Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On the road again...Bristol!

We're camping on The Dragstrip at the track. 
This year's vacation involves a visit to Bristol, TN for the Food City 500. 

Before we left the house, we felt exceptionally well organized.  Things were clean, put away, laundry done for the return...very odd.  Which only added  to the feeling of anticipation.  I got home from work, we threw those last few things in the truck and hit the road.

And then blew a tire.  Yep, 10 minutes from the house.  Shredded it, in fact.  The sort of horrid blowout you see and are happy it never happened to you.  But, you know, Rich is a boyscout.  We are prepared.  Jack, wrenches, spare (which was flat), compressor and generator to run compressor...good thing we're RV'ers.

Back on the road!  Suffering through road construction late at night in Connecticut, a brief respite from the road in NY and then the long day of driving through Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.

I love the Appalachians.  One of my favorite drives is I81 down Virginia.  Hills, farms, cows, greenery and a sense you have left the hustle of the East Coast behind.  And we've noticed from years on the road, once you're out of the I95 corridor, people just get much more patient.  (Dr. Zhivago soundtrack just came on my MP3 player...*sigh*) Merging isn't the panicky thing New Englanders make it.  Please and thank you.  Yes, despite that blown tire, we really could feel vacation seeping in.

We stopped in Fort Chiswell, VA at a campground run on the honors system.  Please leave money in the mailbox, we've gone to bed.  We slept to the sounds of crickets and the smell of freshly mown hay.  A baby bird was on the ground and Mama was feeding it.  Apparently somebody hadn't quite learned to fly yet.  In the morning I checked in with the office, the very pleasant lady wrote my name down on a piece of paper and thanked me after wishing us a happy race.  No computers or verifying we had actually paid on-line.  Signs that not everywhere on the planet have we succumbed to technology.

And then Bristol...the whole point of the vacation. 

Each time we book a new race destination, we look on the journey with a bit ennui.  We know how to do this.  We've got the bumps, bruises and flat tires to show our road weary experience.  But as we drove down the road and turned a corner, suddenly the track appeared on our left rising out of the hills.

BRISTOL!  We both succumb to pointing and smiling and yelling.  Look at it!  A giant colloseum rising out of the woods.  Terraced camping is to be seen in all directions.  We will most likely perish climbing around the facility this week.  But we don't care.  It's a new track, one full of history and excitement. 

The folks parked next to us were at Michigan last week. The campground shuttle took them on an extended tour of the track grounds yesterday.  Tonight there are modifieds and trucks.  The wonderful.  Somehow summer has departed and left in its wake cool, dry nights and warm sunny days. 

The spare tire is replaced, thanks to Danny at Appalachian Tire in Bristol, VA.  The nice lady in the bakery at the supermarket welcomed us to town as we gushed over some cute racing cakes and lunch at the cantina yesterday was quite good.

It's a vacation.  It's at Bristol.  We should have lots of memories to share when we return.


Bobbi Romans said...

Totally agree with the beauty you're seeing. Was born and raised in VA, with family all over VA, and W. VA.

I'm partial, but it's simply beautiful country.

Glad everything worked out with the blow-out. Those can be dangerous as hell. So glad you're both safe and enjoy your vacation.


Amber said...

Yay for the RV Scouts!

Food City?

BTW, ever see the movie Something Wild? It was filmed in my town, using the green hills down Apalachee Parkway to substitute for some Appalachian parkway or other.