So the other day in some play on Facebook my friend Logan asked whatever happened to the thing I was writing in the hotel room in Kentucky, I had read bits and pieces as I worked on it to my fellow imbibers and he happened to remember. I did some searching on the laptop and after realizing that after many cans of PBR, a few Yuenglings, a couple bottles of Latangos homebrew, and maybe a shot or 2, I managed to save it in a random place on my laptop where it would have collected e-dust until times untold. So, a bit late but better than never......
I am a VW enthusiast. I have been enamored by them since my earliest memories. Growing up very close to Road America, I had a lot of exposure to all types of exotic automobiles. Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfas, Maseratis and the likes. Much to chagrin of the people I was with at these events (I think I was there with the wrong folks?), I would beeline to the motorsport prepped VWs and want to hang out by them the entire time I was there. This has stayed with me throughout the years and made itself a large part of my adult life. Through the years I have owned, disassembled, modified, and driven these cars religiously. What the hell is wrong with me?
Today was the official kickoff of the season for guys like me. We live for days like today. We wait all winter for that day that we can pile tools into our cars, clothes, spare parts, toiletries if we remember them as well as anything else we think of in the middle of the night before the trip after we put the car back together after whatever last minute project we had to perform and hit the road with people we generally only see for events like this.
We all meet up, and drive our piles, some very well built articulated piles, and some held together only by sheer willpower and zipties.
|Milwaukee kick off. Thanks Lower Standards for hooking it up|
Today we met up in Milwaukee and embarked on a journey to Louisville KY for a show called Water By The Bridge. That whole event will be a different post as it deserves it. The time and energy it takes to pull off an event like that is staggering. More on that in another post though. I have lots to say about that.
So after leaving the first stop of course in traffic the group always gets split. You find your cruising buddies and point your cars in the right direction and just roll. I’m not sure how to describe it beyond chaos with spots to stop and take a breather.
We had skipped the first stop in hopes of making some time up and getting to Louisville ahead of schedule to hopefully make it to a friends shop to roll some fenders to avoid eating up new tires.
Not wanting to tangle with law enforcement we opted to take the safe method and not push our luck and stay within realm of the posted speed limits. Unbeknownst to us, we arrived at the northern Indiana stop shortly after the rest of the cruisers. So much for that.
After fueling and a little banter and ribbing from the rest of the cruise about being old and driving slow we hit the road again.
|Hebron IN. The entire front of the gas station is our crowd. Good times. Travel in packs and be awesome.|
Every roadtrip is/has a story, sometimes somebody breaks down and the community pulls together and either gets it fixed or secures transport home for said vehicle. Either way it’s inevitable with the cars we drive.
Shortly (moments) after getting on the highway Flinny my co pilot said “wow, that diesel up there is really smoking” as of course in our world, the only cars that break on the highway are our VWs. I was of the school of thought that there was a definitive problem with said car. At least a half mile ahead of us this car was smoking not only more than a diesel but was emitting smoke similar to a house fire. A bit farther down the road it pulled off the highway onto the shoulder so I hit the hazards and made the necessary moves to pull off. Several other cars followed suit and as we got closer I realized it wasn’t even one of ours. It was a Chevy Cobalt and was clearly having a major technical issue. As I rounded the front of the car, the driver had already popped the hood and as seconds passed the smoke was getting heavier. The driver was sticking her head out of the window saying “somethings wrong with my car!” I opened the hood and was greeted with flames from the back of the engine theat were bordering on 2 feet high and rapidly growing. I immediately yelled “ get out of the car NOW!” and poked my head around the hood and started hollering to the others to get a fire extinguisher. With traffic blowing by us at 80 mph it’s hard to hear. It’s disorienting and hard to make out what someone is saying. After screaming at the top of my lungs several times to get an extinguisher the closest person finally read my lips and got “fire”
|It was this persons lucky day. Not sure how that would have went for her if people who don't drive old VWs had stopped. We know what to do if there's a fire lol.....|
With some well placed VW roadside fire training we passed the crucial “Either it’s good, or get the hell away” point. With the fire out a couple of us waited with the owner for the authorities and when they arrived we hit the road. Good deed done. Hopefully that means karma will get our cars home without the assistance of a flatbed.
The rest of the trip was uneventful actually. Smooth, nice weather, by Indianapolis the sunroofs and windows were open and we were cruising with sun. Ideal. The only thing that really stands out in my head is when we got to the hotel, I stepped out of my car and smelled hot coolant. Uh oh. As I crawled around under my hood with a flashlight looking for the source I remembered I was in a parking lot with a slew of old VWs that had just driven for hours in warm weather. Totally normal to smell that then haha. Which leads me back to the first paragraph. But I think you get it now…..
Till next time.