Monday, June 12, 2017

HRPT 2017-June 12: Day 3-Newton, IA to Davenport, IA (130 miles)

Our route today was one of the shortest ones.  It was also the shortest trip we've ever had from our hotel to the gas station.  The station was in our parking lot.  While those that needed gas fueled up (we filled up last night like good Long Haulers), Tara and I said our goodbyes to Scott and his wife Michelle who were heading back to Kansas.  About the same time, I saw something that had to be 1 of a kind- a VW beetle pickup, or would you call it a Vee-Double-Ute or Beetlecamino.  Either way, it was weird.  The owner built it himself (of course).

First time I've ever slept at a gas station

Why?  Just why?
We had another cool morning and our route took us along Route 6 which pretty much paralleled the highway.  It was a hilly 2 lane road through more Iowa farm land.  We passed through Iowa City and the University of Iowa and along the Iowa River for a short period of time.  One town, West Liberty, had a great police department who stood out in the heat and waved the traffic through several 4 way stop sign intersections that could have otherwise created hours-long traffic jams.

The Acadian isn't the only thing from Canada in Iowa.

The highlight scenic attraction, if you can call it that, was the World's Largest Truck Stop on I-80.  Jacob knew all about it from watching the reality TV show about it. Yes, really, they made a TV show about it and someone actually watched it.  The place was big and definitely a tourist stop, but I don't know that it's bigger than a Buc-Eez.  I didn't get a chance to ask our Texas contingent their thoughts. 

As seen on TV

Couldn't pass up the easy photo op

We initially thought about having a light snack there until Tara found "The Machine Shed" restaurant a few miles down the road.  It was a farm themed restaurant and they went for broke with the theme.  The food was good ole comfort food and really hit the spot.
The Machine Shed

Decor is somewhere between Cracker Barrel and Tractor Supply Co.
Having completed lunch, we made our way to the venue at the Fairgrounds.  Traffic getting into the place was a mess.  It took us nearly an hour to get 5 blocks.  Tara was frustrated that she didn't try to find another way in, but that's Power Tour, you have to take the awesomeness of traveling to the same place with thousands of cars as well as the suckiness of traveling to the same place with thousands of cars.  Once we got into the venue, we were directed towards a dirt field way in the back.  We ignored the parking directors and made our own spot in a grassy area.  Then we saw a better area and ignored more parking people until we got parked in a DIY great spot by a shade tree and less than 50 yards from the main stage and vendors midway.  Plus, everyone passed by the car.  It meant plenty of people for Tara to talk to and made it a breeze to get clocked in and pick up our daily t-shirts and magnets. We stopped and talked with Clarence, the MC who busts his ass to entertain the crowds day in and day out year after year.  He instantly remembered me and Tara and asked if we brought the Acadian.  He'd never seen one until our first tour in 2011 and he now makes it part of his regular trivia questions and likes to play stump the Hot Rod magazine guys or anyone else by asking if they know what Novas were called in Canada.
Drone photo Tara stole from Facebook-we were parked under the trees by the grandstand building

perfect parking spot.

It was too hot to walk around and take pictures of cars, so I joined Tara in the shade.  We were witness to one of the most exciting and horrific scenes of the day.  The modified blue Dodge Hellcat Challenger next to us that dyno-ed at 789 rear wheel horsepower was all packed up ready to leave when he decided to rev his engine a few times for the crowd.  It sounded bad-ass and then it didn't.  He threw a connecting rod through the block and completely destroyed his motor.  There was nothing anyone could do as it bled out onto the pavement.  It'll be a long trailer ride back to GA for them.

cleanup aisle 1
This is not good
He didn't have a motor in the trailer

Late in the afternoon, we headed for our hotel, the Blackhawk, in downtown Davenport.  It's a historic hotel that was built in 1914. The lobby was beautiful and when we got to our room, we were stunned. It was a monster suite that took up the whole middle section of the u-shaped hotel, complete with balcony. 

The hotel also has a basement martini bar and bowling alley, so we had some pre-dinner drinks with Jacob and then headed to the Duck City Bistro for dinner.  It was a bit on the pricey side, but the food was AMAZING. 
A much different drinking experience than last night's moonshine

The wine list is a duck!!!

Before heading back to the hotel, we decided to walk off dinner by checking out the Radisson "VIP" Power Tour parking lot and then the tail end of a station wagon meet-up along the Mississippi River. On the way to the River, I saw a B5 blue Road Runner that looked an awful lot like my GTX. 
A familiar face

1969 Camaro with a 427 and a Viper Coupe
I have never seen so Buick Skylark/GS cars as on this trip. Here's 2 of at least 8

They may not have been cool back then (and some not now), but they make great Power Tour cars

It's a pretty good dam picture, if you ask me.
Unlike other stops, there were fewer Power Tour cars in the hotel parking lot.  But, the Power Tour bus was there.  Since there was no parking lot party, we took a picture with the bus and head inside.  Tomorrow we depart for Champaign, Illinois and it's going to be a long run.

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