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Fishing Rhino

Ahhhhh, What A Vacation.

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So, here we sit in our hotel room near the Daytona International Speedway, waiting for the rain to stop long enough to get the track dry.  Then, maybe, we'll walk back to the track to watch the rest of the race, but it doesn't look good.

 

When the rain started, we made the decision to head to our room, and a good decision it was.  There have been tornado warnings including, but not limited to the following areas, Daytona International Speedway, Ormond Beach, and one other area in this vicinity.  There have also been tornado warnings for Lake Mary, about thirty, or so, miles to the SSW of here.

 

What a vacation it has been.  We left home on Feb 12 and stopped in Troutville, VA for the night.  It was just starting to snow when we stopped.  We awoke and headed out early on Thursday morning and made it to about forty miles south of Troutville when we ran into traffic that was stopped by a truck that had tipped over and blocked the southbound lane.

 

Fortunately, we were at one of those "for official use" turnarounds on the interstate.  So, I made an unofficial turnaround, and two hours later, we were back in our hotel room.  Around noontime, the snow had stopped, so after the early "false start", we were once again southbound on I-81.  Three hours later, our progress was stopped for two hours by another truck that had blocked the highway.

 

Just as well,  The snow started again, and it became a white out.  Good thing all the vehicles were close enough to each other that snow could not build up on the road.  Finally, the vehicles ahead of us started moving.  It's about a hundred fifty miles from Troutville to Bristol TN/VA.  It took us about six hours to make the first 80 miles, and an hour to make the last 70.  The roads were wet, but were free of slush, snow, and/or ice.  By the time we made Knoxville, the highway was dry, and we had smooth sailing.  We stopped for the night in Knoxville and headed out early on Friday morning. 

 

Smooth sailing, but the destruction of the ice storm that hit that area was everywhere.  Trees and branches snapped off and many were uprooted along the sides of the highway.  Those that had fallen onto the roadway were cut off at the edge of the road and tossed off the roadway.

 

Finally got to GA, only to run into another slowdown, this time due to rubbernecking.   There was an accident involving a tanker truck and three or four other vehicles.  Two huge, triple rear axle, wreckers were lifting the truck upright, and back onto the roadway.

 

We couldn't take our usual shortcut from Cartersville to Temple.  Our daughter had called to tell us to stay on the interstate since many of the back roads were still impassible.  We got to our daughter's, dropped off our dog for boarding with her, and headed to Daytona just before noon.

 

Great!  We would beat the rush hour traffic as we got to I-75 headed south.  Making great progress until we ran into some construction areas, which once again impeded our progress.  Including a stop for dinner around four, we finally checked into our hotel at 9:00 p.m.

 

We were greeted by great weather.  Highs in the low 70s for the first couple of days, followed by a string of 80 degree days.  Nice weather as we headed to the track just before noon today.

 

Then all heck broke loose.  The rain started 35 laps into the race.  First it was a sprinkle.  Then it rained.  Eventually, the rain became a deluge.  We got to our hotel, just as thunderstorms moved in along with tornado warnings.  If It does stop, and the weather radar looks agreeable, we'll make the trek to see the rest of the race.  If the weather looks iffy, we'll watch the race from our hotel room.  Doesn't look good on the radar.

 

If they don't get it restarted, we'll hang around for another day or two.

 

It's nice to be retired, and able to live each day as you please.

 

Just think, I get to retrace this route in a couple of months, for the road trip, until I get to the junction of I-40 and I-75, where I'll continue west on I-40, and from there to Pickwick and Wilson.

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Holy cow Rhino, quite a trip for sure. I hope the weather holds out so you can get to the track and see the rest of the race! I know you really enjoy going to see the Daytona 500. Be safe either way!

 

John

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Glad you and the misses made it safely. hope the rain hasn't hampered the race week experience for you.

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Sitting here watching the restarted race from my couch. 42 to go! Dale Jr. Leading it. Tom, was that your tophat I saw in turn four! I KNOW it was you! :)

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Ooh another storm coming Tom! It's gonna be close to the end of the race! Lots of lightning too. Be safe!

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Got to see JR cross the checkered! Couldn't of been happier. hope you enjoy your vacation rhino. be safe

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Sounds like you will be talking about this vacation for a long time.

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We left the track shortly after the rain started.  It was still raining when we headed to dinner at a restaurant away from the track.  Our daughter texted a friend who works on Biffles crew.  He texted back that the track was being dried and they hoped to restart the race at 8:30.  We finished our dinner, drove back to the hotel, and walked back to the track.

 

Robin texted Bill and told him we were in our seats and they had our permission to restart the race, which they did, about three minutes later.

 

What made the racing so good was that there was always the chance of a pop up shower that might shorten the race.  They ran the last 3/4 of the race flat out.  There was no holding back to save your car for the final ten or twenty laps.

 

The worst of the trip was the section of I-81 from Roanoke south.  It's got the steepest and longest grades on 81.  In a 20 - 25 mile stretch we saw a half dozen semi rigs lying on their sides in the divider between the north and southbound  lanes.  There was another 25 or so that had slid off the highway.  They were there to stay until the big rigs that were blocking the roadway got cleared.

 

There was a 17 mile backup on the north bound side due to  truck that was stuck across the highway.  The big tow truck was just getting to the scene as we passed by.

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