20130705Fri: 
Drove 393 miles.  Spending the night in Jackson, Mississippi.
Drove through some flooded streets in the Florida Panhandle.  Possible result of that is my horns are non-functional.
The fuse is alright.  Hoping something got wet which will dry out and restore the horns.

I've got replacement Wolo horns on me and a fellow SCoA member who will be attending the Nationals has
contacted me, offering to track down the problem in Denver.

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20130706Sat:
I'm half way there. Spending the night in Sherman, Texas.

Reached 60K on the odometer this morning.

About an hour later, I got my 60K oil change in the booming metropolis of Ruston, Louisiana.

They were impressed with the amount of luggage I pulled out to give them access to the engine bay ... and then they saw I had even more behind the seats and on the passenger seat floor board, LOL
 

  
There were four or five guys working and the only other thing going on in the shop was a weathered looking lawn tractor one of them was working on. The whole crew spent a lot of time gawking and asking questions.

The car needs a bath.

Other than cleaning dead bugs off of the front, I think I'll wait until the journey is closer to being over.
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20130707Sun:   Early arrival

I had planned on spending tonight at Raton, NM. But, I got there so early I decided to press on another 22 miles to Starkville, CO. I drove 578 miles today.

Made it through Raton Pass just fine at the speed limit, although I did have to down shift to do it. Brought back memories of my youth when I had a breakdown making the ascent. NOT a good place for car trouble, believe me.

A point of interest just beyond the pass.

Linked to larger.

So, I sit just 212 miles from Westminster, meaning my outbound trip is 87% over in three days.

I've really missed my air horns the past three days.  It drives me nuts and makes me want to give fools a blast of the horn when they go around me and cut 30 feet in front of me at 78 MPH.  Morons.
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20130708Mon:
Drove from Starkville to Colorado Springs.  That's only 129 miles (not counting wrong turns).  I got here around 1300, just in time to register at the hotel.  I emptied everything out of the car to lighten it up for some mountain driving this afternoon.

Drove to Cripple Creek, at 9494 feet.  Ran my dash cam around CC.  Hope that came out good, but I haven't checked it yet.  Cripple Creek has changed quite a bit since I lived there in the early 1980s.  Casinos do that to a small town.

Seen from above ... Mt. Pisgah on the right.
Cripple Creek 2013
Images are linked to larger.

On the way back to Colorado Springs I took some photos of Pikes Peak from the less famous West side.

There are some patches of snow visible below.  Kinda hard to tell it's snow, but it is.  I'll get a closer look in a week.
Pikes Peak viewed from the west

When I got back to the hotel, I took these pictures of this rig in the parking lot.
Hellmann's 88 -   Hellmann's 88 - two

Hellmann's 88 - 3
Heading up to Denver (Westminster) tomorrow to check into the Westin.
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20130709Tue:
Got to the hotel around 1300.   Got my car detailed.  Looks good, for now.
WiFi is an additonal $11 per 24 hours!  :(


Like other high dollar hotels I've stayed at in the past, no microwave nor fridge.
You can get them, but you have to make the request and they'll bring them to
your room, IF the limited supply hasn't already been taken.  I lucked out and got them.

It sure seems that the more you pay for a room, the less you get.

Well, there are about 10 other cars here so far, with more expected in the next few hours.
There are 110 registered for the event.  Tomorrow morning the SoCali group will arrive.
Some of us already here are going to drive up to Loveland Pass to meet them
for the final 60 miles of their journey.

Photos are linked to larger.

View from my 7th floor room ...


Kermit (Alan) and his babies, Molly and the new pup, Gizmo.

Sunset over the mountains West of Denver.

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20130710Wed:
I tried to meet up with the SoCal smarties at Loveland Pass.
Originally, the plans were to depart at 0700.  I woke up at the ungodly hour of 0530 to join the welcoming caravan.
Went down to the parking lot, where I learned they were behind schedule and the Westin group wouldn't depart until 0900.
Went back to the room to consume a couple cups of coffee.
Then, went back down to the parking lot just before 0900, but the caravan had already departed.
I decided to make the drive to Loveland Pass solo, hoping to catch up.  Didn't make it.  Nice drive nevertheless.

I later found out that I'm not alone in being an out of towner who experienced difficulty in navigating Denver.  Like all big cities, it is frustrating.

Some kind of water birds making themselves at home on a solar array near the hotel.

