Monday, October 22, 2018

Richard Childress Racing Museum

Charlotte, NC

Jim really enjoyed himself in NASCAR country. One of his favorite stops was at RCR Museum. I stayed in the truck with the puppers and told Jim he needed to take pictures for me. Well, he certainly took pictures. Lots of pictures. I made him choose the pictures that are going in this blog post.

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The Richard Childress Racing Museum, located in Welcome, North Carolina, traces how an independent one-car team evolved into one of NASCAR’s most successful organizations.

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The museum hosts the largest collection of No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolets, including the 1998 Daytona 500-winning car, the 1995 Brickyard 400 winner and each of the special paint schemes driven by Earnhardt in the All-Star races from 1995-2000.

This car helped RCR win their first two NASCAR Winston Cup Championships with Dale Earnhardt, in 1986 and 1987.

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The late Dale Earnhardt appeared on a commemorative Wheaties boxes in conjunction with his induction into NASCAR's Hall of Fame in May 2010. Earnhardt was also featured on the Wheaties box in 1997 and is the first NASCAR driver to appear twice.

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On February 20, 2000, Dale Earnhardt drove a new 2000 Monte Carlo at the Daytona 500 featuring the little devil, Taz. The car's paint scheme, based on the cartoon character, was used in Chevrolet's TV advertising campaign.

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This paint scheme was the creation of pop artist Peter Max in 2000. Dale drove this car in six races and had two top 3 and four top 10 finishes. Kevin Harvick used this car to qualify in 2001 but crashed it in Turn 1 on the first lap.

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Dale drove the No. 3 Oreo Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a second place finish in the 2001 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. The paint scheme was part of a promotional program with Nabisco.

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Jim is having such a good time.

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In the fabrication room the bodies for the cars were created from flat pieces of sheet metal and hung on the chassis. This picture shows the roll cage.

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On May 28, 2917 Austin Dillon earned his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Driving the Dow Salutes Veterans Chevrolet, Dillon returned the No. 3 Chevy to Victory Lane for the first time since Dale won at Talladega in 2000.

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The Intimidator’s Classic Black #3.

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While sitting in the parking lot, one of the race cars they were working on back in the shop, was driven around the roads to test it out.

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They use huge trailers to haul the cars from track to track.

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And we couldn’t leave without getting Jim a souvenir.

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(the expression on his face is sticker shock) But he’s worth it.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

South Carolina Family

Conway, SC   High 81  Low 65

I still have a few posts to do about our visit to Charlotte but there are hundreds of pictures to go through. I also am almost out of my gigabytes before I’m throttled so those posts are going to wait for a good wifi connection somewhere.

We really weren’t sure we were going to be able to get to South Carolina to visit Nancy and Jack. The weather did not want to cooperate. Conway was hit hard by Hurricane Michael as well as Hurricane Florence. Nancy and Jack did not sustain any damage but there was no way to get to their house because of flooded roads.

However, the sun decided to shine on us so we could make our visit. We took the dogs with us and showed up at their house on Saturday. They have a cute Pomeranian named Sis and we weren’t sure how it was going to work. But after the first ten minutes or so Rocky calmed down and was okay as long as Jim held him. Skitz was scared of her but she also settled down nicely.

20181020_110418We had such a wonderful visit. The last time we saw Nancy (Jim’s younger sister) was in 2014 in Roanoke. Even longer since we’ve seen Jack.

The only problem is the visit was much too short. Its hard to say goodbye. We love you guys so much.

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We are currently in Aiken, SC for a few nights.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

You Just Never Know Who You’re Going to Meet On the Road

Charlotte, NC    High 82   Low 64

Tuesday about noon my phone rang and it was our buddy, Paul. When we had talked earlier in the week he was on his way to Cape Hatteras and would be passing close by but the campground he was going to stay at was too far away to get together. Well, that campground fell through and the one he was able to get into was only about 30 miles from us. He wanted to know if we wanted to meet for dinner. That was an easy yes.

