Monday, July 28, 2008

A Car Show Week

Well, as it happens some times plans change and so I didn’t make up to camp this past weekend. Instead, it turned into the week of the hot rod.
I had wanted to go to Quicks Tuesday night but for some reason that didn’t happen so when Wednesday evening rolled around I decided I’d go check out the new cruise-in that Russ’ restaurant was sponsoring up in Muskegon. I took Bailey with me and met up with Adam once we got there. It was a small affair, about 30 / 40 cars, but they had the DJ and the 50/50 drawings so they were working on it…We hung out there till 8 and then headed for home.
Thursday night Culvers restaurant in G.H. was having their little twice a month cruise-in and because we hadn’t been around to make one yet we decided to go over there for awhile and get a hamburger. Their get together was even a smaller affair than Russ’ with less than 2 dozen cars in attendance. While sitting there I got the idea to go up to Whitehall Friday night for the cruise / parade from Whitehall, over the river into Montague. I’d been up there to check it out before but never participated.
So, once the decision was made to do that I decided to drive the car up to work Friday morning to avoid having to go back home and try to get it out of town with Friday afternoon traffic clogging the roadways.
That plan worked fine and by 5:45 we (Chris had decided to go so Wanda dropped him off at work) were sitting in line at Whitehall high School. We had some time to kill before the 7pm start time for the parade so we hiked around, checking out the rides. It was really quite amazing that a small burg in the middle of nowhere could pull in the kind of participation that we witnessed. I heard later that evening that the car count was right around 500! It took almost an hour and a half for the parade to pass from start to finish.
Not long after the 7:00 start time motors close by us started firing up so we got in the car and in a couple minutes we were edging our way to Colby ave and the official start. From our seat the whole affair took less than 10 minutes before we were parked in Montague and heading “downtown” to watch the rest of the cars pile into the melee. On the way over the river I had gotten a bit wild and burned a bit of rubber to the approving cheers of the crowd. Both sides of the street were packed with folks all the way down the route.
After parking the car we went searching for food. After eating we spent awhile strolling around taking pics and talking with folks we knew. About 10:30 we decided to head out for home as things were winding down.
Saturday was a stay at home day. I got up fairly early but napped on and off until noonish when I decided I could put it off no longer and got up and went to Home Depot to buy some paint and supplies so I could start working on the garage. I spent most of the afternoon and early evening on the ladder and got the whole front side scrapped down and ready for primer before calling it quits and diverting my attention to putting stuff away and sweeping the floor inside the garage.
By the time that project was complete it was time to eat so I fired up the hot rod, grabbed the little lady and we headed up to the Dog and Suds in Norton Shores for a couple chili dogs and a big frosty Root beer. With the neon lights, car hops in short shorts and tray on the window it had a decided 50’s feel to it. After we flipped on the light for tray pickup we headed back down towards home and cruised town once before calling it a day.
I’d decided sometime early in the weekend that cuz I wasn’t going up to camp that I’d do the car show Sunday, even though I was just there for the other one a couple weeks ago. So, I headed downtown about 7ish with Mercury in tow and was surprised to find more cars already there than I thought there’d be there. I parked on the 3rd block, got the display stuff out and then took a hike around once to see who / what was there. I didn’t do much picture taking with Mercury along. Ron, from the car club stopped by too and we spent most of the day shooting the breeze. A handful of folks I knew stopped by to say hi and the time went by quickly. They started giving out the awards about 2:30 and by 3:30 I was on the couch, kicking back. After a nap I made some supper and then hit the Dairy Treat for a hot fudge malt. I finished up the day doing laundry cuz they won’t let me come to work naked……..
This coming week is Coast Guard Festival week and the plan is to get out and about as much as possible to see the sights. We’ll see how that goes.
Time for bed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meadowview Castle After A Month Away.....

