Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2430 in 11

I was on the road at 5 this morning after grabbing a coffee at Dunkin Donuts.  Bloomsburg, PA is a hopping place at that hour, a lot of Bloomsburgians are up and at it. 

I motored east on Interstate 80 and cruised along for an hour or so when my engine started running rough.  I pulled off the road and changed one set of points in my distributor, then the other set, both to no avail.  I sputtered along some more and tried changing the condensor.  I thought I had the issue figured out but then the engine really started running rough.

I managed to get off the highway and rolled into a truck stop.  My sights were set on finding a nice shady spot, but I was like an airplane descending without power.  I was not in a position to be fussy.

Once I parked in the bright sun, I began trying to figure out the problem.  On my '09 cross country trip, my truck was acting the same way and it was a fuel pump issue.  I tried changing the pump, but that was not the problem.

While I worked, a dozen people stopped and offered to make a call or to help out.  One man told me he didn't know anything about cars and he felt bad leaving..  Another drove up the road and brought lunch back to me.

It took me awhile to figure out but finally I discovered a loose nut inside the distributor.  The nut held the two point wires onto the coil and condensor pin.  Once I tightened it up, I was back on the road.

From there I drove 235 miles non stop and landed home at 6:30.  It was not the day I had planned, but it all adds to the adventure, right ?

When I got home, the GPS read 2430 miles.  It not hard to pile up the mileage zig - zag - ing around Indiana and Pennsylvania.  From starting the trip at my friend Tim's, to seeing Lancaster, PA, the Harley Davidson Factory, Gettysburg, The Air Force Museum, The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Hoestetler's Hudson Museum, The South Bend Truck Show, Notre Dame, The Studebaker Museum, and going to the Indy 500,  I feel like I covered a lot of ground in eleven days. It was also great to see my Old GMC Truck buddies and to meet and talk to a bunch of strangers while traveling.  There is no easier way to meet people than to drive an old car or truck around the countryside.  It is great fun, and I really enjoy doing it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

600 Down, 335 To Go...

I hit the road about 7 this morning.  That is late for me, but I was kinda tired from yesterday so I slept in a bit..

Originally I was going to take 90 through Cleveland, Buffalo, and Syracuse to get home.  But I have driven that road before and it's a boring ride.  So today I hung a right in Ohio and drove through Akron and Youngstown and on into Pennsylvania.  Anytime you can avoid Cleveland and Buffalo you've done a good day's work.

I didn't take any pictures today so here are a couple from the race yesterday.

Before the race, the 1911 Marmon Wasp made a couple of laps.  This car won the first running of the Indy 500 in 1911, 100 years ago.

I took this shot as the pace lap went by.  The cars were never lined up this nicely again..

If you look closely you can see the winner's trophy making its way over to Dan Wheldon.  He won the race after J R Hildebrand hit the wall on the final turn.

I drove just over 600 miles today and pulled into Bloomsburg, PA at about 4:30.  After a little dinner downtown I will be looking forward to bed.  I did notice there is a Dunkin Donuts downtown so I may make a little detour before hopping back onto 80 for the final 335 miles..  Good coffee is hard to come by on the road.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Right At Home

Today was awesome.....

I was outta bed at 3:30 this morning.  A few weeks ago I arranged to park my '53 inside an Indianapolis Firehouse and hook a ride with Engine 17 to the Indy 500.  The Chief asked me to be there at 7 am, then the Officer in Charge of the Engine called and asked me to be there a little earlier.  I certainly did not want to be late.

I rolled out of Kokomo, Indiana at about 4 am thinking there may already be race traffic.  There was, but as I arrived at Engine 17 I found they are on the outskirts of the city. I ended up getting there way early. But better way early than a minute late.

I hung out in the parking lot until an early riser came outside to greet me.  Scott brought me in and gave me a tour of their newly remodeled station.  It was beautiful.  Soon the day shift arrived and I met the crew that was going to take care of me today.  Indianapolis assigns four to an Engine and they were all great guys. They were detailed to the track for the race they had packed a grill and plenty of food and drinks.

