Knoxville is the home of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and I was a happy camper to find it was open this morning. I was the first visitor so I had the entire place to myself for a couple of hours.
I’ve only been to one World of Outlaws race but it was one of the most exciting events I’ve ever seen. The noise and speed coupled with dirt flying everywhere gets your heart pumping like no other kind of racing.
After touring the museum I set out for Robins via as many small towns & back roads as possible. Places like Tama and Palo which barely make it onto the map offer intriguing sites and small restaurants for the casual traveler to sample. Cows were seen standing hip deep in river water in an attempt to beat the scorching sun. I wouldn’t have minded joining them. Old barns and bridges are one of my favorite subjects for photos and little towns provide lots of opportunities. Farm lands like Iowa cornfields are another. Small town main streets are always interesting too, you can’t help wondering what keeps some of them going.
Riding out of Palo I came to a road closed sign and that really threw a wrench into Garmin’s sense of directions. After spending the better part of an hour riding in endless circles trying to find an alternate route I found myself parked in front of the road closed sign again wondering what to do. Another rider soon showed up, a local guy on a sports bike and he stopped to talk.
We were thinking about riding around the barrier when all of a sudden a guy in a pickup drives through from the other side. He yelled at us that we could make it if we wanted to as they were only paving the road and no one was working right then. He’d no sooner left when a young gal came blazing through from the same way only instead of driving around the orange barrier she went over the top on one end, hooked up part of it on her bumper and was dragging it towards us as she sped by. We both yelled at her but she just gave us an evil look and kept going full speed ahead. Lucky for us the barrier detached itself a few feet from us. We decided it was time to make the run so off we went.
I’d only ridden a short distance when I became aware of a certain inability to focus and realized I was still wearing the reading glasses I’d donned to look at my map. Duh… With my sunglasses on I returned to the business of finding Robins. The GPS was still confused and I soon found myself in a huge nameless metro area. Stopping for a moment to reorganize I asked one of the locals where I was. You get some very strange looks sometimes when you ask that sort of thing. “Cedar Rapids” he said. OK I thought; I can do this so I set up a new trip on the GPS with Mac & Lisa’s address as the destination.
With only a couple of minor hitches it got me to their street but not their house. Seems that when the addresses and street names were established whoever does those things must have been in a joking mood. It’s one of those “you can’t get there from here” moments but eventually with lots of riding through different neighborhoods I found them. "You can run but you can't hide" came to mind.
Dang was I ever hot and sweaty. Dehydration is always an issue when temps run above 80 so I carry a couple of bottles of water with me. That paid double dividends today, without them I’d have really cooked.
After brief greetings I headed to the shower for a quick rinse off and then it was time for a long overdue G&T with lots of ice. Mac had been expecting me to arrive yesterday and had laid in an ample supply of all the right stuff. What a deal for me, friends like these two are the best. Lisa fixed a great dinner, pot roast, potatoes, carrots, onions, the works. This is what I call comfort food and after all the Big Macs I’d had lately it was most welcome fare. We sat around afterwards nibbling on ice cream with fresh strawberries and caught up on what we’ve been up too recently. I like these guys.
Tomorrow it’s supposed to be hot again.