.....Ferns, ferns and more damn ferns! I’m convinced the word infernal is derivative from this pesky plant. In just 4 short weeks the ferns had reclaimed a larger portion of my mowed area. In fact I couldn’t see some of my pine trees cuz the blasted ferns had grown taller in just 4 weeks than the pines.
I got up to camp Friday night about 6:30 to find out that our electric meter had been blown up by the last couple weeks thunderstorms. Wanda and Chris had gotten there earlier in the day and discovered the problem and managed to get Great Lakes Electric out to put in a new meter and fix the problem except for the plug that I discovered had been fried along with the meter. Not wanting to do without my running lights I rigged up a couple extension cords to get everything working until I could get to Home Depot Saturday for a new plug assembly.
Not long after that we were eating hamburgers grilled on our new little 9 dollar table top grill. By the time we got done eating it was going on 9pm. A quick ride up to the lodge for ice cream was for naught as they had already closed up shop and went home so it was back to camp for the remainder of the day. Got a fire going and kicked back until I stumbled off to bed about 1am.I got up early Saturday (6am) and me, Bailey and Mercury took a hike around the camp ground for an hour or so. Came back, made breakfast, ate and then while Chris started mowing I went around and trimmed and pruned stuff.
About 11am we took off for Home Depot. I got my receptacle, made a stop at the Dairy Barn and headed back to camp. After we got back to camp I replaced the plug which then worked again but then found out that the extension cord to the fridge seemed to be toasted so I made plans to dig up my pcv pipe and replace the extension cord Sunday and then continued to reclaim land from the fern army until right up to suppertime. I went up to the lodge for a quick shower and then back to camp for steak and fried taters. After dinner it was back to the lodge for ice cream and then a cruise around the campground.
The rest of the evening was spent in camp. Wanda and Chris played the dice game (dunno what it’s called…) while I walked around the newly reclaimed kingdom deciding where to put my medicine wheel. After some internal debate I decided to put it around the huge stump in the flatlands and use the stump as the centerpiece of the wheel. It’s going to be a work in progress for most of the rest of this season I figure….I also am looking for a old fashioned porch swing to hang from one of the study limbs of the tree by the medicine wheel, but after looking for a couple weeks now I’m not sure it’s going to be as easy to find as I’d hoped.
Sunday morning I slept in until Mercury put his face in my face. It was almost 9am by then so I got up and started making breakfast. Eggs for the other two humans and pancakes for all us dogs….
Wanda and Chris took off about noon and at that point I started in on replacing the extension cord that seemed to be dead. I got it all dug up, replaced the cord, reburied the pipe and got everything back to normal. Later on when I tested each individual cord they all seemed to work fine but rather than stress over the work already done I just chalked it up to a loose connection somewhere from the lightening strike.
I sat down after that project was complete, closed my eyes for a minute and when I opened them back up it was 3:30pm. So I jumped back up, fired up the mower and finished up the fern attack. By the time I was done with all that and had put everything always, locked things up and shut things up it was almost 6:30pm. I stopped at the lodge on the way out to dump off the garbage and decided to get a dose of ice cream for the road.
On the way home we were making good time when all of a sudden, coming into Rothbury, there’s a State bull’s car parked in the middle of the highway with it’s lights on and flashing. I woah’d up and as we came under the bridge and around the corner we could see tow trucks and people all over the place. As we passed they were trying to get a badly beaten up Ford SUV up on a rollback along with what looked to be the remains of a decent sized camping trailer. We didn’t know it at the time of course but later found out that a 51 year old lady had died in the wreck. The husband and the grandkids with her were bruised up but still around.
When we got back in town I stopped by Butch’s Burrito’s first for something to eat before heading home to a hot shower. I spent the rest of the evening doing laundry and taking it easy.
Nothing much planned for this week. I should be working on the garage but I haven’t even finished cleaning the bike up yet from the trip to we’ll see how far I get with one before I tackle the other. Tentative plan for next weekend is to go back up to camp, now that I got all the work done…..but we’ll see what pops up, if anything, during the week before I start packing my bag.


Thursday evening we had some storms come thru with awesome cloud formations and luckily I happened to have the camera with me so here’s a couple pics to check out. Not long after these were shot it got real wet and windy for awhile. Keep in mind it was only about 7:00pm, 2 hours before sunset.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No Rest For The Weary

Well, as I said in the last entry, I got home from my little trip out west at 6:02pm on Friday, the 11th. After hello's and howdy's I headed for the shower and got some of the road dust washed off my hide. After that we headed for the Texas roadhouse for a big steak dinner. After several days of juice and trail mix I was ready for something more substantial. We didn't leave until almost 9:00 and then it was straight home to wind down because we had to get up early and be to Harbor Island for the Spread The Music volunteering gig.
So, We were up and over to Harbor Island alittle bit after 9, putting up the canopy and organizing things. We had to change the exit road because the storms that came thru during the night had made some spots in the field pretty much impassable.

