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knightfan26917

Long way, short time ... road trip

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Been a while since I've been online.... But, what a summer it has been! Lots of gatherings of all sorts...with a road trip in the mix...and more to come YET this YEAR!

From Friday, August 8, to Tuesday, August 12, I traveled through 8 states in 5 days...and met up with friends and family along the way. I rented a Dodge Charger, even after the original rental place had no cars available despite my reservation.

The Dodge Charger was a pleasure to drive...on the road trip. I had to pick it up Wednesday night, August 6, since Mom and Dad left for PA the next morning (Thursday). I put the '87 MC LS in the garage with the older 4 MCs Wednesday night and took the Charger to work on Thursday. I enjoyed driving it...but the thick pillars created some frustrating blind spots that I do NOT have with the '87 MC LS.... The Charger performed quite well on the trip, garnering a high MPG of 34.73 and a low MPG of 28.38.

Trip highlights follow...take a peak at the pics and the individual captions. I met people from several boards (Cheers & Gears, Michigan Monte Carlo Club, ChevyTalk.org, MC Mailing List, MonteCarloSS.com, etc.) in several areas...some for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Chesterton IN is less than 2 hours from home....

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 2008

(The 20th anniversary of the debut of lights at Chicago's Wrigley Field.)

__Elgin IL > Royal Oak/Detroit MI > Medina OH > Smithville/Akron OH

__SR 20 E ... Elgin/O'Hare Expressway ... I-290 E ... I-294 E ... I-94 E ... SR 127 N ... I-96 E ... I-696 E ... Woodward Ave ... I-696 W ... I-275 S ... I-75 S ... I-280 S ... I-80/90 (turnpike) E ... I-71 S ... RT 3 exit ... SR 57 S ... SR 585 SW

...2a (Chicago time) ... My alarm went off so I could wake up and pack up to be on the road by 4a. Amazing how quickly you can get through Chicago before the daily commute/rush hour starts! Since I left that early, I wasn't able to listen to very much of Eric and Kathy's 36 hour radiothon for Children's Memorial Hospital (where all of my open heart surgeries have been), which started at 6a that day on Chicago's 101.9 FM The Mix.

...On I-94 E, I heard a local radio station note that I-94 was shut down, but I wasn't sure if I had already passed the area...or if I was coming to it. I found out a few minutes later as traffic came to a stop right at an exit, which I quickly took, figuring I'd pull over and take a look at the map. While waiting at the stoplight at that exit ramp, I took a quick peak at the atlas...and discovered that the road I was getting onto was an expressway of sorts direct to Lansing. So, I took it...and still made it to Royal Oak MI by about 10:45a.

...10:45a (eastern time) to 1:30p (eastern time) ... Rosie (Michigan Monte Carlo Club), Olds Guy (Cheers & Gears), Schuby87 (Cheers & Gears), MightyMouse (Cheers & Gears) and I met in a store parking lot, then went to Duggan's (Royal Oak MI, Woodward Ave) for lunch. GREAT restaurant...food is delicious and the memorabilia and scenery is awesome.

...4:30p to 6:30p ... I arrived in/near Medina OH to meet up with Pat (Chevytalk.org). I met his parents and girlfriend, too. Pat treated me to dinner at a local establishment set in an old house that will be "transformed" when the road is widened.

...7:15p ... I arrived in the Smithville OH area to spend some time with a college friend, Keith (a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan), and his 2 boys. The first part of the evening was a softball game on the 20th anniversary of the debut of lights at Chicago's Wrigley Field [severe storms erased the game; I saw highlights of Ryne Sandberg's home run and other events of the evening on the jumbo tron at Pittsburgh's 3 Rivers Stadium, where I was with family members watching the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the New York Mets 1-0]. Keith's team lost 21-20. They led 5-0 after 2 innings, then 10-8 after 4 innings, then trailed 18-17 after 6 innings...and traded 3 runs in the 7th for the loss.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 2008

__Smithville/Akron OH > north of Pittsburgh PA > Hollsopple PA > King of Prussia PA > Doylestown PA

__SR 585 NE ... SR 21 N ... I-76 E ... I-80 E ... I-79 S ... SR 258 exit ... I-79 S ... SR 422 E ... SR 219 S ... Jerome PA exit ... SR 219 S ... I-76 E (turnpike) ... SR 202 S ... SR 252 S ... back to turnpike (via I-76 E and I-76 W and I-467 N/W) ... SR 611 N

...7:15a ... I left Smithville OH.