We started out to meet at a staging point where there would be other apparatus gathering for the ride into Speedway.  The Indy Track is actually in a town within the city of Indy, confusing I know.  Speedway is techically where the track is located.

We hung out in the staging area for 15 minutes, got our briefing, and were on our way to Speedway.

We had a police escort and our own travel lane.  If you look to the right, you can see the traffic stopped...

Once we arrived at the track, I found out Engine 17 was assigned right outside the South Gate.  The Chief told me to wait and sure enough an IFD ATV arrived and brought me inside.  It was cool..

There is plenty to see once inside so I started looking around.  I did not have a garage pass cause I didn't know I needed one but walked over anyway.  I couldn't get inside the fence but did stick my camera lens through the chain link fence and got a shot of one car.  As luck would have it, that won the race.  Go figure..

I walked a little more looking for something to eat.  Walking to a counter, I saw a sign for a scrambled egg breakfast.  I ordered one and the gal told me she was all out.  I asked for a coffee and she told she was out of that, too.  I laughed and asked if she knew that was a race going on today, she laughed and said, " Have a beer ."  I told it was 8:00 in the morning.  She said , " Honey, loosen up.  It's Race Day  ! "  I found breakfast somewhere else and it did not consist of beer.

The track is enormous, there are thousands of people.  Activity was everywhere.  I made my way to my seat and was lucky to find a few real race fans there.  I don't know anything about racing so I was lucky they were there to answer my questions.  After the opening festivites and the Star Spangled Banner , etc, it was 12:03 and time for the start.  The pace car lead the pack around the track three times then dropped off. 

The roar of those engines, the cheering of the crowd, the high octane exhaust fumes, the speed....  I'm gonna tell you, it was awesome.  Everyone should experience the start of an Indianapolis 500 once in their life.

Click here for a short clip of the start...

After awhile I went down closer to the track and took this clip...

Short clip

Seeing the video is one thing, being up close is something else again...

Near the end of the race I walked toward the finish line to see the gates had been opened.  Usually you need to have a ticket to a particular section to enter but not so near the end.  So I walked in and found an empty seat six rows back from the finish line.  From there I got a good shot of the " Yard of Bricks " .  That is the name given to the finish line...  In the above picture it is to the right side.  Danica Patrick's car is the light green one, she is the only driver I know....

After the race, I made my way back to the Engine 17 boys and found there was a radio station broadcasting right next to them.  So we sat and listened to the music and helped out a few race revelers with sprained ankles and stuff in their eye,  etc.

On the ride home, the boys offered me dinner at their station which I gladly accepted.  Steak and chicken and burgers went on the grill and the usual firehouse banter ensued.  Even though I am a thousand miles away from home, I felt right at home.

I had a great day.

Tomorrow I will hit the road for Massachusetts.  My plan is to make Buffalo tomorrow night but I will play it by ear.  I hope to be home Tuesday....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Indy 500 Tomorrow.

I was up early this morning even though there was not a lot going on.  Some of our group took off for home, a few others stuck around.  My friend Andy and I adjusted a few things to smooth out a rough idle on my engine. 

A few of us went back to the show field and looked around some more.  I said good bye at about 2:30 and headed south for Kokomo, Indiana. The ride was an easy two hour drive straight down Route 31.  I passed a lot of flat farm country along the way. Kokomo is an hour north of Indianapolis so it was a good spot to lay up for the night. .   Today and tomorrow's route is here

Tomorrow I am meeting Indianapolis Engine 17 at 6:45 am in their quarters to hook a ride.  Although it is only about an hour from here to Indy, I want to leave early in case there is race traffic.  Watching the news at the hotel tonight, I see the gates open at the track at 6 am.  The track holds 250,000 people so this ought to be interesting.

I didn't take any pictures today but I'm sure I will take a bunch at the track tomorrow.

Ding, Dong, Ding

I had an appointment at the Notre Dame Fire Department at 8:30 yesterday morning for a tour of the University.  The station was only 5 minutes from my hotel so it was an easy ride.  I pulled in to find their Assistant Chief conducting their daily shift meeting.  When it was over, I met the men of  'B' Shift.  Of course the B, I was informed, stands for Best...

