Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hot Rod Power Tour - Day 4

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 – to Madison, Illinois (near St. Louis)

174 miles - shortest travel distance on the Tour

Today's weather was bright, sunny, clear, morning temperature in the
low 60's, highs in the low 80's

Our second hospitality stop (of 3 this week) was a late morning stop
at Mid-America Motorworks.They sell parts for Corvettes and air cooled

We pulled into the massive grass parking lot of the facility (again in
the middle of farm country) around 10:15 am. There must have been
several hundred cars parked in the grass field on the facility with a
constant stream of Power Tour cars coming into the facility throughout
the morning.

They started serving our free lunch at 11:00 am. It was fried chicken,
beans cole slaw, cookie and a soft drink. It was community seating
(long tables) under a large tent for lunch. We sat next to an older
couple who drove their 1969 Mustang that was getting 15 mpg with a
2.75 rear end gear (?).

We walked around the facility and toured their small museum. The
museum was mostly Corvette race cars, prototypes and historical
Corvettes (the last C4 and C5 Corvettes made). I'm not a Corvette guy
so I wouldn't recommend making a special trip to see this museum.

We walked around the parking lot looking at cars for awhile. There was
a section of cars for sale but we didn't see anything interesting.


For the first time on this trip, we got confused reading the official
Power Tour route directions. I was driving and Gene was navigating. We
were headed towards St. Louis but the route directions said head
towards Indianapolis (to take a smaller local highway to St. Louis)
The road split into two. I took the right hand on ramp lane, towards
St. Louis, when I should have taken the left hand on ramp. About 100
yards into the wrong lane, Gene realized his mistake and said “WRONG
WAY, WRONG WAY, MARK!”. Thinking quickly, I took a single lane road to
the left, going against traffic that connected to the left lane. Again
Gene said, “WRONG WAY, WRONG WAY, MARK!”. The road was clear and only
about 100 yards long. We made it to the correct on-ramp without
incident. No harm done.

We arrived early to the day's stop in Madison, Illinois at Gateway
Motorsports Park (a dragstrip)

We watched some Power Tour cars drive on the dragstrip for awhile. We
decided to leave the venue early and head into St. Louis (across the
river) to play “tourists” and see a local attraction.

Right next to the Mississippi river is the Gateway Arch (part of the
National Park Service).

I really enjoyed taking the trip up to the top of the arch (630 feet)
and looking out the viewing windows at the top. We watched a
documentary on how they built the stainless steel monument. It was an
engineering feat to construct this arch in the mid 60's to a tolerance
of 1/64 this of an inch! I highly recommend visiting this monument.

-Mark R

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