Friday, June 16, 2017

HRPT 2017-Day 7: June 16- Indianapolis, IN to Bowling Green, KY (276 miles)

Today's route was the longest of this tour, but also the best.  It started in the hills of Indiana, through the Hoosier National Forest and then the scenic Kentucky byway before a 50 mile stretch of highway to the venue.  Tara and I hit the road earlier than everyone else in order to ensure we had time to stop along the way.  It was a good thing we did.  Even though we left nearly an hour earlier than usual and gained an hour traveling back into the central time zone, we still didn't arrive at the venue until around 3 pm.  There was too much to see.
What a view!!
We couldn't have timed it better.  We saw a sign for Cataract Falls and detoured about a mile to check it out.  The park opened at 8 and we arrived nearly on the dot.  The falls are the largest by volume in the state of Indiana.  There was also a covered bridge that was built in 1876 and was in use until 1988 when they built the concrete bridge that is used today.
140 year old bridge
Upper Falls

Lower Falls- right by a sign that says "no fishing from rocks"

After the falls, we passed through a small town whose name escapes me.  The route took us into the roundabout that surrounds the courthouse.  We saw a cool old hotel on the backside, so we decided to go all the way around and stop for some pictures. 
We pulled up to this old building for a picture and started a trend.  A bunch of other cars followed us
Too bad we didn't have Bryson's GTO "Judge" to pose in the picture
From there, we followed the route along to West Baden Springs, Indiana where we made our next slight detour to the West Baden Springs Hotel.  The hotel is the second largest freestanding dome and was built in 1902.  It fell into disrepair at some point and underwent significant renovations.  The place was indescribably cool.  The interior has a massive domed atrium with ornate tile mosaics and paintings.  We walked through the dome and out to the garden where the mineral springs used to be back in the day (they were capped).  French Lick, Indiana, the adjacent town also had a historic hotel and we swung by it too.
We thought this was a really cool hotel...
until we saw this...

and this.
Inside the dome- the picture doesn't give the true scale of the place
 Tara found our lunch spot, a place called the Pour Haus in Tell City, Indiana, but thought it was too far off the route to stop.  Then, by happenstance, she missed a turn and we were practically at the place, so we stopped.  I'm glad we did. The food was incredibly good.   Better than the food were the people in Tell City.   When we pulled up it was only street parking.  A guy in a Jeep Cherokee told us to hold on and he'd move his car so we could park under a tree.  In the restaurant, we met Diane who had lived in the area for 37 years.  She was sitting at the table next to us asked if we were part of the Hot Rod Tour.  Wegot to talking about cars and the farm truck she and her husband own and how her son skipped out on work to take his 1960s original patinaed station wagon to the route and watch the Tour roll by.  She asked to take a picture with us.  We were surprised when the waitress told us we had no bill.  Diane surreptitiously paid it for us and welcomed us to her town. 
Great food

Great Parking

Great people.  Thanks again Diane!
We left the Pour Haus and didn't get to the end of the block before I saw this cool building with vintage gas pumps and bright red garage doors.  We stopped and took some pictures with the Acadian in front of it.  I later got a text from Diane who told us that the building was the body shop where her son works.
Diane's son's shop

Here's what the place looked like before the renovation
The bridge across the Ohio was under construction and reduced to a single lane for both directions.  It created a pretty bad traffic jam between the Power Tour cars and the folks just going about their day.  Tara used the traffic app on her phone to find a detour that took us along the river, under the bridge and with two left turns, we jumped to the front of the line.  Tara's second shortcut wasn't as good.  We detoured off the route in Fordsville to see what might be there and when the answer was "not much", Tara suggested I turn right and go around the block.  The road got us where we needed to be, but the intersection was such a steep hill that I felt like I was sitting in the space shuttle on the launch pad.  It was also a blind intersection that required Tara to keep telling me when it was clear to the right so that I could watch the gap in the trees to my left for oncoming traffic.  I also had to use both feet and both pedals to keep the car from rolling backward.

The Kentucky Scenic Byway was exactly that and is my favorite type of Power Tour road.  It's a two-lane road with lush trees on both sides and lots of curves and hills.  Curvy roads in a car that was not designed to carve them is actually loads of fun.  It's far more exciting taking a 45 mph curve at 55-60 in the Acadian than the same curve at the same speed in the Corvette.  It's not that I wouldn't mind being able to rip down the road in the Vette, but I'd have to go much faster to have the same excitement.
1969 Road Runner Convertible and 1969 GTX

Today's venue was an Airport which they shut down for the day.  The biggest problem with that type of venue is that there is no shade.  However, our good parking karma held and we found a spot right between the Pilot Transport and Comp Cams display trailers behind the midway.  The trucks provided all the shade needed to make it almost comfortable.  For the last time, I clocked in at the main stage and collected the final magnets. 
Our best spot yet

In a pinch, trucks provide great shade
At the end of the Tour, they give the Long Haulers certificates, metal signs and other such stuff.   There's always a long line and this year was no exception.  Tara and I took our time watching the cars leave and the crowd thin out before getting in line.
It's official:  7 cities, 7 states, 7 years in a row.
Tara, Jacob, Ken, Bryson and I had dinner at 440 Main in the historic downtown area. To Tara's dismay it was named for the address and not the MoPar motor displacement.  The food was excellent and the executive chef and part-owner, Danny was great and welcoming. It was a good way to end the trip.

After dinner we went back to the convention center across the street and it was madness.  Not only is the Power Tour in town, but the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion starts tomorrow and there are tons of cars in town for that.  The roadway between our hotel and the convention center became a burnout zone.  One guy ran a full-on  dragster down the road.  Eventually, the Police came in and shut it down.
Hot Rod Power Tour meets NHRA Hot Rod Reunion

Tara cleaning the car, again.

That's about $500 worth of tires on the pavement
The burnout police (literally)

Here are some other pictures from today:

Lingenfelter tuned Supercharged Corvette

1970 440 Six Barrel 'Cuda

1970 AAR "Tribute"

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