Monday, July 31

Monday July 31st - A Really Long Day

Got on the road bright and early after eating a quick breakfast. Immediately discovered another problem with the truck, the brake pedal had become very soft since parking last night. Upon further inspection at a truck stop on I-80, I discovered a major brake fluid leak in the rear brake line that runs along the frame rail behind the gas tank. After adding some additional fluid, we slowly made our way over to a Dodge dealer in Williamsport PA that I found listed in the GPS map software. They found the line had rusted and ruptured, requiring them to remove the gas tank to replace the line. After 4 hours and $250 ($15 parts and the rest labor) we were back on the road. Made a quick fuel stop in Bloomsburg, PA and hit the local Autozone to grab an AC recharge kit in a failed attempt to get the AC working again. The delays required us to slightly change our itinerary and skip a few planned side trips to Centralia PA and the Orange County Choppers showroom in Montgomery NY. Instead we just headed straight home arriving back at the house about 9:30PM

Sunday, July 30

Sunday July 30th

Our morning started off by breaking down our campsite and then heading over to South Buder Park to meet up with the group for the last time of this meet.

Dodger modeled for a few photos with the trucks.

Snapped a few more photos of the trucks in the lot and hit the road about noon.

Drove through St. Louis on our way back towards CT and discovered about a half hour into the trip that the AC in the truck has quit working. The overhead console reads 102° outside and it's uncomfortably hot in the truck. But we continued on, through Indianapolis IN and Columbus OH, eventually stopping at a Super 8 Motel in Clarion, PA about midnight.

Saturday, July 29

After the show

A bunch of us went back to the Drury Inn for an evening of

First off, Gary and myself took a few moments to capture a few photos of our trucks in the parking lot.

Then a little side trip back over to Hotshots for some libations.

The was an incident involving Mustard that I can't go into detail about because I took an oath to protect the identity of those involved.

Frenzy (Filip) the Crazy Drunken Belgian

Queen JZGirl holds court in room 304. Bless Her Heart! Later on, Hotel management had to intervene because of noise complaints.

On that thought, Ingrid and I were schooled in proper southern etiquette. It is perfectly acceptable to say anything about a southern girl and long as you follow up with the phrase "Bless her Heart". For example "She had all those little babies from all those different gentelmen, Bless her Heart!"
Photos of the drunken Belgians have been omitted to protect the not so innocent. But I will add, in hindsight, asking someone to toss you a beer might be interpreted differently by someone from Belgium. David has quite an arm and Brad can really catch.

Chuck-A-Burger Drive In

Because the weather was quickly changing with an approaching thunder storm, we quickly rushed through the trophy presentation at FastLane and headed over to Chuck-A-Burger Drive In.
There the clouds moved in and it got really dark.

As the storm moves in, we could see a rotating area in the clouds that could potentially be the beginning stages of a tornado.
Everyone started moving their trucks under the canopy as the rain began.

But as soon as the storm moved in, it passes by and dissipates.

So after an hour or so, we move most of the trucks (some attendees had already left) for the group shot.

More photos from Chuck-A-Burger.

Fast Lane Classic Cars

Some photos from the DTW National Meet/Truck Show @ Fast Lane Classic Cars

I won a "Top 10" Trophy at the show with the Ram.
Gary Hedlin's 98 Dakota. I know Gary from the Dakota Mailing List though this is the first time we've met in person.
Gary also won a "Top 10" as well as cleaning up on some cool door prizes.

Click here for more photos from FastLane.

Sat. July 29th

After getting back to the campground after 1am again, we got a slow start this morning. First order of business is a trip to the car wash to prepare the truck for the show today at FastLane. Then after giving the truck a quick once over, back down to Buder park to meet up with the rest of the gang.

We all ate some more dogs and burgers and everyone started out for BIGFOOT® 4x4, Inc. - The Home of BIGFOOT®, The Original Monster Truck.

Ingrid and I bought some mud flaps, in their open store front, to replace the one that melted on my tail pipe on the way out to CO. I checked out their shop from the observation windows upstairs, but not much was going on as it was mid-afternoon on a Saturday and the shop was closed. All I could see was one of the early Bigfoot trucks in the far bay with a newer Bigfoot in another and a couple of rolling chassis in the rear bay. The shop was pretty empty and no one was there.

Friday, July 28

Friday Night

After leaving the park, we all went over to the Drury Inn to cool off in the pool and then the hot tub after it started raining outside.

Q: What's the capacity of a hotel hot tub?
A: 12 to empty it and 14 to fill it.

From there, we drove back to the campground to clean up and then met up with everyone in the parking lot of the Drury. A quick dinner at Bandana's Bar-B-Q and then some fun parking lot shenanigans.