...9a to 9:45a ... I arrived at the McDonald's on SR 208/258 at Grove City PA and spent some time with Steve and MIssy (ChevyTalk.org). I had a great time looking at pictures of their cars...so much so that I completely FORGOT to take a picture of them before I left the area. I realized my forgetfullness when I was a few minutes back on I-79 S.... Steve and Missy actually live in OH, but they can see PA out their front door...they are right on the state line.

...12:10p ... I arrived in Hollsopple PA for the family reunion...too late to be there when Joy and Eric arrived. Joy had insisted on not telling any of the family on Dad's side about her pregnancy...so that she could show up at the reunion "showing"...and surprise everyone. And, did she ever! I had decided to leave the camera in the Charger so I wasn't lugging it around while we ate. BUT...I forgot to get it out after we ate...so I didn't get any pics at the reunion. Wish I had because you never know when the last time you will see family members will be..........

...~6p ... I left the family reunion (after everyone else) and drove eastward.

...10:10p ... I arrived at Camino's (Cheers & Gears) near Philadelphia and had a great time visiting with him and seeing his 2 El Caminos, 1 Malibu wagon and 1 Chevy truck. He has a VERY cool re-built barn to house all of his vehicles...and be an "escape" of sorts for him. Next time, I hope I can meet up with him there during the day so I can see it all in the daylight!

...11:30p ... I headed for Doylestown PA. Unfortunately, I hadn't been aware that by the time I exited the Turnpike to meet Camino I was already on I-476, instead of I-76. So, I entered I-76 and quickly realized I might not be on the correct road...since no toll was taken. I quickly called Camino and he was able to help guide me back to where I needed to go to meet up with Patty (MCML's "MonteMa"). I met Patty just off the Turnpike and followed her to her and her husband's home for the evening...and a welcome night of sleep! It was cool seeing her 1987 MC SS Aerocoupe...newly repainted...and her husband's 1972 Dodge Charger. Her son-in-law has a replica General Lee, which I hope to see next time I am in the area.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 10, 2008

__Doylestown PA > Neptune NJ > Baltimore MD > Alexandria VA

__SR 611 S ... I-276 E (turnpike) ... I-95 N (tollway) ... I-195 E ... SR 138 E ... SR 18 N ... SR 66 W ... SR 66 E ... SR 18 S ... SR 138 W ... I-195 W ... I-295 S ... I-95 S ... I-695 W ... Exit 30a (Perring Parkway) ... back to I-695 W/S ... I-95 S ... I-495/I-95 S ... I-395 N ... Seminary Rd W

...8:30a ... I headed towards NJ, figuring I'd arrive in Neptune NJ within a couple hours. I would've been there by 10a, except I went up I-95 at the wrong time....and ended up driving a bit out of my way. I arrived at the Beacon Street Grill about 10:40a anyway...well ahead of everyone else.

...10:40a to 1p ... Steve R (MCSS), Dan M (MCSS), Dan G (MCSS) and his girlfriend and her sister, and Randy M (former MCMLer) met me for lunch. We quickly discovered that the Beacon Street Grill (which is where we ate in 2005 when I was in the area) wasn't opening at 11a, so we drove to Boston's...and had a great time and meal there. We think the waiter was a bit intimidated by all of us...especially since the lunchtime conversations were lively and rather humorous. It was good to LAUGH!

...~1p ... Rain started coming down, so we decided to head out. Which was fine...since I wanted to get to Baltimore MD and then onto Alexandria VA yet that evening.

