolen?  Safe for now!

One of the cars left the cruise early so I didn’t photograph it…a ’64-’65 Barracuda Pro Street….a very gnarly ride.  Except for one, the rest of the cars were ones we usually see at local shows or cruises….except one.  That one car, a ‘green ’31 Chevy 5 window coupe, was a little rough.  It was done a little different from our “new” hot rods.  It even had a generator instead of an alternator!  While talking with the new owner I discovered it was a true hot rod treasure.  It was a time capsule of sorts.   It was originally built in 1959-1960 by a “kid” and some friends in Brooklyn, NY.  Check out the video and watch for it at a cruise/show near you.  It’s not a rat rod….it’s a Traditional hot rod in every sense of the term.


Right before dark the two Princesses announced their return from their relentless shopping and convinced Lou and I that it was time for us to depart….so….on the road again!  Grin

Saturday the Princess & I left the N. Stafford WAWA and began our 54 mile cruise to the Annual Strawberry Festival in Delaplane, VA.  We met Dan & Ramona on our way out of Stafford and picked up Ron and Fred & Debie in Opal, VA.  So our little group of 4 vehicles cruised the Virginia countryside on our way to the event.  When we arrived Wyatt & Nancy were already parked with their DeLorean.  This event is in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains near Winchester, VA.  The event is held in one of the most scenic venues we visit.  We join the Bull Run AACA club and display our vehicles for the thousands of event goers to view and ask questions about them.  The event boasts a plethora of food vendors and craft vendors….something to keep the ladies occupied.  The restroom facilities are porta potties but seemed to be in great shape.  There was a bagpipe band that performed off and on most of the day.  It really is a neat event to be part of.  The weather was sunny and cool with a 487mph hurricane blowing most of the day.  As is customary when we are going to be at an event all day the first thing we do is set up camp, which includes canopies.  With the number of people we had we decided to set up all three.  With the wind blowing the chill factor seemed to be about -43 degrees….no one sat under the canopies till about noon.  Because of the wind chill I didn’t notice that my exposed skin was turning a bright crimson….I usually sit under the canopy.  I started noticing that it was becoming difficult forming some words, my face was getting taught!?  Then someone said I looked like a red raccoon….time to get under my umbrella.  Now the Princess and I have very special umbrellas….called GustBusters.  They are designed to NOT fold up when the wind blows under them.  I had never had the occasion to really “test” them….till today.  They have blow out panels near the top that are held on one end with an elastic strap and on the other end are fastened securely to the main roof.  The wind was blowing them out and snapping back for three hours….they worked flawlessly, as designed. 

Around 3PM we all decided we had had sampled quite enough food and endured enough windblown fun for the day so we broke camp and motored out of the park.  We had an uneventful cruise back to Stafford and with the application of a quart of Vaseline Intensive Care lotion I began to feel like I may someday actually be able to form whole words without cracking my skin… is good.

Sunday we launched from the WAWA in N. Stafford again but this time with Bill & Jo-Ann and cruised 40 miles to the Arby’s in Culpeper, VA where we hooked up with Lou & Arlene then continued another 7 miles to the Salem VFD on Rt. 522.  We have attended this event many times and it is a consistently well managed event.  The restrooms are inside the fire house and the VFD members sell breakfast AND lunch….really good food that is reasonably priced.  That is a real treat and generates a few extra dollars for the VFD.  The day’s weather was picture perfect, a real treat from Saturday.  Tony of Tony’s Body Shop manages the event with the precision of an atomic clock.  Everything happens as advertised and on time….so refreshing.  Our friend Ron is the DJ at this event which always adds to the day’s experience.  But this year the event was on Memorial Day weekend.  Ron is a retired Army guy so his connection to our Veterans is understandable and he never misses an opportunity to show respect for our citizen soldiers.  Ron asked all the Veterans present to come to the DJ area to be recognized for their service to a grateful Nation.  He then played our National Anthem as we saluted the waving flag.  It was a moving experience for all.  Ron will be hanging up his DJ stuff soon….he is going to actually “retire” and explore our great Country through the windshield of his RV.  We have one more chance to say thanks to someone that has been a fixture at so many events over the past 25 years….the Brandy Station show this year…. watch for it.  Ron also announced Fred & Debie’s 17th anniversary and Fred’s Birthday.  I don’t know how old Fred really is but I heard a rumor he helped the Dodge brothers make engines for Henry Ford in the early days of the Model T….I read it on the internet, it must be true!

So many very well done vehicles are usually part of this event and this year was no exception.  The black ’68ish Camaro won best of show.  I’m not a Camaro guy but this jewel was the nicest one I have seen in a very long time!  There is a black ’64 Chevy convertible that is making the rounds this year….it’s a real knockout too!  This was the third event in a row since Friday….and my old body is yelling “uncle”!  We broke camp and cruised home….giving people something to wave at for 47 miles….I love this hobby.

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