Wanda & Gigi

There was to be a car show as one of the draws but with the weather looking iffy I'd left the car home. I changed my mind later though and brought the hot rod. People starting showing up about 10 and by noon family fun day was in full swing. I divided my time during the afternoon between parking cars and taking pics of the festivities. By the time 4pm rolled around most of the party was over and we were getting ready to take off home for a break before the night's events kicked into gear. I managed an hour's worth of naptime and then it was time to head for Pizza Hut for some supper.
After dinner we were back at Harbor Island where the beer tent was in full swing. the first band was just finishing up their set so I didn't get much of a chance to hear 'em. The second band was a blues band that was adequate but nothing to write home about. By the time they finished their set I was tired and antsy so when the 3rd and final band of the night started I wandered up front to watch them for a bit. Their bass player was quite good but the band's sound over all was not that impressive. They were, or seemed to be at least, jamming most of their set and many folks lost interest and wandered off or went home. I decided that I'd do something constructive and start taking down the stakes and caution tape early so that we weren't gonna still be there at 1am. Tony helped me and we were just finishing up when the show came to an end and the crowd headed for home.
I've always missed the Wheels Of Grand Haven car show cuz we have something else going on but this year I was home for the weekend so I decided I'd do it and skip the Coast Guard one this year. So the alarm went off at 5:30am Sunday morning. I got up about 6:30 and scurried around getting camera gear together and was downtown parking the car just a bit before 7am. Registration was open yet so I went down the street to the Delite and ordered breakfast. While I was waiting for it I ran into a friend, Tony Sheriff and he pulled up a chair and we shot the breeze for an hour or so while we ate our breakfasts. One of his friends joined us later on and we talked about those things that are on the minds of most everyone nowadays........
After saying our goodbyes I headed back to the car and cleaned her up a bit while I waited for registration to open. Once I had my goodie bag and dash plaque it was time to go hike around a bit and shoot some frames. I ran into the older gentleman with the 1923 Durant that I'd met the first part of June at the car show in Muskegon and we talked awhile. After leaving him I wandered around some more, shooting frames and then after making a complete pass went back to the car for a break. I had a 60's Thunderbird on the left side of me and on the right side a guy had pulled in with a 1954 Vette in mint shape. I ended up talking with him quite a bit on and off during the day. He'd just finished restoring the car and this was his second car show.

There were over 320 cars lining Washington street by noon. It was about then that I took my ballot and pen and walked around voting for my favorites. Once that was done I just hung out until 3pm when they started the award presentations. I wasn't able to snag a trophy this time but luckily for me I don't do car shows to collect dust catchers....I do it for the fun of doing it and to be a part of something that I love. When a trophy does come along it's just icing on the cake.

Once all the trophys' were disbersed, motors were fired up and people started heading out. I waited about 15 minutes and took some pics of the other cars heading out before heading out myself. After getting back home I ate a bit of lunch and kicked back for awhile. I'd thought about going down to Holland to do the cruise-in at the D&W but the skies looked they were going to dump some rain so I decided to hang close to home instead and get stuff unpacked and organized a bit.

Here it is Wednesday now and I still haven't gone thru all my pics yet, or put stuff away entirely. It's denial, I know it is, but I'm back home again, already and South Dakota and those night skies are a 1,000+ miles away. Lord Willin' I believe I'll be heading back out that way again in the not too distant future. There was just too many things I didn't get to see that need to be seen and time is running sense wasting any more time than I already have.



Monday, July 14, 2008

Home Again

Actually I pulled in the driveway at 6:02pm on Friday the 12th, but I still haven't had time yet to really catch my breath or go thru my 800+ pics. Been going 90mph since I got home. I spent most of last evening cleaning up the bike (that performed flawlessly the whole trip) and trying to remove the bug guts that I aquired from haulin' ass thru 6 different states. It's gonna take another night or two just to finish that project. I also need to do some repair work to my backpacks...had a couple straps come undone thanks to shitty factory sewing.
I'm gonna put the pics and stories from this trip in a area all it's own and I'll probably upload it by chapter (day) just so I can get stuff online in a fairly decent timeframe. Look for a new icon on the main page that looks like it has something to do with traveling and that's where you should find the story of the South Dakota trip along with others from the past in the future......
Just for the record, I had the time of my life. One of the best trips, if not the best trip, I've ever took. Met a bunch of interesting people, saw some amazing stuff and got myself right with the world for almost a whole week. Weather was beautiful, blue skies and warm the whole time. I put a total of 2,757 miles on the bike 8 days, roughly 55 gallons of fuel @ a cost of right around $220.00. On 4 wheels that wouldn't have even gotten me out there let alone around and back again.....
I'll recap the weekend after I got back in town in the next day or two and I'll be working on the travelogue and uploading it a chapter at a time as quickly as I can. Be patient, I'm still in denial that I'm already back home again.