The station itself was impressive. Built in 1945, it was originally manned by brothers and priests.  That pracitce continued on a part time basis until the early '90's.  Now it is occupied by 4 full time firefighters working 24 shifts for an average of 56 hours a week.

I was met by Asst Chief Tim Hoeppner then introduced to the rest of the shift.  Two of the firefighters, Mike and Rick, invited me to hop into their Engine 41 for a ride around the campus.  The Chief said if they recieved a call, just take me along.  I was hoping for a something to happen during the morning but unfortunately, nothing did.

I quickly discovered these Mike and Rick had keys to all the fun places.  Whenever we encountered a sign that read, 'Do Not Enter', or 'Restricted Area', we walked on through.  We started with a tour of the Main Building, also known as the Administrative Building.  It contains the signature gold dome that most people associate with Notre Dame.

The inside is quite impressive.  The halls are adorned with restored oil paintings and the walls and ceilings are all hand painted.  The wood doors, trim, and handmade wood paneling are beautiful..

This shot was taken up and under the area of the gold dome.  All of the work was done by hand. It was really impressive.

We moved on to the Stadium and took the elevator up to the media room and a couple of other VIP areas.  Recently remodeled, the stadium seats over 80,000.

The next stop was the Basilica.  As you may expect of a Catholic Univerisity it was unbelievably ornate.  As I stood outside and admired the steeple, Mike and Rick asked if I would like to climb to the top from the inside. We entered, and they unlocked the side door and we started up the narrow stairs.

As we climbed, the system of bells and strikers came into view and the stairs become more like rickety ladders.  For some reason I did not expect it to be all heavy timber construction but it was a complex system of beams and cross supports.  I kept going and got to the clock level where I noticed there was one motor with 4 different shafts that ran out the clock on each corner. 

As started down, I did not realize that the bells would ring on the half hour.  When the first one struck, I quickly put my fingers into my ears.  It wasn't one simple dong but a melody that lasted a couple of minutes.  It was great fun to watch all the strikers activate.

Mike and Rick toured me around Notre Dame for about three hours.  There were good guys, I really enjoyed the morning.

From there I drove back to the truck show and hooked up with my friends.  Lots of them drove their old iron from all parts of the country, including Kansas, Texas, Minnesota, and Washington State.  So you can see there are other knuckleheads who drive these things around the country.

Today, Saturday, I will make my way south to Kokomo, Indiana.  Tomorrow morning I need to be at Indianapolis Engine 17 at 6:30 am sharp to hook my ride to the Indianapolis 500.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hurry Up and Giddy Up

The sky was black this morning as I rolled out of Auburn, Indiana.  The easy way was to head north on 69 then west on 80 to find South Bend.  Looking at the map, I noticed I could head north on 69 a short way then cut west across Route 20.  I decided that since I was not in a rush, the easier ride on 20 would be the ticket.

My hunch was right, 20 was an nice drive with little traffic.  After awhile I approached the town of Shipshewana.  There was a small restaurant at the junction of 20 and 5 so I pulled over for a cup of coffee. 

As I walked in, I heard the clop clop of the Amish buggy and looked up to see it blending in with the day to day traffic...

My waitress was an Amish woman. My attempts to engage her in conversation were not that successful. Usually I can get get a little dialogue going but a lot of my questions were answered with a polite , " I couldn't say yes and I couldn't say no."

I paid the bill and walked outside to find a couple of guys looking over my truck.  One of them asked if I had been at the ATHS show in Auburn, Indiana in 2005.  When I told him I was there he remembered talking to me and seeing my truck.  They had stopped because they were trying to find a local Hudson Automobile Collection.  I walked back in and asked the waitress about it, she told me the museum was a half mile way.

We all drove up the road and found the Hudson Museum easily.  I walked in to find a plain but new building that was loaded with beautiful cars. There were sixty or so beautifully restored Hudson automobiles and trucks from the teens to the end of production in the late '50's.

