Monday, June 29, 2009

In Search of Princess Pine

Pictures L to R: Princess Pine; Dave and the first generation cousins (minus 3--I think); Peggy, Dave, and his sister Joan.
20 June 2009 to 29 June 2009

Vacation at the Rydbom's! It has been a great week for us relaxing and gearing up for the next leg of our journey. We had a roof over our head, and for the first visit to PA in June ever, 4 consecutive days without any humidity or rain! Unfortunately, Randy and Linda had to work during the day, but it gave us a chance to just vege, read, cook, and relax...oh yeah...and Dave had time to mow the grass-almost an acre of it--for his cousin.

Our reunion day was great...clear skies, no to low humidity, and 53 family members in attendance at Parker Dam State sure was good to see everyone. Dave gave rides in the A to those who wanted one, and got a kick out of his aunts who wanted him to keep honking the horn so they could wave at people!

We are leaving Tipton/Tyrone PA tomorrow morning early, heading toward New England and Maine. It will be good to be back in the Model A, seeing the sights.

PS: Princess Pine grows here in PA, and is actually protected from picking (according to Dave's cousins). Dave and his sister, Joan, have a vivid recollection from childhood, before moving to California, of going out in the forest collecting this plant in pillow cases to sell for extra money, but didn't remember what it was, or what it looked like. Randy found some for them during the reunion. The memory is fuzzy for what use they sold it for; one person remembers that they used it to make wreaths, and another thought "they" made dye with it. We may never know...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Trip Statistics as of June 20th...

Total Miles driven: 5,266.1

Total Days on the road: 48

Total Gallons of Gasoline: 285 gallons
Total Spent in gasoline: $777.62

Nights Camping: 20

Nights in a hotel: 15

Nights with friends and family: 13

Central PA--Home to amazing food, antique cars, and family!

21 June 2009 Chambersburg, PA to Tyrone, PA Miles: 109

Happy Fathers Day!

We woke to sunny skies above us… however, dark clouds surrounded our little spot of sunlight. It had rained during the night, but not the huge storm that was anticipated. What did happen though, is the temperature has dropped some. It was hovering at about 62 for most of the day—a bit cool for the first day of summer!

We continued our drive along Route 30, stopping along the way here and there until we hit the exit for Hwy 522, turning north. Along this route, near Shady Gap, we stopped at another antique store, to browse and inquire if there was anywhere to eat close by. We were directed to the only place close by, Sunny Ridge Station Family Restaurant, but were told we may not get in because it is always crowded on Sunday—especially at this time of day (1:30 PM), and especially for Father’s day. Fortunately for us, we only had two in our group, and didn’t mind sitting in a booth. We were seated immediately, and had one of the best meals we’ve had on this trip—and the most incredible homemade pie….coconut cream for Dave, cherry crumb for me. The service was outstanding as well. To our Pennsylvania followers…if you are headed toward Harrisburg from Hwy 30, this is a must stop.

After dinner, we continued on our journey and happened to pass through Huntingdon, PA, home to the Swigart Auto Museum. Not only did this museum have some incredible automobiles, but the collection includes era clothing, antique bicycles, toy fire trucks, toys, license plates, car emblems, engine components (like spark plugs and such), and more! This would be a great day tour destination for any car clubs around here! We were told by the volunteer staffing the museum that the display was only about one-third of the collection.

Dave found his car, even though we haven’t hit Cornhusk yet…unfortunately, it is not for sale…In the Swigart collection is an un-restored 1931 slant-window Fordor…it was purchased by the museum in 1969 from the original owner’s widow with less than 12,000 miles on it. After her husband’s death, she had stored it in a shed, up on jacks, and it was never driven again. Keep dreaming Dave…

We made it to Dave’s cousin's home in Tyrone, PA in the early evening. We will spend some downtime here for the week, (or until Randy and Linda get tired of us) before the Gill Family Reunion in Clearfield on Saturday, visiting a number of relatives in Coalport, PA.
Our goal this week is to get the camping gear and car cleaned and aired out after all the rain we’ve been hitting. I'll be taking a break from blogging until after the reunion as well...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Slight Change in our Direction toward Maine

For those of you anticipating our arrival in New England....We feel like we’re spinning our wheels here a little. There was not enough time to head up the east coast, without causing us to rush through New England and Maine (which neither one of us has ever seen before) and still make it to the reunion in central PA next weekend. We’ve been thinking of re-routing our loop to Maine, since we’re traveling along this part of the Lincoln Hwy now, and are very familiar with Eastern Pennsylvania already. After the reunion, we’ll probably head east along the northern edge of PA, then go up through New England on our way to Maine, returning west toward Buffalo and Niagara Falls before dropping back down to Hwy 30 west of Pittsburg.