Went to Azteca for Mexican food. It was so much fun to see him. We probably won’t see him again until April out in Arizona.

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The next day we had made arrangements to meet up with Larry and Gerri. We had lunch with them back in Martinsburg, WV. They are camped out at the Speedway which is only about 10 miles from us. They told us about a BBQ place that sounded really good.

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R & R BBQ is smoked pork shoulder and they use a vinegar based sauce. Jim and I decided to split a rack of ribs. After we both ate until we were stuff we had enough ribs to take home for dinner another night. They were excellent. But I preferred their sweet sauce. Jim liked the hot sauce.

Sure hope we meet up with these folks again somewhere, sometime.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Billy Graham Library

Charlotte, NC   High 82   Low 61

I want to let you know that I am feeling much better. I still have a cough that won’t go away, but I feel great. Thanks for all the good wishes.

I was reading some of the negative reviews for the Library trying to understand what could be so bad. One review said it wasn’t a library – of course not. It’s set up like a Presidential Library with exhibits and videos depicting Mr. Graham’s preachings. They have a large bookstore. But it’s not a library where you go to check out books. Another review said that it was too religious. I’m really not sure what they expected – Mr. Graham’s life was totally about religion and Christ.

20181015_141734Originally Billy Graham was against the idea of a library bearing his name. He was adamant against anything that would detract from the message he had preached for more than 60 years – a message that points to Christ alone as the way God. “When it was presented as an ongoing ministry and that people would have the opportunity to be won to Christ, I changed my mind,” he said.

The library is designed in the shape of a barn to reflect his childhood on a dairy farm in North Carolina.

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After entering at the foot of the Cross, Bessie begins your Journey of Faith with stories about his youth.

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The Library is organized around the themes of “The Man,” “The Message,” “The Ministry,” and “The Mission” with the message being pre-eminent: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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“The Billy Graham Library is not a memorial, nor is it a museum. The Billy Graham Library is a ministry, prayerfully planned with the intention of communicating the unchanging, life-giving message of Jesus Christ to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year who may never attend a Crusade.”

His wife, Ruth, was married in this dress which she made.

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The Cross is very important in his ministry. However, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith because the Savior lives.

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The bookstore is Ruth’s Attic and the restaurant is the Diary Bar.

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Both Billy and Ruth Graham are buried on the grounds of the library.

The library was dedicated on May 31, 2007. The complex also includes his childhood home.

I thought it was a very interesting experience. I have a very strong belief in Jesus Christ and I appreciated his testimony of his own belief in Christ.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Dale Trail

Kannapolis and Concord, NC – Another beautiful day

Most of you know my hubby is a NASCAR fan. Has been most of his life. One of his favorite drivers of all time was Dale Earnhardt Sr. who died at the Daytona 500 in 2001 (hard to believe it’s been so long ago). Dale grew up in Kannapolis and Concord and the Dale Trail gives you an overview of what his life was like as a teenager. We took this drive back in 2009 but it’s fun to revisit. A lot of the business are no longer there and development has encroached on most of the areas that were country years ago.

We stopped at the Visitor Center, which is designed to look like a race garage, and picked up a map as well as a lot of other brochures.

You start out on Dale Earnhardt Blvd. Take a left and turn down Old Earnhardt Road where Dale often drove his bright yellow 56 Chevy – usually sideways – around two 90 degree turns.

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The next stop is at Ralph Earnhardt’s (Dale’s dad)grave. Ralph was called Mr. Dirt Track because he was a champion on the NASCAR Modified, Sportsman and Grand National circuits. He died of heart failure in 1973 while working on his race car.

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Dale is buried at the Earnhardt Estate in Mooresville, NC.

We continued driving down the streets that Dale would have cruised and outrun police officers on. One day while Dale and his buddies were cruising what they called Idiot Circle, when they saw someone drive by with its front lowered. They thought it looked cool so they went home to fix Dale’s car. They jacked the car up, pulled the front springs, cut part of the coils with a blow torch, put the springs back in lowering the car’s front end and were back on Idiot Circle in about 30 minutes.