After a few minutes I was approached by an older man who handed me his card, his name was Eldon Hostetler. It only took me a minute to discover he was the one who had assembled the collection. 

Eldon was a very friendly man who told me he was born of Amish parents.  As a young boy he was taught to work on the farm.  He recalled that the first words he learned were, " Hurry Up and Giddy Up."

In Eldon's words, he did not "sign up' to be Amish.  He continued to do farm work then began to work on some ideas to feed and water poultry.  During his life Eldon make a large fortune with his poultry servicing equipment and eventually applied for and received 60 patents.  As his wealth grew, he began to collect cars.

As we talked, he took me behind the ropes and talked about the electric shift on the Hudsons he admired as a boy.  The first cars of his collection sported the electric shift and other Hudson oddities like the hidden radio. Eldon delighted is showing me the details of many of his cars. 

When I was ready to leave, I asked him what he was going to do for the rest of the day. Eldon said he had 5 acres of grass to mow at home so he needed to get going. Eldon is 88, and quite a character. I had a great time talking to him..

After my Hudson education I headed north again toward South Bend.  I rolled into the truck show to find a few of my old GMC Truck friends had arrived from around the country. These guys are the reason I came to the show in South Bend so it was great to see them.

Tomorrow I am off to Notre Dame for a tour of the campus. It should be fun..

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's a Duesy ....

I was the only one in the hotel laundry room at 5 am . Since me and my clothes were clean I needed to so something about my scroungy truck.  My GPS told me the Butler Car and Doggie Wash was only a mile away.

I asked just to use a hose, I didn't want to run through the automated car wash.  The two men who worked there were quite nice and directed me to a shady spot then rolled out the hose..

The guy on the right is Bobby Mcgee. Janis Joplin sang about him, then we didn't hear from him for years. Who'd a thunk he was working in a car wash in Dayton, Ohio..

Once I got spiffed up I headed back to the Air Force Museum.  The lighting is a bit dim and some of the planes are so large it is tough to get good pictures.  I spent another three hours looking at some enormous planes including a B - 52 Stratofortress.  It was so big I couldn't get far enough away for a pic.

While inside I could hear it pouring on the roof of the hangar, then I could hear thunder.   When I came out, it had cleared so I headed north and west to Auburn, Indiana.  I never unfolded my map but just trusted the GPS. It was a nice combination of highway and secondary roads.  I drove through small towns like Neptune and larger ones like Van Wert, Ohio. Today's route is right here..

You can tell two things from this pic.  The first is I am back on the Lincoln Highway, Route 30.  The second is that it is going to rain, hard and soon !

As I got close to Fort Wayne, Indiana, the skies opened up with rain and vivid lighting.  It was quite a ride for a half hour or so.  As I approached the Auburn - Cord - Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, the rain slowed down.  I paid my ten bucks to get in and was immediately impressed.  I have seen a lot of car museums but nothing like this one. The building was built as the corporate headquarters for the Auburn Automobile Company.  It was started in 1929 and took a year to finish at a cost of 450,000 dollars.  It is packed with rare models for all three brands, Auburn, Cord, and the ultra stylish and lightning fast Duesenberg.

As you enter there is a '31 Duesenberg to the left.  For those of you trying to find me the perfect birthday gift, that will do it.

The museum is filled with the rare and beautiful.  There is only of these ever built, a 1929 Auburn Cabin Speedster.

The yellow Cord in the top center rotates in a circle.  Standing halfway up the grand stairway, you could imagine it was 1936 and you had a pocket full of money to spend on any car in the showroom.

The museum is filled with many earlier fine cars and examples of engine and engineering breakthoughs that were way ahead of their time. I spent a couple of hours there and really enjoyed it.

My Auburn hotel was only 5 minutes away so I dashed to the parking lot and splashed my way there. South Bend is only 100 miles from me so I will have a short ride tomorrow. In fact, it will be the shortest of the trip so far.  My GMC buddies are converging on South Bend, it will be fun to see them...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sam 26000

This morning I took off from Somerset in the pouring rain.  The driving today was all highway stuff.  Set the GPS, hook the Bose phones to the I Pod and cruise..