Washington DC and the Threat of Severe Weather

19 June 2009 Clarksburg MD – to Shady Grove Metro Station – Clarksburg MD
Miles: 26

Pictures L to R: Our good friends, Mike, Laura, and Sophie; The Capitol; WWII Memorial; Washington Monument taken from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

We got up early, drove to the Shady Grove Metro Station and were soon headed south into DC. Our plan was to meet Mike and Co. at the Metro Center Station. What a great day! Not only did we get to spend some time with good friends, but the weather cooperated as well. The day had scattered clouds above, which kept the temps a little cooler and not as humid, and in the afternoon a breeze kicked in.

Once we got into DC, we made our way to view the Capitol, then began the long trek down the mall. We were walking the whole way…Dave suggested taking one of the tours because Laura had never been to DC and hadn't seen any of the monuments and there is just so much to see, but he was outvoted…so off we went. We headed down toward the Smithsonian, Air and Space, because we knew there was a food court there, and everyone was hungry. After eating, and walking around the museum a bit (a very little bit!), we headed back out to the mall and walked the length of it to see the Washington Monument, then detoured to go to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving—no more tickets available, but we went to the visitors center and looked around. Back to the mall, and down along the path to the WWII Memorial, along the pond to the Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, then over to the White House before heading back to the metro station. These memorials are so incredibly moving...even when you've seen them before. Thank you to all of you who have served in the Armed Forces! It was a day of reflection for all of us. Needless to say, we were beat by the time we got on the metro to head out of DC.

We said goodbye to the Wieters family and headed back to our campground. When we hit Germantown, we decided to stop and eat. Tucked away in a small strip mall along Highway 355 with a few other restaurants and a grocery store, we made an incredible discovery—India Palace. Dave and I are both fond of Indian food, and were very pleased with both the food and the service. This is a true gem of a restaurant—a must if you are ever in Germantown, MD!

We called it an early night—as we were exhausted after all the walking we did down in DC today!

20 June 2009 Clarksburg, MD to Chambersburg, PA Miles 80.5

Pictures L to R: Early morning rain--it was either drive or sit in a very small tent; Mason-Dixon Line Post Marker on the Maryland/Pennsylvania border; Site of the start of the battle at Gettysburg at the RR Cut.

It rained in the night…not a lot, but enough to cool things down. We woke up early—just before 6—and by the time we got back from the bath house, thunder was rumbling to the north/east. Dave had gotten one sleeping bag rolled, and our duffle bags stowed away just as the first drops started falling. Closing the car doors and windows, we crawled back into the tent to wait out the storm. While waiting, we debated on whether we should stay put, or go for it...After about ten minutes, the rain let up-- slightly--so we took a chance and quickly dismantled the tent and loaded the car. We’ll get breakfast on the road…or so we thought.
Less than five miles from the campground, the rain began coming down in earnest. The small towns we were passing through didn’t have much—or anything that we could see—in the line of diners. It wasn’t until we hit Gettysburg, PA that we found any kind of restaurant, so we sat out what remained of the storm there.

We’ve been to Gettysburg multiple times, so we decided to forgo the battlefield tour in the rain. If it wasn’t raining…and supposed to rain for the next few days…we would have stayed there until Monday or so, but hotel prices are so high in this area. We did wander through the center of downtown Gettysburg for most of the morning, and then hopped back into the car and headed west along Highway 30, The Lincoln Highway. By the time we hit Chambersburg, severe thunderstorms were heading our way—supposedly with winds to 40 mph, and heavy rain around 4:00 PM. We’ve opted for a hotel tonight, as the rain is supposed to continue to fall.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Grey Skies...But No Rain!

