March 23, 2019 Pontiac on Main Street
Well, the weather broke in a big way, 75 degrees and not a cloud out, absolutely spectacular.
The group hadn't been out together in a while so it was about to time to get out for one of the Mainstreet/Springfield 4th Saturday cruises. A smaller group of us got together, a lot of catching up to do. A few new cars wandered in, the red and black (66? 67?) GTOs? (sorry, firebird guy here can't keep them straight.
The rest of the cruisers were, well shall we say...fiesty? Many will be visiting their tire dealers sooner than expected.
Fun time. Click HERE to see pictures
Well, we haven't been out in a while together, so thought the PDQ 3rd Saturday cruise in Mandarin would be a good break from the chores.
Yes, yes, its June so its a bit toasty, especially for us 20+ miles away w/o AC. And to compound it, when I got within a few miles, the road was closed due to an accident up ahead, so I had to loop back around adding another 5 miles... can you say "stuck to the vinyl seats"?
Still, a good crowd all parked together as you can see by the photos. Lots of the regulars, plus an incredible 70 GTO (at least I'd never seen it before), and Ken Wales and Mike Jole also brought their new "big" car additions to their stables.
We used the time to also do some planning for the upcoming July trip to the Pontiac Oakland National Convention in Gettysburg PA that 6-10 of us are going to. It makes for a caravan that just messes up traffic completely (yes, we love it that way).
Hope to see you at one of our events.
Dixie Chapter at the Pontiac/Oakland Annual National Convention - Gettysburg PA - July 2019
Well, it had been a bunch of years since any sizeable group from the club ventured out of our own back yard to one of the national conventions, so it was about time. Gettysburg is not exactly on the route to anywhere from northern Florida... a mere 785 miles...in the snow... uphill...both ways. oh wait, its summer.
All 5 of our car participants brought home an award.
Hotel proximity to the show was excellent (it was right on the grounds in front of the 2 host hotels)
The cars on display were amazing We thought we were going north to cool off, it never got below 95, Some took in some of the historic sites and the trip...the trip itself was its own story. Note to self: Don't let the caravan members each have a walkie talkie for the ride, it is adults acting like children.
Starting pretty much pre-dawn Wednesday 7/17 for our 1 1/2 day trip, the caravan of 4 trailers, Lloyd in his 68 GTO, Mark/Rita, and Joe headed north. Rain was forecast on and off all along the route. It's 8am, anyone know where Andy(driving), Kevin and Ron are? There are likely still travelers somewhat unhappy with us as the lead vehicle would call out the need to pass, then the trail car would pull out and block...it takes a while for a caravan this size to all pull out and pass.
Gas stops pretty much every 2 1/2 hours, and we had zero luck pulling into any sizeable gas stations to get the trailers into and out of.
We were most of the way there before one of us (Matt will remain anonymous, though not much of a role model for son Nic who looks to be getting his permit this September) almost made a spot on the road out of a Prius (hey, who's going to miss a Prius?), Reports from the trailing car were that the little thing had the right tires about in the grass.
We also tested out our panic stopping equipment...the back of Rick's trailer got really big in my windshield..and Andy's truck looked to almost be up on my trailer...but we gave a huge sigh of relief with no scratches and forged ahead.
The overnight stop hotel was fine, and right there in the parking lot was an Applebees, what could be more convenient? Well, we must have done something to someone, because 30 minutes into it we still hadn't been waited on. What followed, not throwing anyone under the bus Ron, was a call to their corporate headquarters to see if we might get some service. It sort of worked. And don't forget, it was Andy's birthday... wait... you mean it really wasn't? Oops.
Okay, heading out Thursday morning, hey, anyone know where Andy is? its time to leave. We rolled in around lunchtime. After 775 of 785 miles, no rain..but with 10 miles to go, someone tried to make up for it. And in the ensuing monsoon, a few of the vehicles GPS decided to take them off the main road and on the scenic tour. As the rain slowed...yikes, there's no one behind the lead 3 vehicles. Luckily, it just delayed them another 15 minutes. And some others (Eric/Missy/Emma and Charlie/Margie) also joined the group that had caravanned so we ended up with a big group for the event.
Thursday afternoon was pretty much unload and get situated. The dinner for all the Clubs was Thursday night so many of us attended that. We picked up 2 awards here, Rick Bohler our webmaster for suffering with us for 8 years, and Andy accepted the award for outstanding use of social media as he keeps our facebook site very active.
Friday was sort of "pre-show", the show field was probably 1/2 full. The Points-Judged classes were voted on Friday. This became the touring, history involvement day. Hilarious dinner at Hoss' restaurant followed.
Saturday was the main Popular Vote day, and the show field filled up. That night was the Awards night, with Gary/Beth and Andy winning their classes, Lloyd received a "Road Warrior" award for driving his poor car the entire way, Rick (and son Dillon) scored Gold in Modified Points Judging (this was his first time out), and out of nowhere, Matt won the "Frank's Pick" plaque, selected by deceased Frank Kemp's surviving wife. Seems he used to like old Firebirds in general, and she liked mine in particular
Suddenly it was Sunday 7am, and we were headed back. Anybody see Andy? I just realized, we spent more time traveling than we did at the show...hmmmm...what's wrong with this picture. The trip back was more a "do what you like" version with folks leaving at a variety of different times.
Monday late morning...we're back in Jacksonville. Unload the cars, do the laundry, catch up on the bills... I need a vacation from my vacation.
Take a look at all the pictures... you really gotta do one of these at some point.