There aren't many pictures to take on the highway but I found this interesting...

I never gave much thought to how work is done on these things.  Those guys were waaay up there...

It is 300 miles from Somerset, PA to Dayton, OH so I just cruised along.  My truck and I also took our first ride through West Virginia. Although my in-laws hail from there, I have never been. There's a first time for everything.

Once I got through Columbus the traffic lightened up and the driving was easy.  Originally I planned to see the Air Force Museum tomorrow but I arrived in Dayton around 2:30 so I headed toward Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

It's an expansive area and there is lots to see.  I was particularly interested in the Presidential Aircraft so I hopped the bus to that hangar.  Their are several planes housed there beginning with Franklin Roosevelt and running through Clinton. 

The one of interest to most is SAM 26000, the aircraft put in service by President Kennedy in October of 1962.  Kennedy had it painted in distinctive blue and white instead of relying on military colors. The title " United States of America " was emblazoned on the fuselage and a large American flag painted on the tail. It is the same plane that carried him to Berlin and then home from Dallas.

After the assasination the plane was reconfigured a few times to fly seven more presidents, so there is little evidence of what happened on November 22, 1963.  There is however, a saw cut in the wall where Secret Service agents had to remove a piece of the wall to get the casket into the plane.  The cut was repaired by a couple of pieces of molding but is still evident. 

Connor and I saw the Kennedy Limousine at the Henry Ford Museum two summers ago.  Like the limo, looking at that corner of the plane gave me an eerie feeling.

Before I left for the day I took a look in the World War II section and paid particular attention to a couple of war birds.  

My friend Professor Tim's Dad piloted a B-17 Flying Fortress over Germany from English air bases during the war. 

 Tim's father in law was a P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Pilot.  Both are impressive aircraft..

I am just back from dinner at Smokey Bones, a rib joint right next door to the hotel.  It was a good meal and an easy walk..  Tomorrow I will head back to the Air Force Museum. Depending on how much time I spend there I may stay in Dayton again or head north to South Bend..

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wind In Your Hair, Feeling Alive...

Last night I drove to Strasburg and ate a prime rib at the bar of the Iron Horse Restaurant.  Strasburg is a vintage railroad center so the Iron Horse name is a train reference.  After dinner, I parked downtown in front of the Strasburg Ice Cream Shoppe.  It is a quant old place and I spent the next hour eating my ice cream and shooting the breeze with people walking downtown...

This morning I packed up and headed to the nearest Dunkin Donuts.  I was surprised to see one here in Pennsylvania.  My morning coffee was 20 cents cheaper than at home.  The gas right next door was 3.59 a gallon so I filled up.  At these prices I can't afford to stay home.

Last night I noticed the Harley Davidson Assembly plant was only a half hour ride from Lancaster.  So I decided to stay to the south and head to York. I set the GPS and rolled in just before 8:00. 

I took this picture on the main road out in front of the Harley Factory.  A York, PA, officer drove by.  I thought he was going to tell me to move. He didn't, but he didn't look too impressed either.

While waiting for the 8:30 factory tour to start, I noticed I was the only non-Harley rider in the group of a dozen.  To a Harley guy, seeing this factory is a big deal. Two of them had riden up from Knoxville, TN.  Another mentioned he was from Fairhaven, Mass. Talking to him I found he knew my Mom's cousin Paul, who lives in Fairhaven.  Crazy...

No pictures were allowed in the plant so I took this one in the display area.  It gives an idea how the bikes are built.  A cradle on a moving track keep them going down the assembly line.

The tour guides were very strict about keeping us on the painted yellow lines on the factory floor.  The place was buzzing with swinging bikes and forklifts delivering parts to the line. The engines and transmissions are assembled in Wisconsin then delivered here. The plant can built a bike in two hours.  It looked like most fun is hopping on and testing the finished product on the dyno.  What a job that would be, riding new Harleys all day long and getting paid for the pleasure.

As I left York, I looked at the map and decided to head to Gettysburg.  I have never been so I thought it would make an interesting afternoon.  Traveling along Route 30 I saw a Lincoln Highway marker.

