Thursday, October 9, 2008

Talladega - Part One (Driving & Camping)

Our super fun trip to Talladega can be broken into four parts:

  • The Long Drive

  • The Camping

  • The Motorsports Hall of Fame

  • The Race

The Long Drive

The long drive was 1600 miles round trip (~13 hours each way if you don't encounter traffic/problems). We saw beautiful scenery, tons of McCain supporters, and a lot of church signs. Once I hit Tennessee I couldn't find NPR on the radio to save my life, so I began my own research project by listening to religious radio stations. I had to do this while Courtney was sleeping because she couldn't stand the crazy talk! I could write volumes about what I heard, but I'll just mention two points they kept making:

  • Obama is the Anti-Christ. I kind of thought this was a joke when I read this on the internet, but they are not kidding. Preachers would say things like, "My 35 years studying the Bible gives me absolute confidence that Obama is the Anti-Christ and, if elected, will bring upon us the end of days." Once again, I'm not kidding.

  • Palin is an incredibly smart and talented women who will faithfully represent conservative Christians in office (they don't say much about McCain). They love the fact that she had a baby with Downs (note: I'm not implying this is a bad thing).

The Camping

Courtney and I were pretty damn excited about the camping and we were not disappointed.  Camping is a huge part of the Talladega experience, and there is no shortage of camping spots. In just our area alone (called "family reserved") there are ~2400 camp sites, along with a huge free section. You can literally walk for miles through the campgrounds.

Our campsite (video here):

Most campers had RV's, but there were still a lot of people with tents like us. Everyone was extremely nice and some of our neighbors offered to help setup when we arrived (they also offered food on one occasion). During the day we would walk through the campgrounds just to absorb the spectacle of it all. At night was when the real fun happens though. Multiple groups of people setup stages and perform music for free (well, maybe for boobies too). Most campers pack up small coolers, or make large mixed drinks, and walk to one of the nearby free concerts.

One interesting thing about the camp sites are the complete lack of rule enforcement. No dogs allowed you say? There were dogs everywhere ... too bad we didn't know this beforehand (poor Monkey). No flag poles you say? Everyone had flags. Quiet time at midnight you say? I guess it was quiet if you don't count the fireworks, music, people, generators, and ambulances.

The only things that bothered us were the loud-ass generators and the occasional high concentration of smoke. All of the RV's run generators and the sounds of demented growling weed-eaters fill the air night and day. As for the smoke, everyone has a camp fire and the air can get pretty nasty when the wind dies down at night.

Can you see the smoke?

The free camping areas actually had less people so I think we are going to show up a day early next year and setup there. Less people means less smoke and generator noise. Of course the free area has no quiet time rules, but I think we can survive that!

Yeah you heard me right, we are going back next year. This time however we are going to recruit friends to go with us ... who is in?

You can check out all of our Talladega photos here.

UPDATE: Part Two  of this blog post is here.


  1. I like what I see so far. A weekend of hillbillies camping out would be great. I'd have to fake some terrible speech impediment anytime I was asked about racing though.

  2. Saw our campsite in your photos (photo #31) - see the two black trucks? That's us! We're from Huntsville, AL. Also, my aunt lives in St. Louis and I go up twice a year to Gateway (age 72 and she loves her racing!) Can't believe I saw this photo on the website of someone from MO - I was looking for one of the weird guy in the patriotic bikini for my scrapbook (he was a trip! and my batteries were too low to take...) It was a great weekend, wasn't it!!

  3. I honestly can't stop thinking about the good time we had at Talladega. Everyone there really is nice and super friendly. It would be so much fun if we could get a few people to come down there with us. We learned so much from this trip about how to make the next one even better (have a fire, park in the free area, bring the dog, rent an RV, rent our own Porta-Pottie, bring friends with you).

    And if there is any race in NASCAR that you would want to see, it's the race in Talladega. So start thinking about your plans for next October!! The more the merrier!

  4. Leann, that is hysterical that you found our site! Someone from your campsite showed us her melons and then asked my wife to do the same ... do you remember that? Me and my wife laughed our asses off when we went to picture #31 and saw what campsite it was. Nice boobs by the way. ;)

    We had a great time, we'll be back next year for sure. :)

  5. I can't believe Chris is already on board for going next year! I would love to go. This sounds so fun! Camping, rednecks, fires, and alcohol! Sound right up our alley!!

  6. We'll make sure to remind everybody when it comes time to buy tickets/ reserve an RV if they are still interested. It really was a blast!

  7. Leann replied directly to email last night:

    Yes, the melons would be Fluffy - she's a hoot!
    Oh my goodness - y'all are the ones who stopped and talked for a minute and your wife sat down with us!?? I remember you!!
    Man, what a small world it is, huh!!

    I'm so glad you had a good time in Alabama - come back anytime - especially any race weekend! I look forward to seeing the rest of your pictures when you get them on your site.

    Later, y'all!!!


  8. Shiiiiiiiit. Nothin' says NASCAR like a Honda Accord with a tent behind it.

  9. Oh my gosh! talladega was such fun!! my boyfriend and i had a great time. Everyone was very friendly, and very polite.
    I have never seen soooo many peckers and boobs floppin around in one place. It was great! we plan on going back next year with our friends. thanks for sharing your pics brings back fun memories!

  10. You would like the free camping section. There are several locations that are great campsites and off the main drag. You can just walk up to all the action and when you have had enough, just walk back to your campsite. We missed the race this year but we'll be back next fall.

  11. I have been to the mountains, 2 cruises, and a few other vacations, NOTHING BEATS TALLADEGA, see ya in 1 week.

  12. We leave in six days..............a week of camping and then go see a race like Talladega? Priceless....