ROAD TRIP!


When I was in college back in the day one of my favorite two-word combinations was, "Road-trip." Since Blacksburg, Virginia in the 1960's was not the center of the universe, the only contact with "culture" spelled "Rock and Roll Music" and was a road trip away in Charleston, WV, or Richmond, VA, or Charlotte, N.C. or even Washington D.C. We made frequent trips to see; The Who, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, Doobie Brothers, Aerosmith, The Allman Brothers Band and too many more to list. It was a great time to be alive.

Now that we are in our 8th decade and concert tickets are no longer $15.00, more like $1500 for front row seats, it's not that we can't afford it....we just have more sense than to pay out that kind of money for acts we have already seen in their prime. Now, "Road-trip" has taken on an entirely new meaning, and rather than the fun being arriving at your destination, the "Getting There" is what it is all about. Put a few tunes on the car stereo, turn it up louder than your significant other would EVER tolerate, sing along and put your car on the road and into the curves it was designed to hug.

Now my original plan was to take the Vette on it's first road trip. Anyone who has been following me knows how THAT mission worked out. So it was just me and my 2008 Tacoma Pickup. And you know what? We really had fun. I left first thing Tuesday morning and made the drive down Scheer Mountain, four miles of alternating left & right hairpin turns. 25 miles later I arrived in Petersburg WV, and 220 South. Followed that road 177 miles to Roanoke VA, loving the long straightways through the valleys along the river, handling the mountains when they were presented up, up, up, taking those curves and hugging the road, then down again into the valley. Monterey and Hot Springs and The Homestead, and Sam Snead Highway and Golf Course and horse farms and magnificent vistas. Love it, love it, love it.

When I arrived in Christiansburg where my BFF Tom lives, we hugged , went to Sal's for the world's best calzones, then watched a movie, talked, laughed and caught up. On Wednesday I spotted his 2007 Porche in the garage. Knowing his recent eye surgery did not go well and he was restricted from driving for a while, I asked him how long had it been. "A few months". "Well now, looks like we're going to have to clean her up and run her a bit." "You'll have to drive," he said, ""My vision is still not up to par, especially when it comes to driving the Porche."

So, Wednesday morning, after a trip to the dump in my truck, we fired up the Porche, took her to the carwash to remove weeks of dust, dirt and neglect, and headed north. If anyone is interested in a driver's road, follow my lead: Radford, Virginia to Route 11 North to Dublin. Take 100 North to Narrows and 61 West to Bluefield. There are mountains and curves and decent roads with no surprises (potholes) some curves decreasing radius curves that just keep going and going and going. I half expected to come up behind myself.

The Porsche has a 6-speed transmission, rack and pinion steering, and recaro seats that wrap around you. Taking a curve a "45 mph" curve at 65 is a rush, and I stayed in 4th for the most, while Tom suggested 3rd was better, but running 4000 rpm and listening to that engine scream was too much for me. 4th was just fine, no problem pulling around those turns.

We ended up 33 miles WEST of our original destination having no idea where the hell we were or where we would end up, but we did find Bluefield and Princeton and 460, a 4-lane that allowed me to find 6th gear. Needless to say I was in 7th heaven and don't think I scared Tom even a little bit. Even after logging over 100 miles on back roads. We have been friends long enough for him to know that I know my limits and the vehicle he trusted me with the Porche's limits. Which I never really pressed. I didn't have to.


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