Sunday, January 13, 2013

January road trip to Wisconsin

It was a Friday night in early January and my work was done at my real job for the week and I was ready to begin a new road trip adventure. I had found a rare and hard to find vintage car engine for sale on the HAMB message board for hot rodders that I belong to and wanted to go to Wisconsin to bring it home. This time my old high school buddy Jon Humbyrd from the Tulsa, Oklahoma area had made the 4 hour drive here to accompany me. And along the way he had stopped and picked up another very desirable hot rod engine that I had bought from member Dr. Frankensickle (Jay) and we unloaded it from his truck. Mrs PF had a big meatloaf supper ready to eat when we got to the house and then we hit the road.
 It took us about 3 hours or so to reach the Independence, MO area of Kansas City and had arranged to pick up some 1930's Chevy fenders that member 34Toddster (Steve) had sold to a member in Wisconsin named II Funny (Kip). We often help each other with what we call a HAMB relay to move parts around the country for free and Steve had left the fenders with another mutual friend and HAMB member Airstream Dan and we met him and his lovely wife Sharyl at the Cracker Barrel restaurant late that night to get them. My daughter Kristina lives near there too and met us as well. So after some coffee and dessert we said goodbye to them and began our long journey north. Before we left Sharyl gave me a bag of homemade brittle candy she had just made that night and had used cashews instead of peanuts and it was good stuff. 
Our next stop was in the Davenport, Iowa area at the Machine Shed for breakfast and we were the first ones there when the door was opened at 6 am that morning. 

The food was great and so was the hot coffee on this very cold morning and then we continued on a east and north direction. Not too long afterward we arrived in the pleasant town of Dixon, IL and stopped to visit the boyhood home of President Ronald Reagan and took some outside photos as it was too early for it to be open yet that Saturday morning.
And before we left, I posed for this photo with his statue...I call it "The Gipper and Me."
Then we followed the scenic Rock river towards Rockford, Il and then Beloit, WI instead of taking the more boring IL turnpike. Soon we arrived at the country home and shop where the fenders were to be delivered.  Kip was there to meet us at his Dad's shop.

His brother and some of their buddies were there too on this Saturday morning.
 Shown in this photo are Hamb members II Funny, 1bad32sedan, stroked stang 331, and 91 whitestang.

We had a fun visit and looked at the 31 Chevy drag race hot rod project in this shop...

Before we left Kip presented me with a nice gift of a rhubarb pie his mom had made for him to give me. It looked great and I saved it for later. Thank you Mom !!
Soon we were back on the road again and only went 15 miles or so until arriving at Janesville, WI at Gil-Bar Farm which is a well known purebred Jersey cow dairy farm to look at the cows owned by my old friends the Barlass family who sadly were not home that morning but we were able to look around the barn and was a fun diversion for Jon and I since we both came from Jersey dairy farms ourselves.

That was fun and something different from the norm for us and then we traveled a short distance to the Madison, WI area where we met up with HAMB member and Facebook friend Cloned Clown (Nate) at the Cracker Barrel there for a light lunch and a chance to visit. Nate brought his young son Matthew (Little Clown) and I took this photo of them.
And before we left, Nate gave me this cool decal from a local pie bakery as a gift. I guess everyone seems to know that I do indeed "love pie." Thanks guys and thank you for buying our lunch too.
Back on the road again, we drove another 40 miles or so to the Mauston, WI area and arrived at the country home and shop of member Dizzie (Bob) who had sold me a 1940's Buick straight eight engine.

It was cold and windy but his shop was heated and we looked around at his soon to be finished 34 Ford pickup truck project with a Buick 401 nail head engine.

Bob showed us his stunning Chevy pickup that we loved and could have stared at all day....he built it himself and even did the paint and interior work.

And after we loaded my new engine he took us up to the nearby junkyard owned by his friends where we looked at the 250 old cars on foot and it was getting cold....

By now it was getting late afternoon and we bid our new friend Bob farewell.
We called it a day at this point and went to our nearby motel room and after supper we hit the sack early. Then it was back on the road again a 1 am for the 12.5 hour drive home on Sunday. 
Arriving back home at the Flats, it was time for pie and coffee with Mrs. PF while Jon left for his 4 hour drive time back to Tulsa.
That about wraps up our weekend adventure and thank you for riding along...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

--A Winter Road Trip to the Great White North--

It was the end of the year in 2012 and I was bored. I had agreed to buy some engines from a friend in Minnesota and had been to busy with the holidays to get them home. And finally I decided a road trip north was in order for me. Road trips are fun and make for mini adventures to stave off the boredom of our everyday routines. I especially like to travel the Midwest. But this time of year? Not normal behavior......but nevertheless I called up my two trusty sidekicks Cuzzin Deke and Ron to see what they thought of the idea. My plan was to leave late Friday night after working my real job and then drive all night thru the cold darkness. I really thought they would turn me down but to my surprise they both said "let's go" and just like that....we were off. First, I stopped by to get Ron about 9 pm....
And then Cuzzin Deke who only lives a few blocks from Ron...
Then it was just a simple matter of driving north and east all night. I drove the entire way with a couple of short naps along the way. The roads were mostly clear but the landscape was snow covered all the way there. First stop was Worthington, MN in the SW part of that state at 6 am or so and we stopped at a Perkins Restaurant for some hot coffee and a good breakfast.
Then we drove along the lake shore drive where ice fishermen were already at their stations.