The Lincoln Highway was originally laid out in 1915 linking New York City with San Francisco.  It was paved in the '30's and served as a main link across the US.  Markers like the one above were placed by Boy Scouts every mile or so for the 3000 miles of the road.  The Lincoln Highway was Route 30 until it hit what is now Route 50 in Nevada,  The Loneliest Road in America.  Connor and I traveled the Loneliest Road on our trip in 2009.

The Lincoln Highway was later replaced by interstates but lots of reminders like this one I passed today still exist.
"Wind In Your Hair, Feeling Alive. A Great Institution, The Sunday Drive."
I had to make one of my famous U Turns to get the shot...

The ride to Gettysburg was only a short one and I pulled into the visitor center just before noon. I bought a ticket for admission to an interesting movie depicting the history and facts of the battle.  Afterward, I took a ride across the street and parked, then began a long walk through the main section of the battle field.

Before reinforcements arrived, the South initially outnumbered the North.  But as you see can see from the position of this Union cannon, the North occupied the high ground.

I was really surprised at the size of the battlefield. It is difficult to see clearly all the way across.  Monuments and statues mark the heroism and give credit to Artillery and Battery Groups that held their positions and performed acts of heroism.  It is an impressive sight.

One of the largest structures is the monument built by the State of Pennsylvania noting and paying tribute to those residents who served at Gettysburg.  If you look closely, you can see people standing at the top.  I took the walk up the windy narrow stairs.  It is quite a sight from up there.

I walked across the street into the cemetery where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg address.  There is a large monument there with the text of his speech.  I am sure this is a place where I could spend a lot more time, it would be interesting to come back.

I hopped onto Route 30 again and headed West.  Parts of Route 30 climbed and dropped and twisted and turned.  There were a few tough spots for a 57 year old truck.  Route 30 dumped me on to Interstate 76 then 70 and into Somerset, PA , my landing spot for tonight.  My route today is right here...

I only drove about 190 miles today but the Route 30 section was slow going.  Lots of it, through places like Gettysburg and Chambersburg were worth the extra time.  There is a lot to see when you get off the Interstates...

Tonight I was wearing a T shirt I got from the San Francisco Fire Boat crew.  A man in the lobby asked me about it.  As we talked I found he used to be on the Concord Fire Dept, the next town to where I work.  He now has a job in the fire protection division of the National Park Service in Boston.  He is doing advance work for the tenth anniversary of 911 at the Flight 93 Memorial site here in PA...

Tomorrow the goal is just to get to Dayton, OH, it will be a 300 mile poke.  On Wednesday I will spend the day at the Dayton Air Force Museum...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Black Ones, Gray Ones

Tim and I were up early this morning and like always, he sent me off with a great breakfast.  Scrambled eggs with chives, bacon, toast, home made jelly, orange juice, and coffee.  Tim is the best of hosts, and I always appreciate his efforts.  Thanks, Tim..

I hit the road about 7:15 and twisted south headed for New Jersey and Pennsylvania..  My route of travel is right here... I must have done all right, cause the GPS lady never yelled at me..

It was cloudy but never rained so it was a great day to travel. I drove for 4 hours straight and stopped for gas and lunch just west of Kutztown, PA.  Our old truck club knows this area from our attendance at the yearly Macungie Truck Show.

After racking up about 290 miles I rolled into my hotel in Lancaster, PA around 1:30.  I asked the gal at the desk what is to see around here and was handed a local map.  I headed south then east through the little towns of Smoketown and Bird in Hand.

I came upon my first horse and buggy and of course I whipped out the camera to get a shot.  After awhile this started to remind me of our Yellowstone trip.  The first time I saw a buffalo, I couldn't wait to get a picture.  By the end of the weekend, I had seen hundreds of them.  Same with the buggies.  I saw dozens during the rest of my afternoon.

The hotel gal explained the Amish businesses are all closed on Sunday.  Perhaps that is why I saw so many out on the road. With no work, they may have all been out for a Sunday Drive. I saw four or five volley ball games going on also, it looked like fun.

