After the Nationals South I had a few weeks at home before I had to head back out on the 2004 PPG / STREET RODDER Road Tour.

I headed west at the end of May to attend the Mid-America Nationals in Springfield, Missouri. This event has fallen on Memorial Day weekend for the last few years now and it has proved to be very popular with the rodders of the Midwest and the South.

The trip to Springfield turned very wet as I got to the St Louis area. Threatening skies turned into a deluge of water and high winds. I elected to spend the evening south of St. Louis and rolled into Springfield the following afternoon.

The weather straightened out and the weekend in Springfield was three days of beautiful blue skies. The good weather and the Memorial Day weekend combined to bring a record turnout to the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. There were 2,243 rods registered for this year's Mid-America Nationals.

Clear skies held on until the awards wrapped up and then the skies turned dark and the storms were back. I stayed just east of St. Louis on Sunday evening and rolled home on Memorial Day under sunny skies. The roadster performed flawlessly the entire trip.

After two days at home it was time to head east across I-80 through Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and then on to York. The NSRA East Coast Nationals is the largest of the regional events. In spite of a rainy Saturday, 4,858 rods were registered for this huge event.

The weather cleared for the five-hour drive across the Pennsylvania Turnpike to my home in Youngstown, Ohio. Two events in two weeks and there was still one to go. I was going to hook up with the Rod & Custom Americruise and the Hot Rod Power Tour.

With the Hot Rods & Custom Stuff Road Tour roadster rolling right along I headed west again on Wednesday for my rendezvous with Americruise and the Power Tour. Wednesday night the party was at Troy Trapanier's shop in Manteno, Illinois, just south of Chicago. Good friends and great barbecue greeted me. Thursday morning came and it was raining again. Though the Arlington Heights, Illinois, Power Tour stop was only 75 miles from Manteno, the Chicago traffic made it a long three-hour drive.

The Power Tour assembled at the Arlington Heights racetrack. Sprinkles turned to hard rain by late in the afternoon and I decided I wanted to be east of the Chicago area by late Thursday evening. After a very wet drive on Friday morning, I had a very enjoyable afternoon visiting both the Henry Ford Museum and the new Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Detroit.

I arrived home on Saturday afternoon and yes, I got a little wet on the way. It was a fun-filled but soggy three weeks. It was typical Midwest springtime weather. I traveled almost 3,500 miles and managed to fit in four events.

There is no rest on the Road Tour and I am off to Pueblo, Colorado, for the Rocky Mountain Nationals the last weekend in June. For regular Road Tour updates, head to www.streetrodderweb.com.

Travel safe and I will see you on the Road Tour...