 Soon we arrived at my pal Mark B's nice country acreage and it was cold and frosty at about 4 degrees with a steady North wind.
Mark was recovering from the flu and not feeling up to par so we hurriedly got my new engines loaded and tied down. There were two 1950's Chevy 261's and one 1950's GMC military 302 six cylinder engine. Mark's brand new Bobcat was great for loading them...

After loading we continued onward for another 3.5 hours towards the Twin Cities of MN and along the way we would see scenes of winter sports that we don't see back home on the plains of Kansas. 
and arrived at a Famous Dave's BBQ place to meet my pal Mark M. for lunch. Our friend John S. also met us there and we had fun catching up since our last time together in July. John had been on vacation in Italy and had stories to tell about that as well.
After our meal Mark M decided we should have some dessert to "keep our strength up" and we all ordered the bread pudding that he and John recommended and it was great stuff with a tasty caramel rum sauce. Here is Mark with his...
and Minnesota funny man John S with our pretty waitress Jen...
By now we were starting to feel less hungry and drove the 5-6 miles to Mark's place to see his collection of all things cool...
I didn't take many photos this time as I have been there before a couple of times but let's just say it is fantastic with cars inside the house and so forth like that...

We were getting tired and it was nice to sit in his lounge area in a loft above his garage to talk and listen to his stories....
And we also looked in his workshop area where he is restoring an old radical kustom magazine feature car that started out as a 1940 Ford coupe. I think it is called Les Popo or something like that.

And then we unloaded an old vintage midget racing kart that I had brought to trade my pal Paul Z from Wausau, WI for an engine to be picked up by me at a later date. 
By now it was getting late in the day and time for some bed rest so we headed for a nearby motel and bid our host goodbye. Thank you Mark for buying us lunch and letting me store the kart at your place until Paul can come to get it. His son David is very excited to get this new toy home soon.
After a good night's sleep we left the Twin City area of Mn and headed south on a very cold Sunday morning. 
This time we headed along I-35 towards Des Moines, IA and stopped at one of my favorite eating places called the Machine Shed for a good Sunday dinner. We all ordered chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and it was good.
I rode all the way home in my GMC suv in the backseat this time and let my co-pilots drive me home and this gave me time to relax and play on my ipad along the way. 
After a couple of hours we arrived in Omaha, NE where I wanted to take time to visit my pal Dick W. who is a talented artist and car builder and we found it to be warm and cozy inside his heated garage shop. This is Dick...
And this is the nice low mileage 54 Chevy he is turning into a kustom show car...

Like me, Dick is a fan of inline six Chevy and GMC engines and owns several of them. He even stuffed a huge GMC 302 into the engine bay of this car...
And along with dual carbs, dual exhaust and a newer T-5 manual has changed the performance significantly. 
After a few minutes our buddy Rob Lee arrived to see us. He lives nearby to Dick and is a fellow car club member of the South Omaha Turds.
Both of these guys are the real deal old fashioned low budget hot rod builders who know how to use a hammer, torch, welder, and some old used sheet metal salvaged from other cars to mold it into their own version of hot rods. The maroon Hot Rod Lincoln roadster is Rob's and the black "Hoodlum" roadster is Dick's and was mostly built from old car hoods and is a masterpiece of design and engineering. And both cars are for sale as they move on to other projects they are building...

I could have sat there all day in this shop and listen to the stories  these two guys were sharing. It was fun. And along about this time, Dick's pretty wife Tess came out with a apple crisp dessert hot from the oven for us to eat....and it was great.

Thank you for hosting us on this Sunday afternoon and we wanted to stay longer. Next time I will come when it is warmer outside I hope.
 Sadly we left and continued toward Lincoln, NE where we stopped at Cracker Barrel to have coffee and a dish of ice cream with car friends Tom B and his good looking birthday girl wife Donita and it was good to see them and hear about his new farm shed to house his cars, trucks, and tractor collections...
I wanted to stay longer but realized we were still some 4 hours from home and it was getting late. We got back on the long road and somehow managed to arrive some 48 hours after we had left. The next day was New Year's Eve which was a work day for me followed by a party here at the Flats. 
I guess it was alot to do on one weekend but I can say it was worth it for me. Thank you to my pals Ron and Deke for going with me and thank you to our hosts along the way. I love road trips anytime of the year !
As always....thank you to my followers of this blog for riding along with me on the never ending quest to see what is around the next bend in the road.