Pictures: Little Bennett Campground near Clarksburg, MD; Best Farm--we just thought it looked cool!
18 June 2009 Hagerstown, MD to Clarksburg, MD 54 miles

We're beginning to feel like Eeyore...we've got this little black rain cloud hanging over our head--or it seems that way--ever since Texas. The rain has stopped for now, so we are taking a chance that the scattered showers will scatter around us and not on us, so we're camping at Little Bennett Campground near Clarksburg, MD. I think we're maybe one of three people in the entire place!
We spent the morning antiquing...some late 20's era fashion informational pamplets, some jewelry--still checking about it, but the price was right, and it looks good, and a pair of cool shoe clips. This is a dangerous place to be if you are into antiquing...and yes, Dave has found stuff too--Civil War era glasses, drooling over a couple of long rifles (civil war era) and cars. His stuff is just more expensive than mine!

About the seems to be running great--quiet and smooth. Dave is estatic! He even said he may like it better without the overdrive...we'll see how he feels once we hit the plains.

Since Henry seems to showing some signs of least since the Pepsi incident, we're going to let him stay at the campground alone tomorrow when we take the metro into DC to meet our good friends, Mike Wieters (and family), who are out here from Orange County (CA) for a long weekend. Henry has promised to behave himself while we're gone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to Basics at NOSTALGIA WORKS

Pictures L to R: The rear end out and apart; parts and pieces; Dave and Becky Krolak of Nostalgia Works

16 June 2009 Shepherdstown, WV to Hagerstown, MD 53 miles (including yesterday from Brunswick, MD)

Dave Krolak picked us up this morning from the hotel and we (I include myself (Peggy) with the “we” because I got greasy holding, turning, or grabbing parts and pieces!) got started on changing out the differential, etc. Dave K. did not have the tool that removes the pinion bearing and races as a unit. But in retrospect, that was a blessing in disguise. Without the tool, the guys had to remove the axels and ring-gear assembly. When they went to replace the rear hubs, the threads on the passenger side axel stripped. Lucky for us, the used rear end we got from Meyer's included the parts that we needed to get going again. We ended up replacing the axel and the carrier bearing. By 4:00 or so, we were going for a test drive—hooray! We are back in business, and on the road with a stock drivetrain.

Many thanks to Dave and Becky of Nostalgia Works! They are a well-matched team, with a great sense of humor and big hearts. Although Dave and Becky run an antique and classic car restoration and maintenance business, they certainly have and live by the attitude that you help people in need and do the right thing. Something that all humankind should strive for!

For tonight, though, it is a hot shower and a soft bed—we’re bushed. Unfortunately, it looks like rain again…and is supposedly a 70% chance tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers—We are firmly convinced that it is your constant prayers that lead us to just the right towns before we break down!

17 June 2009 AM Update: We are staying put today due to we'll sit tight and do laundry and all that good stuff...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Over-and-out for the overdrive!

Pictures L to R: Harper's Ferry from the bridge over the Potomoc; Civil War canon; Burnside Bridge at Antietam.

14 June 2009 Endinburg, VA to Brunswick, MD 90.3 miles
West Virginia for a brief moment…The campground we have landed in is maybe not one of our better choices. It's on the Maryland side of the Potomoc. The campground is city owned and operated, and the campground is nice, but the tent area is a bit swampy, so we’ve snuck into an RV site. Some of the people, who I think are “full time residents” are interesting, to say the least. Even the hosts in the office are a bit iffy.

It’s Sunday, so David did his lube thing while I set up camp. Hopefully we’ll still be alive tomorrow.

15 June 2009 Brunswick, MD to Shepherdstown, WV miles? will update later

We got up early this morning, and packed the car in record time (30 minutes!) (We didn’t really want to stay at this campground any longer than necessary.) We headed into Harper’s Ferry, and had the town to ourselves as we walked around. It was actually kind of nice being there in the quiet dawn. After walking through the town, we headed toward Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland. Dave had been here before, but never got to see the Burnside Bridge, which is the location of the last engagement in this battle. We spent about and hour or so at the visitor’s center watching the video, and listening to the ranger presentation on the battle, then began the auto tour.

This is a beautiful area, and it looks like either the park service leases out the land for farming, or they plant the fields for looks. The auto tour went well…until stop #9, the Burnside Bridge. As we crested the hill to the parking lot, the car made “a snapping, popping, grinding” sound. At that, Dave proclaimed, “This is as far as we are going today!” We coasted backward, down the hill (no turn around space), and stopped along the road—thankfully it was a wide, shady spot. (Actually a disabled persons parking area for the bridge.) Next step…MAFCA Roster Directory.