...4p to 5:30p ... I finally arrived in the Baltimore area about 4p, arriving at Jay's (ChevyTalk.org's wagonman100) about 10 minutes later. It was great meeting him and his wife...and, of course, seeing his collection of Chevys, including his modified and daily driven El Camino, a modified Malibu wagon (originally owned by his in-laws), a '72 Monte Carlo, and a couple older Chevys as well. He also gave me a tour of their home...of which he did most of the interior work. It is gorgeous. He also showed me the "bar" in the basement, along with his collection of models.

...7p ... I arrived in Alexandria VA at my Great Aunt Alice's place. I had a wonderful evening of visiting with her and watching some of the Olympic events...until I zonked out about 10p.

MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 2008

__Alexandria VA > WV > OH > Grabil IN > Fort Wayne IN > N Manchester IN

__I-395 S ... I-495 N ... I-270 W ... I-70 W ... I-68 W ... I-79 N ... I-70 W ... I-77 N ... SR 30 W ... I-469 N/W ... I-69 N ... Exit 116 (Bob Evans Restaurant, then onto Grabil IN for a bit) ... I-69 S ... SR 30 W ... stop at Arby's SR 30/SR 9 intersection ... SR 30 W ... SR 13 S

...7:30a to 9:15a ... Charlotte and her husband (Charlotte being my cousin, Great Aunt Alice's daughter) joined Great Aunt Alice (Mom's side of the family) and I for breakfast. After visiting for a while, I got back on the road...headed to Indiana.

...12:35p ... After 3 hours and 20 minutes on the road, I stopped in the Morgantown WV area for a quick stop for gas...and a Sweet Tea at McDonald's. I was back on the road within 20 minutes.

...7:40p to 8:50p ... After about 5 hours on the road, including a brief stop in Ohio along SR 30 for gas and a bathroom break, I arrived in the Fort Wayne area (thanks, in part, to the 65mph speed limit on most of wide-open SR 30 through OH) to meet cousin Susie and her husband Loyal (Susie, another daughter of my Great Aunt Alice), who were in the area visiting family on Loyal's side. I met up with them at Bob Evans at Exit 116 on I-69...the same place Mom and Dad (we found out later) had eaten dinner earlier that same night. In fact...Mom and Dad were staying at the motel right near there...and we didn't know it. After chatting with Susie and Loyal for a bit, I followed them to Grabil IN, where cousin David (their son) and his family were since his young daughter was playing with another cousin. We had a great, albeit very brief, visit. We figure that I hadn't seen David in maybe 15-20 years.

...9:30p to 10:30p ... A 40-minute drive and I arrived at Arby's in Columbia City (intersection of SRs 30 and 9) to meet up with Jeff H (several MC groups) and Craig (Michigan MC group). We spent about an hour there, most of it (seemingly) for Arby's to figure out how to brew a fresh pot of coffee for Craig...he heh.

...11:15p (eastern time) ... I arrived in N Manchester IN for the night at the home of a college friend, Allen, and his wife.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2008

__N Manchester IN > Chesterton IN > Elgin IL

__SR 13 N ... SR 30 W ... SR 49 N ... I-94 W ... I-294 W ... I-290 W ... Elgin/O'Hare Expressway ... SR 20 W

...7:20a (6:20a Chicago time) ... Before heading for home, I drove around my old college town for about a half hour.

...8:15a (Chicago time) ... I stopped in Wanatah IN to get gas.

...8:50a ... Found myself already on SR 49 N in Chesterton IN...TOO close to home.... At that point, as I entered I-94 W I figured I'd be happy with arriving home in 3 hours (figuring traffic would be a pain in the you-know-what)...but, I was home in LESS than TWO hours...arriving in Elgin about 10:35a.....

PICTURES:

http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/200808/2008rt.html

Cort:34swm."Mr Monte Carlo.Mr Road Trip".pig valve&pacemaker

WRMNshowcase.legos.HO.models.MCs.RTs.CHD = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"Yes, it's been quite a summer" ... Jimmy Buffett ... 'Come Monday'

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LOL!

I ALMOST put that one in the list...I should've...sorry.

It was great meeting you, too, finally! And, yes, next time, I will be sure to be there during the WDC. I've been there for that a couple different years, but not recently.....

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