We spent Tuesday evening near...
We spent Tuesday evening near Red Wing, MN, just north of La Crosse, WI. While some folks tried their luck at the games in the casino most enjoyed a good meal and some rest after the long day's drive.
A few weeks ago I had received a phone call from Dan Adams. Dan told me that he had about 50 vehicles ranging from classics of the '50s and '60s to street rods and old drag cars. He wondered if we would like to stop by while we were in Pierre. When we arrived at Dan's place we found three buildings filled with some real treasures. He has been collecting for about 30 years and the cars and trucks were really in decent condition. He said most were in operating order and at some point in the future he was going to have an auction. It was a fun way to spend a few hours in Pierre. We also got a chance to drive over Oahe Dam, the second largest earthen dam in the United States.
We had lunch at a great Culver's...
We had lunch at a great Culver's Restaurant in Mankato. MN. We were greeted by this group of area street rodders who had taken time to make us welcome. It is always fun to meet fellow rodders.
The Dynamat Tour rolled out of Pierre, on Friday. It was a 90-minute drive that took us across the flatlands of South Dakota to the Black Hills. After topping off with gas at Wall, home of the famous Wall Drug Store, we soon saw that the party had already started in the entire area. It was Bike Week in Sturgis and that meant that there were over a half million motorcycles in the general area. Our lunch stop in the Black Hills was at Larry Ruth's Hot Rods of Spearfish and Larry Ruth Engineering. Larry and his wife, Gail, greeted us and we got a look at their very complete full service facility. Larry relocated from Southern California to Deadwood then Spearfish in 2007. Over the years Larry has built many street rods and in 2003 built the Grand National Roadster Show AMBR winner owned by Charlie and Stella Lambetecchio. Lunch arrived by noon and we all enjoyed the hospitality shown by Larry, Gail, and the crew. By 1 p.m. it was time to head to some famous spots in the Black Hills: Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. The Road Tourians ventured on and I stayed at Hot Rods of Spearfish while they did some routine maintenance our Road Tour pickup. With 16,000 miles on the odometer since our first tour back in May it was time for some bolt tightening and Larry and crew were the perfect folks to handle the task.
Wednesday morning we stopped...
Wednesday morning we stopped in Northfield, MN. Northfield became famous in 1876 when Jesse James, the Younger brothers, were thwarted in their attempt to rob the First National Bank. We got an in-depth guided tour of the crime scene and the history of the event.
From the visit at Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial it was a three-hour drive to Douglas, Wyoming. Upon arrival at the Holiday Inn Express in Douglas, the group was greeted not only by the hotel management and staff but also by hot dogs and beverages for the Road Tourians. It was a surprise that was an effort of the folks at the hotel and some local Wyoming street rodders. It was unexpected and very much appreciated. Saturday was a long day of driving and our destination of Salt Lake City was a 500-mile trek. Almost everyone arrived by dinner time and the evening was spent bench racing and cleaning the vehicles in anticipation of our arrival at the Salt Flats the next morning.
A few hardy souls were up way before dawn and made the 90-mile run to Bonneville in order to experience sunrise on the Salt Flats. Another group of us left at 6:30 a.m. and others followed shortly after. For the first-timers the drive onto the salt is one that is never forgotten. You drive right onto the pages of all those magazines that you have seen for so many years. The white salt is almost blinding and yes, the mountains do float in the distance. Various vehicles are staged and take their turn on runs down the course. Hot rods are everywhere and it is definitely that place to see and be seen. The teams are very serious in their quest for the records but while safety is always a primary concern the atmosphere is amazingly laid back. When a team feels that their vehicle is ready then they make their way to the starting lanes. It is then off on a run that goes five to seven miles in the distance. You just have to be there to experience the thrill.
At noon on Sunday all the Dynamat Tour participants gathered with their cars on the salt near the end of the asphalt for a group picture. It had been a great tour and once again friendships were formed that will last a lifetime. Some Road Tourians stayed in Wendover to experience the evening get-togethers at the hotels and watering holes. Others headed home to tell their friends about their week on the Dynamat Road Tour.