I think I am going to become a track junky. Is there such a thing? Today we started out at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. A much different track with high banks and little, if any, flat surface. Lots of MINIs again, see……
D, K and I were parked in the very last row which gave us a fair amount of time to get to know our neighbors. K & D found another car somewhat similar to Pippa. Not exactly the same, remember no two MINIs in America are the same, but close enough that you could mistake them for one another if you didn’t look closely. We also met a guy who is making the entire trip and is having friends or kids fly into different locations to participate with him. For the first three days, he has his childhood best friend along. These two guys were funny. The best friend kept asking us when we joined the cult (joking, of course, we don’t wear the same clothes), but then he pointed to our lanyards. Anyway, he said he was amazed and didn’t think anyone would believe this if they didn’t see it. He wanted us to point out some examples of the “seedy underbelly” of the MINI owners. I was like just walk around, not hard to spot (lol). All in all, it was a pretty funny morning. We started talking about the different cars and some of the things unique to different drivers. In fact, a few people are very elaborate, causing some of the drivers to ask if they can take a selfie with them. This is was what lined up behind me this morning…
The sign restricts parking to turtle lovers only. I don’t recall seeing any real turtles, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any there. You will notice that there are several stuffed animals in the window and paw prints on the stripes. You see there is a little bit of everything……..Hair died to match cars, a ventriloquist doll as a co-pilot, lots of dogs, ages of Particpants ranging from infants to 80s, all types of people. This is one of the more unusual “decorated” MINIs. It’s pretty fun to see that flying down the road; and it really makes kids smile.
Basically, we all get along and mostly talk about what new things can be bought for our cars. I’m thinking my MINI needs striping of some kind. My car is by far the most naked of any in the group. Which is OK, but maybe a little bit would be nice. There is one guy who has a hand painted car with flames. It’s clearly a piece of art. I’ll try and get a picture of it next time I see it.
I forgot to tell you about something from the kick-off yesterday. We had parachuters who landed in MINIs. It was really pretty amazing and they landed right in front of us.
Today we had motorcycle police who rode in unison, very precise. Makes me wonder what we will get tomorrow.
Getting back to the race track, again we got to drive a lap. The difference is that Charlotte has banks; and they let people drive on them. Some drivers went crazy fast way up near the top. You will be proud because I actually tried the bank. It was this weird sensation like I was going to tip over sideways. But I think the trick is to go as fast as possible. That way the car can’t think about tipping. I loved it. Another great morning at the races!
After the morning event, I took off on my own and left the other MINIs behind. I wanted to go back and check out the Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville area north of Charlotte. It is beautiful and a place I could get used to visiting…often. These three towns all run together and are located on the east shores of Lake Norman. There are quaint downtowns, clean streets, bike lanes, walking tracks and Davidson University. Reminded me of home without all the lake effect snow. Walked around for a while and had lunch, nice and peaceful.
I then drove on my own, taking back roads over to Raleigh. Every step of the drive made me fall in love with North Carolina. I wouldn’t have seen any of it had I flown in and not driven across the state. So far I have been right. This trip is shaping up to be exactly what I hoped it would be, fun and interesting……..never boring. The people who see us stop and always ask what is this? And why are there so many MINIs? People at gas stations and parking lots want the scoop and seem to love seeing all the different cars.
Tonight’s stop is in Richmond, VA. We didn’t have a planned event tonight, which in my opinion is good. I need to catch up on a few things (this blog) and get organized for tomorrow. I told D I would take the lead so he can have a bit of a break. Driving back roads is fun; but when you lead, you have to pay attention to mileage and look for the next turn or you could end up pretty far away from your destination. Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t get us lost. Or if I do, hope that we find something more interesting than what we missed. We are headed to Baltimore. Let’s see if we make it there.