We located a MAFCA member in Hagerstown, MD who put us in touch with Ron Meyer, owner of Meyer’s Model A Ford Parts in Williamsport, MD. Ron was able to hook us up with Dave and Becky Krolak, in Sharpsburg, MD. Dave owns Nostalgia Works, an antique and classic automotive maintenance, repair, and restoration shop. Turns out, Dave’s shop was about six miles from where we were stranded. He came to our rescue with his transport trailer in tow.

We are saddened to announce the demise of Borge-Warner, our much beloved overdrive. With no other overdrive available locally, Dave decided to replace ours with a stock drive shaft and torque tube—so we can finish our trip, albeit at a much slower pace. Ron Meyer was able to supply us with a used differential, drive shaft, torque tube and gasket set. Dave Krolak and Dave (Gill!) are working on changing them out. As night fell, Dave K. drove us to the nearest hotel—in Shepherdstown, WV. So Baby is having her first sleepover in an out-of-state (from us) garage. Henry is staying with her so she doesn’t get homesick.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dodging Raindrops in Search of Coiner Gold!

13 June 2009 Waynesboro, VA to Endinburg, VA 68 miles

Rain, rain, rain…not constant, but off and on all day. We spent the morning at the Waynesboro Public Library—with the hope of doing a little bit of Coiner research. Instead we found a gold mine! At the library, we found a couple of books, one printed in 1893 that delineates the Keinadt family history and genealogy that covers their history in Germany, and in America up to 1893. Inside the front cover was a contact name and phone number for reprint information. David called the number, was told that the person to speak to was a Mr. Lewis Coiner. With the information on where he lived and how to reach him in hand, we located Lewis Coiner--who is distantly related to Peggy; he invited us into his home so we spent the afternoon visiting and talking about the Coiner line. He is 90 years old, and I would hazard to guess that he is the Coiner expert in this part of the country.

Finally, around 4:00, we hopped in the car and headed north. We worked our way back to Hwy 11, and ended up in Endinburg, VA. We found a small campground called Creekside Campground, just on the other side of the creek from town and took a chance that most of the rain had passed us by for the day. By the way..we were wrong--oh well... This is a small family run campground…with nice RV pads, and a great tent area along the creek. In fact, it looks like it could be their backyard. The people here are very friendly...a nice touch...they have a new “coffee and ice cream” trailer and offer homemade ice cream and iced coffee drinks and socialization around a big fire. Coffee is also available in the morning. I’m sure we’ll be back someday.

Henry enjoyed the creek side campfire and the ducks!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Staunton, Virginia and a Scavenger Hunt!

11 June 2009 Greenville, VA to Staunton, VA 69 miles
and surrounding areas including Crimora

We entered the town of Staunton, Virginia in the early morning. What a neat town—especially the historical downtown district. Staunton is also home to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. We stopped at Beverly’s Café in the old historic district, then spent the morning walking around, exploring many of the shops. We were also in search of the local historical society because we are on a mission here in Augusta County Virginia.
Somewhere in Augusta County is a small cemetery that contains a monument to the Keinadts—Michael and Margaret—ancestor’s of Peggy’s. The only information we have is that this monument is in the cemetery of the Old Trinity Lutheran Church “about 14 miles east of Staunton and 2 miles north of the Crimora Station on the Shenandoah Valley RR.

While searching for the historical society, we happened upon Bruce Elder’s Antique and Classic Automobiles. Unable to pass by almost any antique vehicle, Dave detoured to take a look at some of the cars he had—most, but not all of them are for sale. Dave was very excited to see the American LaFrance Speedster and an original 1929 Model AA Special Delivery pickup.

Back to our scavenger hunt....With the help of Betty from the Augusta County Historical Society, we were directed to the area and we went in search of the church. After traveling along some incredible rolling hills through the Virginia countryside, getting lost, and redirected by the local postman, we finally stopped in what we thought was Crimora. An older gentleman at the gas station knew the exact church that we were looking for and gave us precise directions. We had driven past it twice—I don’t know how we had missed it!

The monument was there, and the cemetery was filled with descendents of Michael and Margaret Keinadt. Peggy’s maiden name is Coiner, and she is a descendant of Philip Coiner, Jr. who is the grandson of Michael Keinadt. (Spellings were changed and Coiner is just one of the many spellings/Americanization of Keinadt.) What was especially interesting to note that Keinadt descendants have been documented to fight in every war here since the American Revolution.