One of the folks from the GA chapter had a mason jar with a clear liquid in it and said to me, "Here, take a sip of this, it'll blow you buubs off!" Never tried moonshine before so I took a sip. It had an interesting flavor at first but then started to burn. "It'll blow you buubs off!" became the unofficial saying of the meet and produced hours of drunken laughter.

South Buder Park Dash Webcam Images

Here are a couple of select images captured by the dash webcam.

"Rick, I'm on the webcam! Can you see me now!?"

David and Filip from Belgium

I think we need a few more coolers!
Banners up!
It's time for Walt's World Famous Lawn Jenga!

Hey, You at Home. Hungry?

This Can't be Good!

South Buder Park

Woke up this morning and despite how much we drank last night, didn't feel too bad. Hit the road at about 10:40AM to meet up with the rest of the group at the park, arriving there about 15 minutes later. While everyone was parked in the lot, I drove right up the sidewalk to park near the pavilion.
Soon there were people gathered around my truck, checking out my mobile laptop setup and joking around about things we're going to do in front of the Dashboard Webcam.
Burgers and dogs were thrown on the grill and everyone was enjoying a cold beverage in the hot weather.

Started up a game with my famous homemade Lawn Jenga while everyone enjoyed the afternoon.

More Buder Park Photos Here

The DTW has arrived!

I'm the president of the CT Chapter of Dodge Truck World and an active participant on the site's fourm boards. Our trip to St. Louis is to attend the National Get Together (or DTW-NGTG as some people refered to it).

Just before 10PM, we found ourselves back over at the Drury Inn (official hotel of the meet) and with a quick lap of the lot, we were greeted by Shaun (HearingYourLies) who informed us, everyone has been waiting for us to get there. After parking the truck, we made our way into the hotel and over to the pool were we gere loudly greeted by a number of DTW members (most of whom had coolers on wheels), a half dozen empty pizza boxes and a whole bunch of empty beer cans and bottles. Spent some time with introductions and a bunch of us decided it was time to move the party over to "Hotshots" a bar just down the road.

We had a good time conversing with my DTW friends. Got to meet Frenzy and David who both flew over from Belgium to attend the meet. All evening, drinks just kept magically appearing in front of us as people just kept buying round after round. Thanks to everyone who bought us drinks.
Bill (Ramzilla) and Filip (Frenzy) with Bill's new Manbag.
DirtyJay and Walt at the bar.
Amber (JZGirl) and Bill (Ramzilla)

It's little after 1:30AM and we are finally making our way from the bar back to the campground.

This is going to be a fun meet!

Thursday, July 27

(GCNNFX) Here There Be Dragons by Crowesfeat30

(GCNNFX) Here There Be Dragons by Crowesfeat30

Another DNF Geocache for us. We parked in the parking area at N38 31.825 W90 43.050 and began our hike to the cache by following the trail. Ingrid didn't want to bush whack like we have with previous caches so we decided to just follow the trail which looked like it'll loop around on the map we picked up at the trail head. However it brought us within 2/10ths of a mile from the cache and then started moving away from the cache, out to almost a half mile, then slowly back to within 2/10ths of a mile only to move out to almost a half mile again. Judging by what I was seeing on the map, it still looked like the trail would eventually loop back around and get us much closer to the cache. But after hiking for almost 2 miles, it still seemed like we weren't getting any closer. Had a couple of good scares as deer would surprisingly bolt across the trail as we were hiking along. My old (and formerly comfortable) sneakers were really starting to irritate my heels and when I stopped to look, I had two big blisters that had already become raw from the hike. At this point we were still a ways off from the cache and I just lost interest in finding it, so we just slowly made our way back towards the truck. When we got back to the parking area (more than 2 hours after starting), Ingrid assisted me in cleaning and bandaging my blisters with the first aid kit I keep in the truck. I just threw my old sneakers in the trash can near the trail head and told her we're going to buy myself some new hiking shoes.

However, instead of going to get myself some new shoes right away, we headed back to the campground to relax for a while. When Ingrid was getting out of the truck, she noticed some bugs crawling on her arm. I took a quick look and realized they were small ticks. I picked off all I could find and then sent her to shower and change her clothes. When she got back, I checked her arms and legs again and removed a few more. All in all, she had about 50 of them on her and must have brushed up a plant with a nest of them while we were hiking. She sternly announced she was not going to hike any more on this trip.

About 8PM we went over to the nearby Walmart and picked myself up some new hikers.

Afterwards, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at "Steak & Shake" The food is pretty good and it's a lot like a Friendly's in atmosphere.