I learned Amish buggies are gray, and the Mennonites have black ones. I'm not really sure if I'll ever need that info,  but I'll have it if I need it.

I also learned they don't stop at the Stop Signs....

If you click on that pic to make it larger, notice the rocking chairs on the front porch.  It looked like a relaxing was to spend a Sunday afternoon. You can also see the buggy has directional lights.  Some did and some didn't..

Most of the buggy occupants were pretty stern as they watched the tourist from Boston take pictures.  Others were very friendly and waved at me in my old GMC.

There were lots of churches.  Most were fairly new structures stoutly built of brick and/or stone.  This small older one sat in the midst of a cemetery.

From the center of Bird in Hand, I headed south along South Ronks Road. This was typical view of the farm houses and barns once I left main streets.

While driving through Strasburg I noticed lots of small restaurants.  After a shower I am going to head back for dinner..  Later tonight I will lay out my route and plan my stops for tomorrow.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nice Day For a RIde

My ride today was a short one, I only needed to cover 135 miles to get to my friend Tim's house in Castleton on Hudson, New York. Castleton is a village of the Town of Schodack.  A lot of these little towns were originally formed because of the need for food and ice for the big city of New York City.  I am only a mile from the Hudson River.

I have stayed with Tim many times over the past few years for one old truck related event or another.  Today I am here to pick up some Rockwell lathe parts to deliver to my friend Andy from Minnesota who is meeting me at the truck show in South Bend.

The trip was a straight shot out the Mass Pike and the Berkshire Spur of the New York State Thruway.  It was an easy ride, except for a 5 minute downpour.  When I drive my '53 around, people like to comment, " They don't make them like they used to." During the downpour I was thankful that they don't make defrosters and wipers like they used to.  With my vacuum wipers and weak defrosters, I couldn't see a thing for 5 minutes.

When I arrived, Tim and I got to work wrapping the lathe in plastic and packing them into my storage boxes.

With all of that hard work, it was time for a frosty glass of Tim’s home brewed beer..  On tap today was a Special Bitter Ale that Tim started brewing three months ago.  From the taste of the beer, it looks like I arrived at just the right time.  Store bought beer is between 3.5 and 5 per cent alcohol.  Tim's Bitter Ale is between 6 and 7 per cent.  It’s a good thing we finished our work before we started to drink the Bitter Ale. If there are any typos here, blame it on the 2 % differential.

I will head south in the morning and drive into Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Of all the traveling I have done in the Northeast, I have never been through the Pennsylvania Dutch Country.  I’ll have to watch out for the horse drawn buggies….

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gettin' Ready to Hit The Road

On Saturday, May 21, I will be driving my '53 GMC to South Bend, Indiana.  The annual Antique Truck Historical Society Show will be held there from Thursday May 26 - 28.  Once there, I will meet up with a few of my old truck buddies.

My first stop will be at my friend Professor Tim's in New York to pick up a few Rockwell lathe parts for my friend Andy in Minnesota.  Andy will be in South Bend to pick up the shipment.

From there I will swing south through Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania and head west through Dayton, Ohio.  I am planning a stop at the National Museum of the US Air Force . From Dayton I will swing north through Auburn, Indiana to visit the Auburn - Cord - Duesenberg Museum then on to South Bend.  Once in South Bend I have an appointment with the Notre Dame Fire Chief for a tour of the University grounds. If time permits I would also like to visit the Studebaker Museum in South Bend.  That's a lot of museums in a week and a half....

As long as I am in the area, I thought it would be fun to go to the Indy 500.  My only concern was where to park my GMC and the logistics of getting to the track.  The short story is my new friends at the Indianapolis Fire Department are going to take care of me in fine style.  I know little about Indy racing, but I am really looking forward to taking in the sounds and the sights.

My Mapquest Route is right here...  The page takes a few seconds to load...

My goal is to make a daily update to this blog...

My son Connor and I drove this truck across the United States two summers ago..  The shot above was taken in the northern most section of Yellowstone Park on the border of Wyoming and Montana. Connor will be in school so I will be making this a solo jaunt...