The rain started coming down in earnest so we headed back into town and checked into a hotel for the night. It is supposed to rain for the next few days, so we may stay here and just do some short explorations/family research around this area before heading north.

12 June 2009 Staunton, VA to Waynesboro, VA 35 miles

We went to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library this morning, and then walked through a few other antique stores in Staunton, before heading to Verona, VA (another antique mall) and then on to the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery again, to get some other pictures. By then, the rain started in again. We made our way to Waynesboro, VA, checked into a hotel and went in search of dinner. On the way, we passed by the Fishbourne Military Academy—one of the places Peggy stayed the night at when she was on that bicycle trip in 1976. We ate at Scotto’s Italian Restaurant—and had a very, very nice meal.
By the way...have you figured out that if you double click on the picture, you can get a larger view? Check out Dave in the American LaFrance!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Treasures along the '76 BikeCentennial Trail

9 June 2009 Blowing Rock, NC to Dublin, VA (Claytor Lake State Park) 133 miles

Pictures L to R: Christmas Trees in NC and Virginia; Henry wants a "pop"!; Peggy doing her computer thing...disregard the bad hair...this is after showers and no hair dryer!

We left the Blue Ridge Parkway today…actually we didn’t have a choice because there was road repair/construction on the parkway itself. The detour took us down into Boone, NC, home of ASU- Appalachian State University. The detour took us through some beautiful countryside…rolling hills…hills filled with Christmas trees. We’ve decided that Northwest North Carolina and Southwest Virginia must be the Christmas tree supplier for the southeastern seaboard like Oregon and Washington is for California. We passed acres and acres of Christmas trees! Most of the day detoured off the parkway, and we decided since we were off of it, and it was supposed to rain in the mountains the rest of the week, we would stay off of it and make our way up into Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.

We stopped at the visitors center in Wytheville, VA and picked up some great information for Virginia. As we headed out of town, we picked up the old highway that goes from Florida to Pennsylvania. It is also part of the Transamerica Bike Trail that Peggy and her mom rode on during their bicycle trip across Virginia—30 some years ago. We ultimately made our way to Claytor Lake State Park for the night where we virtually had the campground loop to ourselves…I guess that is what happens when there is a 40% chance of rain. We set up camp, ate leftovers for dinner, and before we knew it, it was bedtime! Henry did take some time to play around…he was not happy that we wouldn’t let him have and soda before bed!

10 June 2009 Dublin, VA to Greenville, VA 153 miles

Pictures L to R: Claytor Lake Campground; Downtown Lexington, VA; Washington and Lee Univerisity in Lexington, VA; The Bikecentennial Trail sign

Another quiet day of driving…working our way up the valley…stopping at antique malls on and off as we passed them. We did find an original 1920’s era marcasite necklace and screw back earrings—stamped sterling—at what we think was a great price. Once again we found ourselves following the bike trail on and off, through some of the actual cities Peg had ridden—Radford, Christiansburg, Troutville, Buchanan, and Lexington. When we reached Lexington, we stopped and visited the museum and chapel at Washington and Lee University, which is where General Robert E. Lee and his family are buried, as well as his horse Traveler, which carried him through countless battles throughout the Civil War.

Civil War Trivia…Did you know…?

…that George Washington and Robert E. Lee were related? Robert E. Lee married a descendent of George Washington’s step-granddaughter.

…that President Lincoln offered Robert E. Lee full command of the Army of the Potomoc at the beginning of the Civil War? However, Lee’s loyalties were to the State of Virginia first, and he declined that command, and instead assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia.

We are testing providence that we will have a fourth night without rain…even though there are thunderstorms around us…and are camped at Stoney Creek Campground in Greenville, VA, just off Highway 11 (just south of Staunton, VA). We’ve had a few sprinkles, but so far our luck has held out.

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway--North Carolina

8 June 2009 Asheville, NC to Blowing Rock, NC 129.9 miles

Pictures L to R: The Viaduct near Linn Cove; Baby dressed for the weather!

We went into Asheville to fuel up (there are no gas stations on the parkway itself—at least not is this area), and to try and find a NAPA to buy a replacement bearing. We found NAPA, but they don’t have this bearing in their system like Dave thought.

