The ship carrying the car finally got here on Monday the 14th, 5 days late and on the same day I flew into Jacksonville. Nothing happened on Tuesday and customs were talking 3 ro 4 days to clear the car, which would ruin the trip.
Wednesday morning the wheels started turning and Customs went the extra mile (Thanks Officer Cindy Nelson), they managed to get the agriculture dept and shippers to release the car early and by mid-day I had the car.
The battery was flat, perhaps something to do with the main lights being onï¿½ The drivers door doesnï¿½t close properly someone probably put to much weight on it trying to get out. Got her jump started and threw all my gear in. I knew I wasnï¿½t going to be able to do the Dragon so decided to make a bee line for Knoxville. Didnï¿½t have time to muck around with the GPS route map so just took a cursory look at the map and headed off. This was mistake number one ï¿½ having pulled in for gas 250 miles up the road I discovered to my horror Iï¿½d missed an interstate turn off 40 miles back aaaargh. The pace had already been brisk up to that point, but now I was pushing 110 -120 not something I generally do on the road. The radar detector really came into its own and saved my butt on at least half a dozen occasions. But it couldnï¿½t last forever. Somewhere around Columbia, I got pulled over ï¿½ he figured I must have been doing 120mph (good guess), but I think he was buffing and never actually clocked me. My next defense strategy kicked in at this point ï¿½ a Kiwi driving license and Dutch number plates. After threatening to take me to jail, he admitted he couldnï¿½t be bothered with the paper work, phewï¿½
By this stage Iï¿½d phoned a mate in CA with an unusual request. Could he please register himself on the East Tennessee SCCA forum and post that Iï¿½d be late getting into Knoxville.
Eventually got to Knoxville without further incident. Threw my bags in my room and immediately went downstairs to met with the SCCA guys. That was mistake number two ï¿½ I hadnï¿½t eaten since the previous evening, that combined with half a dozen beers and not getting to bed till 2:30am left me in a right state this morning. Had a great evening, nice bunch of guys. They took me for a drive down some road they call the mini-dragon in Knoxville at 2 in the morning. I nearly threw up, but managed to keep a brave face on. :wow:
Got underway at around 10am and headed straight for the Dragon.
Wow, what a road. I got lucky the weather was perfect ï¿½ although very chilly with the roof off! No mishaps and I had the video camera running for a while. If I ever get some free time on this trip Iï¿½ll upload a couple of clips.
At this stage I still havenï¿½t had a bite to eat in a day and a half. Fortunately I ran across this little place.
Nothing like a couple of pounds of boiled peanuts to put a mans hunger pangs to rest
I continued on down the 129 till I got to Chattanooga, I then headed north on the interstate till Nashville where I turned south again on the Nachez trace skyway. What a great road, hardly any traffic at all. The first section is very flowing, one medium sweeper after another mile after mile. With 150 miles to go to Tupelo the sun had set and an unexpected hazard appeared ï¿½ Deer. Gave me a hell of a surprise when my lights picked out three of them standing in the middle of the road. I stopped in time, but had to be very vigilant from that point on and saw plenty on the sides of the road, but fortunately no more close encounters.
One problem with traveling around is not knowing which part of town to stay in ï¿½ I think Iï¿½ve picked the wrong part of Tupelo. Iï¿½m the Economy Inn 30 bucks a night. Within 2 minutes of parking up I was solicited by a couple of the ladies of the night! I chuckled to myself when I popped out for some food, a shop just down the road has hit on a rather interesting idea which wouldnï¿½t have occurred to me. Traylors Janitorial services and Car detailing. Who woulda thought it!
So there you have it all up to date. Tomorrow Iï¿½ll be making my way to Birmingham to check out the Barber Museum, I then spin around and spend the night in Columbus, MS in preparation for the AutoX on Saturday.
Mileage so far - 1,150
Why can’t people park there f*cking car in their own car park.