Dale Plaza

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The 9 foot statue of Dale is dressed in Wranglers, cowboy boots and a short-sleeve shirt with button down collar. His go-to when he wasn’t wearing a racesuit. He sports his famous grin and his arms are crossed. His shirt is creased, his face shows wrinkles, and his sunglasses are in his shirt pocket. He faces south so the sun is always on his face.

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The statue’s pedestal has seven granite sections – one for each of his seven Winston Cup Championships. the inside wall incorporates 76 granite sections  - one for each of his Winston Cup wins. To commemorate Dale’s #3 car, all azaleas and daylilies are planted in groups of three. The benches around the outside are grouped in sets of three. the outside walk is laid out in an oval to simulate a race track. Eight lights shine down on the statue to signify his dad’s #8 car. The red daylilies, white azaleas and black granite showcase Dale’s signature colors.

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20181013_133820Our last stop was at Punchy’s Diner. They serve Dale’s favorite sandwich – tomato and Miracle Whip on white bread. Jim had one of those (except with mayo) back in 2009 but this time he had a steak sandwich and I had a hamburger. Punchy’s has a lot of fun decor.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Another Unique Camping Spot

Charlotte, NC   High 71  Low 55 (humidity only 48% and it’s wonderful)

We moved further south into North Carolina. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was shining, temperature in the 70’s and much lower humidity. A very welcome change. We were very glad we weren’t headed north when we came upon this backup on I-77 due to construction. The backup extended at least five miles.

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We are camped at the Moose Lodge in Charlotte. The lodge is set back down a dirt road in the trees.

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They offer electric and water hookups for $20 a night. The electric posts are rather strangely arranged on a small hill. Jim was able to maneuver us into a spot and we were glad to see how level it was. We are backed right up to the hill so our back stabilizer jack didn’t need to be put down very far.

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Our neighbor lives here permanently. (Her site has a sewer hookup.) Brenda is very friendly and made sure to invite us to the dinner and dance at the Moose last night. (We didn’t go.) But she is a hoarder. Her car is also filled with so much stuff there is barely room for her. She has four dogs living with her in the trailer – all are rescues.

We are definitely in the Bible Belt. On our way home from Church this morning I decided to count the number of churches I saw in our 11 mile drive. The grand total was 14. That’s more than one per mile. 

We will be exploring this area for the next week.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Roanoke Family

Roanoke, VA   High 82  Low 68  Rainy and humid And more rain and more rain

We are at the Dixie Caverns RV Park. There aren’t a lot of choices in this area so this is where we always stay.

As we were leaving Mechanicsville, I somehow caught a cold and have been pretty miserable. That means I haven’t been able to go with Jim to do any visiting. I feel bad but they sure don’t need my germs.

Jim’s older sister, Janet, lives on the top of Bent Mountain with her dogs and horses. She has a beautiful farm. Since the weather and colors are not cooperating this year, I am using the pictures of her place from 2014.

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I’m also going to have to use pictures of people from 2014 because Jim had so much fun visiting he forgot to take any pictures. That’s usually my job and I wasn’t there to do it.

His sister Janet on the left. Nancy is his younger sister and we hope to be able to get to SC to see her before heading west. If the weather would just cooperate.

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Aunt Ruby – She is celebrating her 100th birthday in November.

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Sandra – Aunt Ruby’s daughter and Jim’s cousin

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Janet gave Jim three pictures of his family. Sure glad she had these.

Jim’s Mother Mary

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Jim and his big brother, Buddy. At boot camp.

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Jim’s Dad, Harry James Dixon Sr and his Grandfather and Grandmother Dixon

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The time here is much too short. We tried to extend our stay but the RV park is booked solid and so we have to leave tomorrow. Our plan is to go to Charlotte, NC but we have to wait and see how much flooding they get from Michael. Update: Things are looking good in Charlotte and some sun in our future.