We also found out that Asheville is where the Vanderbilts built their “Biltmore Estate in 1895. We drove up to the welcome center and watched their short video, but decided to save the tour for another visit when we had more time. We had seen the mansion, “America’s Largest Home” (some 200+ rooms) from one of the overlooks on the Parkway.

We made our way back to the BR Parkway for today’s drive. Every turn in the road is a visionary delight. The water is dripping through the rock along the roadway, creating miniature waterfalls. The Flame Azaela’s are in full boom at this point on the parkway, and the rodedendrans are just beginning to bloom. Apparently, depending on the elevation, these plants boom anywhere from late May throughout June. The mountain laurel is also beginning their springtime show.

We stopped today after 129.9 miles and 6 ½ hours of driving and set up camp at Julian Price Memorial Park. Around 5 PM, the thunder started rolling in. We covered the car, made sure everything was stowed away and got set for a rain shower. After an hour, we’ve had a few drops but no downpour…maybe we’ll get lucky!

We may move off the BRP tomorrow, and try to work our way down the west side so we can take the Shenandoah Valley up through Virginia.

Mike's 'A' FORD-able and Grandfather's Day

6 June 2009 Maysville, GA to Mountain City, GA 98 miles

Pictures L to R: Mike's 'A' FORD-able Parts (logo on his deluxe delivery); parking lot shot--still more cars to show up!; tow-truck; Ramblin' Reck from Georgia Tech; 1929 fire truck


What a day! We went to the Grandfather’s Day Celebration at Mike’s ‘A’ FORD-able Parts in Maysville, GA. Mike, of Mike’s ‘A’ FORD-able Parts has been putting this event on for the past 6 years, ever since he moved to Maysville, GA. Apparently Mike’s business grew from a restoration project he started years ago. According to Benny, of Bentley’s Antique Auto Service, Inc., Mike, while working on his project car bought the parts he needed in bulk to get the better price. He was soon selling the extras that he didn’t need to his local club members. This became so successful that over the years he has expanded to an entire warehouse. Mike’s ‘A’ FORD-able Parts is the shop that supplied us with all the parts and pieces we needed for our engine “tune-up” over at Bentleys. After the BBQ event, Mike gave Dave and me a “tour” of his stock room. For you Model A enthusiasts, it is a sight to behold! Mike told us that he strives to have virtually everything you need when placing an order, and that realistically, he has a 97% success rate. (For us, that number was 100%!) Quite an amazing feat!

Back to Grandfather’s Day…We got there shortly before 10 AM—we were the 41st A to come in. Cars began arriving from all over Georgia, as well as from South Carolina and Alabama. I’m sure there are some other states that I missed. The Ramblin’ Reck from Georgia Tech was there, as was rival Old Miss from Mississippi. A retired fireman from Oxford, Alabama brought his 1929 Model A Fire Truck (which was a personal favorite of mine!) We also saw a 1931 Deluxe Pickup. These are just a few…there were over 130 amazing A’s at this event—everything from original rusted “found in the barn” project cars to high point show cars. I’m not sure, but I think we got the prize for the most miles traveled!

Bobby, from Bentleys’ Antique Auto Service, Inc. had made arrangements for a reporter to come talk to Dave and me about our trip. We had the opportunity to feel famous for 10 minutes or so, with all the cameras clicking. Our very own Paparazzi! Dave even took Katie (the reporter) for a quick ride in our car, since she had never ridden in one.

After the interview, we spoke with many of the other Model A’ers in attendance. The most common comment/question was, “You trailered that from California, right?” Surprisingly, we met many who are planning, or are thinking of planning a similar adventure of their own. In fact, one couple, from South Carolina were just finishing up a month-long tour to NYC, Canada, and down through Michigan. So you see…we are not the only crazy adventurers! We were surprised when Gerald Grizzard, the owner of the fire truck, presented us with a trunk tray that he had made for us after discovering our blog last week. We also received a “Touring Passport” from Tom Smith of Minford, Alabama. This looks like a US Passport, but with the Model A on the cover and a place for car and owner information inside.


