Well, it's been a fun two weeks... what can I say? It's a long drive.. and Erin & I had a great time going to and coming home from the Bash, as well as at the Bash itself. Simply amazing Tim, thanks for organizing yet another fabulous event!
We took a few pics of the trip there and back... about 300 pics, really.. I thought we'd taken more at Cedar Point but apparently not. You can find all the pics online at:
(that's www.lenkorules.com, then wait til the forwarding address comes up... then type in 05bash.. One day, I'll get DaddyZ to fix that for me... one day... maybe... )
The whole plan for the white car changed about two months before we left.. I'd bought the red convertible at the end of April.. drove it for a few days, then ripped it apart, and put the white one back to stock using most of the parts from the red car. Then while I worked on the red one, I drove the white one. BTW, it's for sale now... if anyone's interested
The two weeks just before we left were very hectic. Starting to run out of time, I started to panic and realized I wouldn't be able to paint the car properly (in a spray booth, that is) before we left... I also wouldn't be able to get all the things on it I wanted to... like the GM Supercharger.. Oh well... Once we got the clutch from Karo, all the parts that were laying around waiting to be installed started going on the car... we got the engine & tranny put together and into the car. HUGE thanks to Adam McCausland for welding in the 5 speed tranny mounts... I couldn't have done that one without you dude!
Once the engine & tranny were in, we started assembling the rest of the pieces to get it out of the garage. Wired it up, and fired it up.. it actually ran smooth the first time we tried it!! I was surprised. Clutch line leaked, so there was no clutch until I got the right size O-ring. GOt it all hooked up, bled the clutch, put the front subframe and control arms back together and got it on the ground. Put it in my other garage, then the car engaged the starter motor somehow trying to start itself and put a sizeable hole in the garage door... thus earning the name "Christine". Damage minimal, and the garage door needed replacement already since other people had already hit it from the other side... so no big deal.
Of course... now we had a rolling chassis.. but there was no electrical, no interior, no body panels, no rims... very poor car to drive across the country with. 5 days til we leave!!! Ha ha! Can we do it? Sure...
A HUMONGOUS shout out to Gus who basically helped me finish the car.. without him, Erin & I would have showed up to the Bash in the stock white convertible, which I really didn't want to do having come this far already. In 5 days, we primed and painted the hood, bumpers, side skirts and fenders in a makeshift spray booth (aka a converted garage stall). Wired it. Test drove it. Made everything go.. it was a mad panic. Oh, I forgot to mention... this was all done at night, after we both had worked 8+ hour days at our regular jobs...
Also a huge HUMP to my girlfriend Erin who along with Gus put the entire interior back together and managed to do it without having extra screws left over, like I always seem to do.
The night before we left became an all nighter... keep in mind, at this point, we hadn't even test driven the car except for first gear to and from the two parking garages. I didn't know if I had second gear yet... we put the rest of the car together, jerry-rigged the headlights so we could see and took it for a spin at 4am. Much to my delight (and complete surprise!) the car ran... it was a little lacklustre off the start (new clutch, rebuilt head, plus I don't drive stick often)... but in the upper power band it pulled HARD.. and on a stock exhaust I suppose I was getting what I'd expected at that point.
Nothing broke on the test drive... no suspension clunks (at all!).. so I decided that it was safe enough to try and drive the thing across the country... despite the door panel wiring being all over the place, and none of the electrical options working... what a risk, eh? So yeah... I packed up the tools and stuff... and on NO SLEEP whatsoever that first day... we left Vancouver on July 2nd.. a little later than originally planned... we were supposed to leave at 6am, we didn't get out of downtown Vancouver until about 8:30.
First day we headed south towards Seattle. Big long wait at the US border heading south, but it was a holiday weekend so it was expected. We stopped in Ferndale, WA where I had an airbag module waiting for me (thank you, Ebay!). Then south to Seattle down I-5.. hop onto the I-90 and it was all East from there on.. we drove about 8 hours that first day, stopping at a KOA in Kellogg, Idaho. Actually, we wanted to stay at the KOA in the town before Kellogg, but they were full already... oh well.. no big deal.
Day two, we left Kellogg, Idaho and continued on I-90 east thru Montana into Wyoming. We stayed at another KOA there. Probably should have bought a KOA card, but we didn't realize you could get them AT the KOA campgrounds until it was too late (read: not worth it anymore).