Just because we could, three smarts in two parking spaces.

Sunset

Night shot from room.

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20130711Thu:
smart fortwos gathering at Westin Westminister  smarts lining up at westin westministerr


B & F Mountain Market
B & F Mountain Market   Jetfuel at B & F Mountain Market
There's snow on them thar hills!
Snow in July 
A kayaking accident, apparently.  Traffic stopped both directions.
Kayaking accident  Kayaking accident

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20130712Fri:
 

  Down by the river


Concrete pond from hotel room.
View of concrete pond at hotel
Scene from room.  Rain in distance.
Scene from hotel. Rain in distance

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20130713Sat:
At Red Rocks
At Red Rocks  Red Rocks photo shoot
Below, in HD or original size.
Red Rocks photo shoot  Red Rocks

Red Rocks  Red Rocks

  Red Rocks

Red Rocks kids
Our photographer, way up on the hill
Red Rocks Photographer  My car
Car Show time!
Car Show from above  Car Show

Car Show
Dang.  I didn't take many pictures at the car show, and I wish I took more.  It was too damned hot!  I had to take several breaks to cool off.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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20130714Sun:  Pikes Peak.  I think 17 of the cars from the Nationals made it to the Pikes Peak drive.  When I first made it to the summit, it was sleeting!  :-)  Temperature was 44.
Pikes Peak Cog Railway  Pikes Peak Cog Railway
These are the tracks for the cog railway.
Take a walk in a cl
oud.
Pikes Peak cloud walk  Pikes Peak in clouds

Pikes Peak tourists  Pikes Peak Hi Mom!
^^^ "It's a good thing we're wearing sunglasses!  Didn't expect the clouds"
Pikes Peak tourists  Pikes Peak Ancient Aliens

Pikes Peak Cog Railroad Train
Captain, there be smarts here!
Pikes Peak smarts  Pikes Peak smart cars


Descent from Pikes Peak, first views under the clouds.
 
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20130715Mon:
Got together with my old friend Russell, who lives in Colorado Springs.  I've known him since he lived in Panama City, Florida ... some forty years ago.  He took some photos.
  Manitou Springs

At Manitou
                                                  Springs with Russell 
It was great to see Russ!  Last get together was the event of his wedding, way back in 1994.  We walked around Manitou Springs, such a great place!

About ready for the trip home.  Washed the car and had the windows re-tinted.
Had a conversation with another car wash customer.  Was that really Bonnie Raitt?

 
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20130716Tues:
Packing the car in Manitou Springs.  Ready for the long haul back to Panama City, Florida.
Packing the smart in Manitou Springs
Amarillo, Texas.  I made sure I passed through this panhandle city because I lived there when I was in the third grade, and I wanted to try to locate my one year childhood home.  I passed through Amarillo on my way to Denver, but didn't have the time to do the search at the time.  I had located the childhood home when I passed through 19 years earlier, in 1994.  I lived on River Road in 1962-63.  I remember this amusement park.  Note the road sign on the right side of the picture, pointing the way to River Road.
Amarillo, Texas Amusement Park  Amarillo, Texas Service Station
Across the street from the old home was a service station and a bar.  They both still stand, although the service station appears derelict.
  Ranch House Bar, Amarillo, Texas
After taking these photos, I walked into the bar ... told the bartender I had lived across the street as a child, 50 YEARS ago.  She freaked out, "Get outta here!", LOL.  I am pretty sure she hadn't yet been born at the time, LOL.
Amarillo, Texas street sign (River Road at Bourgeois
        Street)  7116 River Road, Amarillo, Texas

Looking south on River Road, Texas from 7116 
Looking southward from the home site.
7116 River Road, Amarillo, Texas  7116 River Road, Amarillo, Texas
The house I live in, from 1962-1963.
7116 River Road, Amarillo, Texas
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20130719Fri:
These bottles were sealed at 7,000 feet.  And this is what they looked like as I neared sea level.
I wish I'd thought to seal them at 14,110 feet at Pikes Peak summit.  Oh well.
Plastic bottles, sealed at elevation of 7000 feet.
I got to the Western Florida Panhandle at mid day and looked up Alan.  He solved the problem I'd been having with the horns.  Thanks Kermit!
Kermit with horns 
Doing it right.
Doing it right  Dayum, I didn't know how dirty it was under the skin.
Dayum, I didn't realize how dirty the car was under its skin.