- 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).
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.