Day three was less driving, way more sightseeing. My ass had begun to hurt from the non-lumbar-supported seat and long days driving, and Erin looked bored as hell from the non-stop driving and pretty warm temperatures (if only we knew HOW hot it was GOING to get... LOL!). We stopped at Devil's Tower in South Dakota. I bought two uber-tourist shirts.. one says I CLIMBED DEVILS TOWER, but in little letters between "I climbed" and "Devil's Tower" it reads "out of my car to take a picture of" ROFL.. I loved it. Had to have it.. also one of Mount Rushmore, with the back being the four presidents bent over the cliff with their nekkid bums... heh... do I just REEK of tourist or what?? We went to Mount Rushmore as well... then drove some more... then also stopped at Wall Drug, South Dakota..
Hey Teske... when you gonna drive WITH me to the Bash? Next year?? LOL
Yeah.. saw Wall Drug... and continued east on I-90 to Mitchell, SD. Got my first (and only) speeding ticket, going 85 in a 75. Cop must have been pissed that he had to work on Independence Day, eh? Ah well... $79 and I had to pay it right then and there... We stayed at another KOA campground... but this one was infested with man-eating moquitoes... it was insane. I ran around the tent while Erin quickly opened the door, then I leaped in... all to avoid the bites. I still ended up with about 20 bites in a few minues... you could hear the bug zappers going constantly... all night long. Even into the morning!! Once in a while you'd hear a really BIG bug get zapped... it was funny...
Day four started off in Mitchell, SD at the Corn Palace (yes, it's made from corn!). We drove into Minnesota only to find that EVERY SINGLE REST STOP along I-90 was closed.. figured something was up.. budget shortfall or something. We're going to write a complaint letter to the state of Minnesota... crazy!! We did stop in one place in MN.. that was the Spam Museum in Austin. Good times!! We had a lot of fun.. then we drove to Oakdale, WI that night.. yes, another KOA campground.
Day five we went to Wisconsin Dells.. what a tourist trap! The upside down White House you see in the pictures is called "Top Secret".. we didn't go there, but it made for a cool picture. WI Dells is one main strip of hotels, water parks, rides, mini golf, and other attractions... that's about all I can say. We went to Noah's Ark, apparently the largest water park in all of the USA. It had 40 waterslides!! Pretty cool.. wasn't very busy because it was overcast that day... still warm enough to get wet though!! We drove to Union, IL.. yes, another KOA.. it's about an hour outside of Chicago. The next town over is Marengo, where Corey (phkz24) lives.. so we called him and he came and visited us. We planned to go to Six Flags tomorrow and then drive to the Bash together.
Day six was spent with Corey and his cousin Jason at Six Flags in Gurnee, IL. Whatta park!! Oh man!! Way better than the Six Flags I went to in Geauga Lake, OH in 2001.. It was very cool... lots of fun. We got into lots of the rides, and a little bit of trouble. Foghorn Leghorn didn't like my "Free Cock Rides" shirt... ROFL!! We left there about 4pm and met up with some of the WI caravan... Hypsy and others.. drove south thru Chicago traffic... egad, what a horrible mess!! For the first time, I actually missed owning an automatic. I had to take a leak, so I pulled over to a rest stop, Corey followed me, but we lost the rest of the Caravan at that point.. I guess we went a different route, because apparently we got to the hotel before they got to theirs... we were at the Holiday Inn Express in Brownsburg, they were at a hotel in Avon...
Which brings me to my RANT.. and the only thing I didn't like about the Bash this year... TOO MANY HOTELS!!! And the majority of people ended up being in Avon, not in Brownsburg like us.. and about 10 other people. That is the ONLY thing I would have changed, because I couldn't party in the parking lot, since I had to drive 20 minutes back to my hotel... that was a major disappointment.
Day seven was Bash Friday... headed to the track, got lost, lol... took about 130 pics.. posted them... made the rest of the BCJ-body crowd jealous that they hadn't come with me... heh heh...
Day eight was Bash Saturday.. got sunburned... had a nap.. played in the pool... saw boobies.. it was good times all around
That night I changed the oil in the Super 8 parking lot.. into a turkey broiler pan!! Ha ha... then we blew up half the parking lot with firecrackers until the cops stopped us.. thankfully they let us go. SonicFireGT posted a very good summary of the conversation I had with the cop that night... ROFL!
