Many Thanks to: Brent and Connie DaveT Esteves Fred Meloan JonT Keith F MW Teachum and Crabtree Photography for the use of their images. Everyone who works at the BMW Factory in Spartanburg, Wayne and Amy Lester, BMW, all the Z3ers, my car- and DaveT, who was always right behind me and never once complained :)Stuff to read while you wait for mpeg downloads....
Big download ~ 20.4 mgs mpeg
Survivor Shag- The first test was dragging Esmerelda into the hard rain. JonT had called with more bent wheels- his brand new wheels were wobbling and he was headed to beg his favorite wheel shop for a morning appointment. I guess the first immunity challenge for him was giving up on the new wheels, spending his morning changing back to his stock wheels.
I didn't want to tell him that it worked in my favor waiting for the rain to let up. It didn't anyway. I got drenched, along with my perfectly clean car on I-78. My shift boot was a swimming pool. Made notes about suede for JonM. The jerk under the first bridge wouldn't even move up a little for me and Emmy to raise her top under cover.
Chance of showers- bite me.
We met up with JonT, decided that back roads would be preferable to the Interstate in a downpour- not for the weather but for the other drivers and trucks not to run into us.
Soon we were on the other side of the storm, heading west on the PA turnpike. I have an aversion to I-81 so we passed it and grabbed a back road to the first hotel. It was a stunning road, befitting the drive that would begin the next morning. It is, however, a bit weird driving a convertible past the penitentiary.
DaveT, Al Corey and Ron Stygar with Rosemarie were waiting hungry at the hotel, full of stories of townspeople leaning over their balconies welcoming the sweet little cars. Al found the last place serving food at 10pm and we wolfed down dinner.
I was headed for bed, but Al and Ron were still wired- making noise in the hall. Cars were parked outside their windows, good plan because no one could get past these guys.
Next morning, Al had already scoped out the nearest car wash, washed his meticulously clean baby, and Ron was off getting him coffee. (Coals to Newcastle.) JonT was last out of bed. We slogged to breakfast and finally hit the road around 11am.
At the first construction stop- there were many, all the players were still on the island. Five minutes later, Ron and Rosemarie lost the first challenge, due to weak bladders. They could have stopped on their own, but used their alliance pact with Ron. The whole convoy was stopped a half hour after it had begun. The next rule was no more stops before the Interstate on back roads (about 2 hours). Ron and Rosemarie used their last immunity challenge and left the island, with Al in tow, and JonT also declined the road equivalent of eating bugs and cooking rats. I sent them off on a short and sweet route while DaveT and I continued the game. The tribe was split.
The road was awesome, every bit as wonderful as it was described in "Extreme Twisties". Well paved, 55mph speed limit, everything from long straight stretches, sweeping curves, and sections of tight little twisties. It was awesome beauty again.
Shag Synchronicity- About 3pm, DaveT and I were having a nosh at "Grandpaw's"- where they cook all the meat well done, don't ask. The phone rings and it's JonT, as the other tribe had stopped at exactly the same time, on the other side of the state. They had reached the next hotel stop early and were going to continue on. DaveT and I still had some roads to try from "Extreme Twisties" and set off.
If it's possible, the roads became even more beautiful as the day wore on. We drove alongside a long coal train, by waterfalls and farms, horses and cows without seeing another car for miles and miles. Even the interstate we took through Kentucky was gorgeous. The sun was getting lower, Emmy was sweating all over her dashboard, dripping air conditioner sweat down to her vents.
About this time we stopped for gas. This proved to be more of an adventure than I expected. I was greeted as I exited the toilet by a bug about the size of a sport utility vehicle (CANYONEROOOO). As I returned to the car by the pumps I saw DaveT and was about to tell him about the creature when I looked at the lit ground and realized it was covered in critters. So, this is where Granny Clampett learned to cook. I yelled at DaveT "GET IN THE CAR, WE'RE LEAVING" and didn't even explain until we were in another area code. As I drove I kept feeling something crawling up my leg.
When we crossed into Kentucky, we took an unplanned side road that turned out to be utterly excellent.
We passed a hotel around 8pm, and decided there would be another. At 9pm we decided to stop at a hotel, but I missed the exit. I do that a lot. Rather than make an illegal U-turn- in a completely desolate area, I tried to make it to the next exit to turn around. What an idiot. I will pass- yes I will pass cars- but never cross a double line to do it, and I will speed- are you shocked?- but I won't make an illegal U-turn even in an area so remote a frog could be the only tourist. Idiot.
Well here is the lesson: There is nothing, NOTHING, nada, zip, zero on the Mountain Parkway in Kentucky. From one end to the other, nothing but Mountains, I guess. I bet it's gorgeous in daylight, at night it's just DARK.
We pulled off to check maps and the 8 hotel guides I was carrying. Once again, the instant we pulled off the road, the phone rang. JonT again, happily ensconced in a hotel in somewhere called Morristown, TN. That's nice. He had to beg Al and Ron to stop before Knoxville. Oh, I feel so sorry for you while I am fending off mountain size bugs in the dark by the side of the road in the actual middle of NoWhere, Kentucky. I made 2 mistakes at that point. 1) I didn't take the number at his hotel 2) I didn't realize that Morristown, TN was quite close to Kingsport, TN until I hung up the phone.
See, I knew that BimmerSteven was in Kingsport, TN with no ride to Knoxville and that Carter and MW would be driving to Kingsport (99 miles from Knoxville) JUST to pick him up. Damn. JonT's cell phone wasn't receiving. Nothing to do but look for a place to sleep.
Turned out the next place to sleep- and eat- was Winchester, KY. This part was stupid, we drove tired for over an hour. We caused a bit of a commotion turning up in Z3s at midnight at the Waffle House in Winchester- we crashed at the nearest hotel of about 6 available places.
Big mistake. Don't ever stay at the Travelodge in Winchester. My room stunk like mildew, I didn't dare pull back the bedspread because the bed was crunchy, it was a nightmare motel but I was truly exhausted. I knew that even if I could summon the energy to go back to the front desk- a bit of a trek from our "rooms", and even if I could get them to tear up the charges- or keep the money just let me out of here, that after changing hotels- if the others had rooms, it may be just as bad or worse elsewhere.
I lied down in my underclothes, pulled a jacket over my body, prayed a little and fell asleep.
went to Homecoming since September 10,2000
Shag Survivor Pages
Part 1 ~~ Part 2 ~~ Part 3 ~~ Part 4 ~~ Part 5 ~~ Part 6 ~~