Pictures L to R: Bobby and his parents, Darrell and Susan Chaisson--the owners of the family farm; Two of the three cotton gins; Front of the general store

After the BBQ, about 30 cars headed out on a short tour to the Shield-Ethridge Heritage Farm for a “homemade” ice-cream social. This farm is owned by Bobby’s family, and has been in their family since 1792! A registered historical landmark, they have restored many of the original building to their original locations and looks. These include a working grist mill, a general store, the tractor barn with a 10hp hit-and-miss engine, the school teachers house, the school house, and a building which houses three original cotton gins. They even have the original last bale of cotton that was ginned here! I’m sure there is more that I have missed. This site is a true treasure to Early American history. You can visit their website at:

After a quick tour of the farm, Dave and I headed out, hoping to make at least 30 miles north into the Georgia mountains before dark. When we reached the campground we were aiming for, there was “no room at the inn,” so we continued on until we found a place to pitch our tent. Overall, it was a very busy, but great day. Dave got his Model A fix for awhile. Something we’ve noticed here in the south…where in California we refer to our car as a “Model A,” here they say “A Model,” or “T Model.”

7 June 2009 Mountain City, GA to Ashville, NC 133 miles

NC and the Start of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Pictures L to R: View of the Smokey Mtns from the Blue Ridge Parkway; Us at the high-point on the parkway.

We broke camp early, and continued our journey north. Since David was not in an oatmeal mood, we had decided to eat out. When we reached Dillard, GA, we stopped for gas, and then went to a flea market (swap meet) for a bit. We didn’t find anything we couldn’t live without, but we did run into another Model A’er who was with two other cars from South Carolina—one of them broken down. He was looking for a front outer wheel bearing and race. Never to leave another Model A’er stranded, we unpacked our car to get our spare out from under the back seat—yes, under all our gear!

After breakfast at a small café in Dillard, we soon crossed into North Carolina. Our goal was Cherokee, NC, which is on the Cherokee Reservation—part of the Smokey Mountains National Park—and is home to the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long—or there abouts. As we headed north on the parkway, we passed by and stopped at many incredible vistas of the Smokey Mountains. Unfortunately, the climb from this end is pretty steep in places, and much of today’s mileage was at 25 mph. After 133 miles, traveling most of the day, we stopped at Lake Powhatan National Forest Campground, which is near Asheville, NC. Our average speed today, according to Hannah, our GPS, was 19 mph.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Temporary Recharge Needed...of the electronics!

Hi All...We have about 5 minutes of battery power left on the computer--We've been camping in the non-electric campgrounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway for the last few days, so computer time is limited! There is a detour off the parkway due to road maintenance so we'll be heading down the hill soon. Cell service is sketchy as well. As soon as we find an electric outlet, I'll be updating our adventures including the Grandfather's Day Celebration.

We hope you are enjoying our travels....Dave and Peggy

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bentley's Antique Auto Service, Inc. to the Rescue!

4 June 2009 to 5 June 2009 Maysville, Georgia and surrounding area

I spent the day Thursday in the hotel relaxing—reading, organizing the pictures, and catching up on my journaling. Friday morning I finished my book, and quickly was at loose ends since I didn’t have access to a car. Benny (owner of Bentley’s) offered to come pick me up so I could go to lunch with the crew, and after that, I just hung out at the shop—making a pest of myself and asking questions. It was really kind of interesting, because they had a number of cars in various stages of restoration and I was able to see how these are put together.

David spent Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday and Friday at Bentley’s shop working on the car. Initially, we stopped by Mike’s 'A' Ford-able Parts to get the new tires for the car. Benny said he had the mounting and balancing tools to put the new tires on the wheels. (By the way…David is SOOoooo excited about finally having black-walls!) From there, David asked them if they could possibly give the car a quick listen-to/look-over. Benny and his crew are amazing! What started as a quick tune-up turned into a 2 ½ day overhaul of the entire engine.

On their recommendation, we decided to have the bearing clearances checked and adjusted. While checking this, they discovered that the rod bearings were fractured and needed replacing. Benny’s staff dropped other projects and in the 2 ½ days that the car was in their shop, new tires were mounted, the engine had new connecting rod bearings, new rings, and a complete tune-up. Benny’s response to Dave’s anxious questions was always, “Relax, Dave, we can fix anything!” Scott, Benny’s engine man, has the car sounding and running better than it ever has! If you’re ever within 1,000 miles of Bentley’s Antique Auto Service in Maysville, GA, we highly recommend them for anything from minor maintenance to stunning high-point restorations. These men are true professionals!