Day nine was designated as CEDAR POINT day. Corey and Jason drove up to Sandusky with us... we left at 7am, got to our craphole hotel at around noon.. then hopped a shuttle to the park. We saw the Montreal J's going into the park as well, but they couldn't see me... as I yelled at them out the window of the shuttle
We had an awesome time on the rides... My favourite coaster will be the Millenium Force for a while to come.. although my tittie flash on the Magnum XL 200 was priceless!!
Day ten Corey and Jason and us parted ways.. they headed home and we continued east on I-90... we headed thru Ohio, PA, and NY to Buffalo, where we crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to Niagara Falls, Ontario. Hung out there for a few hours and saw stuff.. then headed into Toronto and found the KOA just north of the city. I loved the freeways there (at night)... traffic moved SO FAST!!! It was amazing... but the gas station guy didn't know @!#$ about how to get anywhere... it was as if I was asking him directions to the moon or something... ha ha
Day eleven was traffic hell! During the day, Toronto highways SUCK BALLS!! We went to Paramount Canada's Wonderland, which TOTALLY SUCKED compared to Six Flags and especially compared to Cedar Point. The lines were SOOO long, the entire park was totally overpriced, and we just felt ripped off. I will never return to that @!#$hole. We headed down to Downtown Toronto and went up the CN Tower.. BTW, I'm afraid of heights.. in case you didn't know. The temperature was something like 39 degrees celcius.. which was DAMN hot... heat wave, apparently... That was interesting... because for some reason, my a/c wasn't work... ah well.... we left T.O. and finally started heading WEST!!! We drove to Flint, Michigan that night. Note to self: NEVER EVER drive to DOWNTOWN Flint in a lowered J, after dark. It's scary. We stayed at a Sleep Inn because neither of us wanted to set up the tent.
Day twelve was amazing.. we drove along the Upper Peninsula of Michigan... I'm ready to become a Yooper!!! Took a dip in Lake Michigan... it was beautiful out there.. we left Flint late (slept in!! how ironic!!) so we didn't make it as far as we wanted.. oh well.. thanks for the offer Roy, sorry we didn't make it. We stayed at a Comfort Inn in Ironwood, Michigan. Their wireless internet didn't work, and despite my complaints I didn't receive any discount on the room rate. @!#$s.
Day thirteen was a long drive... we went from Michigan thru Wisconsin and Minnesota, then north on I-59 to the border.. then into Winnipeg where we stayed with Colin & Dianne. It was nice to see them again... and the house is mint, Colin!! Good on ya. We got there about 8pm, and headed to Mike R's place to hump his silver cavy.. then to Smittys with the rest of the Winterpeggers for some beer & wings.
Day fourteen was a REALLY long drive. We left Winnipeg at 8am.. drove twelve hours to Calgary Alberta... damn, that was a long haul. It was stinkin' hot too. We stopped in a town south of Regina (pronounced Rolo.. but that's not how it's spelled)... the reason? They film our favourite TV show there.. Corner Gas.. it was cool to walk thru "Dog River, Saskatchewan" and visit the sets and see two of the actors, Nancy Robertson and Brent Butt. We ate ice cream in the Police Station set (it's really an ice cream place!).. I laughed at the insurance & liquor store... because IT REALLY IS a insurance and liquor store in real life... hilarious!! We stayed at Erin's friend Justin's place in Calgary.. then went to a strip club
Day fifteen was the last long drive home... we slept in a bit in Calgary, then went for breakfast at a pub.. with the Calgary Stampede wrapping up, there were SO MANY cowgirls around... it was crazy... good times it looked like... heh... we left at noon, and finally rolled into Vancouver at 11pm.. I dropped Erin off at her place, went home, and crashed into bed... damn... nice to be home again...
I am SO RELIEVED that the car had no problems on the trip there and back... I'm truly amazed, really... and Erin is very pleased I'm sure... so big thanks to those of you who helped put the damn thing together... I owe ya many beers
Ok, now to toot my own horn.. (beep beep!) For those who weren't really sure... yes, I do the most driving to and from the Bash pretty much exclusively every year. This year, it was almost exactly 10,000 kilometers or roughly 6,200 miles.
We used 17 tanks of gas during the trip... at roughly $30 (US) a fill on average, that meant about $500 US in fuel alone.. next year, I'm flying. Maybe
Thanks to everyone who humped me, my car, or accepted humps (willingly or not).. all those of you who made the trip more exciting, everyone I met for the first time or second time or fifth time.. and everyone who made Erin feel welcome in the GMSC bash circle... thanks everyone
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