Sunday, September 20, 2015

To Goochland.....and beyond

Saturday we left the N. Stafford, VA WAWA at 8AM and cruised 70 miles to Rockville, VA in Goochland County and the 24th annual Field Day of the Past event.  Last year while Lou & Arlene and the Princess & I were scouting out some routes for cruises we passed the event area.  Being the off season not much was going on when we visited.  A few old friendly guys in coveralls that were working on some of the massive machinery came over to Lou’s car and started a conversation with us.  They told us a little about the deal and the event they have in the Fall.  They invited us to take a cruise around the grounds to check out everything.  We made a mental note to plan for a trip back when the event was planned on September 18-20, 2015. 

We left with two vehicles….two more joined in as we drove through the WAWA at Cosner’s Corner then we met two more as we passed the old Moore’s Store in Chilesburg, VA.  Lou led from Chilesburg to the event….on a GPS directed route!  I get more than a little nervous when Lou fires up one or all three of his GPS’s and announces….I can get us there!  Sometimes he takes us on roads with no lines, wandering through forests that cover the whole road, like a green tunnel, while going over creeks & streams.  That’s when I start listening for banjo music!  And, yes we always get there in spite of the fog of battling GPS units….but I like paper maps….grinning.  So Lou’s route was a very pleasant way through the rural Virginia countryside to the cheese….it was a route we have never driven before….that’s always a cool deal. 

This event is held on a sprawling 50 acre plot with dirt/gravel roads winding through the compound.  The owners “rescue” old buildings and equipment from surrounding environs to be restored then displayed as part of their “park”.  They are part of the ‘Rockville-Centerville Steam & Gas Historical Association’ that rescues, restores, maintains and displays machinery of days gone by.  Any gearhead would be interested in these machines of yesteryear that are part of the fabric of what makes America great.  It’s always good to see/hear/feel the machines that built our Country.  And the buildings like the Post Office that have been rescued, restored and displayed on the grounds, spur a memory of our childhood and provides a touchable example for today’s generation to experience.  The Post Office is actually a ‘working’ Post Office during the event with a retired Postmaster on site to officially cancel any letters mailed from the event’s Post Office….how cool is that?  There were many food concessions and other crafts and memorabilia.  When Lou & I sent our Princesses off to forage through the different vendors we were pretty confident we would be OK….but one of the other spectators remarked that most vendors would take credit cards….we knew we were doomed.

This time of year I usually do my “outside” work around our home.  I had been cleaning our deck and pressure washing the siding, then washing some windows the week before.  So….my mind tells me I’m still 40 years old….but my body reminds me that I’ll be 72 in three months!  I was very worn out Saturday…to the point I didn’t visit any of the vendors and could only manage to take pictures of about 1/3 of the vehicles present!  Next year I think we will plan for a two day deal and stay at a motel nearby….we’ll see.  We highly recommend this event….but you can’t see everything in one day….you need to plan for two days.  And if you have a ‘special’ car I would encourage you to be an ‘exhibitor’ (car show) entrant.  The cost is only $15 (you only have to pay if you want your ride judged) and you get to park in the middle of everything instead of a couple miles away and then have to walk or be golf carted to the event grounds.

It was a very hot day so around 3PM most of our group decided to cruise 45 miles to Tim’s Seafood Restaurant by Lake Anna for dinner.  That’s when we realized how many people were attending the event….the Virginia State Troopers were doing traffic control as far away as I-64.  We worked our way to I-64 and jumped on it to escape the vehicular craziness.  We exited the Interstate onto Rt. 522 N and ran it the rest of the way to the cheese.  After eating too many scallops and shrimp and oysters and clams and codfish and hushpuppies we decided we really needed to get home….burp!  Our little group broke up with some going north to the Culpeper and Wilderness area and some going over the 208 bridge on Lake Anna then towards Fredericksburg.  The closer we got to Fredericksburg the louder the Princess complained that she didn’t have dessert at Tim’s….and how we were getting closer to Carl’s….and we hadn’t been there for a month or so….and that she really really really wanted to stop at Carl’s.  She tried to call Ramona & Dan that were following us, to enlist their help to convince me to go to Carl’s….but they were rocking out with their music and didn’t hear their phone ringing.  But when we turned right onto Fall Hill Ave the black ’55 turned with us….they knew!  So I changed our route a little to accommodate her wishes.  It’s always the best thing to do….you have no idea.

After testing the ice cream at Carl’s (it’s still good, you can go ahead and visit them….you’re welcome) we had an uneventful cruise back to the Shotwell hovel.  I love this hobby.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wright's Dairy Cruise 9-6-2015

Sunday at 11AM we left Stafford with Bill & Jo-Ann then picked up Dan & Ramona on the way out.   When we had cruised 26 miles, we went past the ice cream place on Rt. 29 & Rt. 28, where Roy & his wife joined us.  We cruised another 22 miles and joined up with Fred & Debie and Lou & Arlene.  I usually lead our adventures but I wanted to follow today….Lou (with 3 GPS’s) agreed to lead us the rest of our 74 mile cruise to Staunton, VA.  Lou found this cruise a couple months ago and we decided to give it a try. 

After a couple unscheduled stops along the way we arrived at the cruise around 2:30….  Since we hadn’t attended this cruise before we didn’t know how it worked.  The cruise is advertised to be held from 2PM to 5PM.  After talking with some “regulars” they said you had to be onsite around 9AM to get and decent parking!  When we arrived ALL the “normal” parking was taken.  With a wink and a nod the Police directed Lou that we could park up a side street near a townhome area and walk down to the event.  We parked.  It was way too much walking for me so the Princess took all the pictures of the event AND the trip along the way.  Bill Errera also let me use some of his pictures too.  Lesson learned, next time we get to the twice a year cruise around 8:30.  We are 120 miles away so that will make for an early launch…..but I think we can manage.  It looked like about 140 cars drove through and/or parked.  There were a lot of “spectator” crowds too.  It felt like a cruise to put on our calendar for next year.

We packed up around 4:45 then decided to return home by a little different route that would take us through Elkton and an Italian dinner at Ciro’s.  Whenever we get within 100 miles the Princess begins to whine around 3pm….  After eating too much Italian food and topping of the fuel tanks, we cruised 90 miles north and home….  Everyone peeled off the group as we got close to their home….The Princess & I were the last ones on the road.  Another great day driving around the Virginia countryside with friends in our hot rods….I love this hobby.