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Day by day - 2009 C-4 road trip pics

 
Old 07-12-2019, 08:31 AM
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Railroadman
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Default Day by day - 2009 C-4 road trip pics

In 2009 we took that "trip of a lifetime" - a 3-week cruise in the '92 which put exactly 6600 miles on the car. I'll make a thread of the journey, posted on the same date, and hopefully won't miss too many days altho we are going away for a day or two later in the month. For the most part I'll limit this to pics with the Vette in, looking at other people's family vacation gets old, but may toss a few in without.

I hope this encourages others to consider putting some miles on their C-4. It's a GREAT road trip car!

We actually left Rochester NY on July 10th, but didn't do much but drive the first couple days. On the 12th we saw the famous Corn Palace in Mitchell SD, then on to the Badlands. The AC was on the blink and the Badlands were high 90's and dry!

Corn Palace:



Above - flat prairie

Below - Badlands


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Old 07-12-2019, 11:07 AM
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Nice. When my 95 vert was my daily it made several trips to visit my family in Gulfport, 1600 mile round trip. It was a great trip car for sure. Keep the pics coming!
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for sharing your vacations, I always love seeing pictures of our member's show the country side of the USA!
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for posting the pics. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the adventure.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:18 AM
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Let me add to yesterday's post, altho no pics of it. After leaving the Badlands, and before arriving at Rapid City for the motel, the wife wanted to see Wall Drug. They are a tourist spot in Wall SD and what an amazing place it was. Huge, and they sold everything from clothing to boots to guns to books to food to...you name it. And not just a shelf - they would have a whole room for each thing. I'm not normally into "touristy" stuff but this was well worth the visit.

OK, July 13th we went to Mount Rushmore. Very impressive, both in concept and in actual construction. It's a National Park (as was Badlands) so everything is pretty well done and neat. Leaving there, we explored some of the roads in the area, including 1-way traffic and some nice hairpins which CAN be taken at more than 10 mph in the Vette! I was not sure just where along the route we could pull off and reverse direction so I don't have any pics of the car itself in those places. I was afraid my wife would get so wrapped up in driving the turns that she would not come back for me after I took the pics!

In the afternoon we went south and toured Wind Cave National Park - another very interesting place. And to top it off, leaving there we found a great steakhouse in Custer SD, Cattleman's, which was a fantastic meal. I just looked it up and they are still in business, but it appears it has been converted to a buffet.

On the way back to the motel that evening, we encountered heavy rain, one of only two times during the 3 week trip. The Vette had received brand new tires all around before the trip, but I still backed off the speed just a bit because it was a real deluge.

This day was comparatively few miles, at 143. The first 3 days of the trip we had driven 664, 528, and 368 miles respectively. Our '92 has cloth seats and is the most comfortable road trip car I have ever owned.











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Old 07-14-2019, 08:23 AM
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July 14th.

I had been out west as a teen, my wife had not. I had a list of places to see and do, but we did not have a rigid schedule nor advance reservations. And boy did that pay off! Not long before we had left home I saw on Corvette Forum about the Black Hills Corvette Classic, which we were going to miss by just a few days. So on this day doesn't my wife say "There's lots to do around here, we could kill an extra day or two until it starts, so you can do that". How could I turn THAT down?

So on this day 2009 we went to the small town of Lead (pronounced "Leed") which used to be home to a gold mining operation. For decades they did deep mining, then made a huge open pit mine at the richest ore - note the size of the trees up top. And see those small black squares? Those are tunnels from the underground mining, where the open pit later cut through them. Interesting note - there is still viable ore down there but in 2001 mining was ceased because the price of gold was so low. All the processing works, which involved stuff like cyanide were removed. Subsequently the price of gold went way up, but a tour guide at the mine site said between permitting and environmental rules they will never resume no matter how high the price of gold goes.

Lots of shops and restaurants in Lead, and after lunch we drove through Spearfish Canyon. A very scenic drive, nice curves for the Vette. At one stop we had a nice chat with some folks from Nebraska who were doing a trip similar to us, but on Harley's. And that evening, we had dinner at a Perkins which already had their sign set to welcome the upcoming Corvette gathering.





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Old 07-14-2019, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for updates of your trip, guess you'll post bunch pictures of the corvette show, so far great pictures and stories!

Keep safe, and keep the coming!
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:35 AM
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I have been to sturgis SD on my 97 harley twice. Both times we encountered hail. In 2000 we saw a bike that had been destroyed by baseball size hail in the badlands. Beautiful country but the thunderstorms in the summer can be nasty. Really enjoying your trip. Love the pics.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:57 AM
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Love it. A Corvette in it's natural habitat.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:27 PM
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July 15, 2009. We changed motels (to Best Western at Spearfish) then drove west to Wyoming to see Devil's Tower. There's a nice trail that goes completely around it. We'd be walking along and hear voices hollering way off - climbing the thing is a popular attraction for those into rock climbing, and there were several parties of climbers working their way up or down the thing - but not THIS kid! When we left there we stopped for lunch at a nice diner right nearby. By the time we left I think it was dinner time - slowest service I can ever remember.

Treated the Vette to a car wash that evening. By the way, on the 14th we only put 114 miles on the car, and another 137 the 15th.

The Devil's Tower can be seen for miles:



With the car this time:



Lots of these little guys in the area:

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Old 07-16-2019, 08:46 AM
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July 16th was her turn, as we went to Deadwood SD. The town used to have a huge smelter for the mining industry, but now relies on tourism and has a gazillion shops. I figured since my wife had green-lighted attending the Corvette convention, she deserved some shopping time.



Not a Vette, but our son is into the Nissans so I took a couple pics of this 240Z (260Z?). I actually have another pic showing the whole car, but figured maybe the background on this one would be appreciated more on here.



Then in the afternoon we registered for the Black Hills Corvette Classic. And of course there's a ton of merchandise. I'm not usually into Corvette clothing but could not resist a golf shirt, black, with a C-4 embroidered in the same color as ours. (And they had any color you desired). And of course here's the "been there, done that, got the T-shirt" shirt.



That evening was a large gathering at the motel. We had already been in the area of course, but a great many of these folks had caravaned across the state from Sioux Falls.





Here's some of the gals doing the Electric Slide. I have a similar pic taken long after dark - and they were still dancing!



They put on an amazing event, I'd highly recommend it if you are considering a trip in that area.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:59 AM
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This was one busy and fun day! The host club had several events set up, including an autocross, drag racing, and a 2-day poker run to various places in the area.

We decided not to participate in the competitions. The car was in good shape, but we were something like 1500 miles from home, and only one week into a 3-week vacation. It just seemed like tempting fate to risk missing the rest of the trip. So we settled on the poker run (which was at your own schedule). We started the day by going to watch the autocross, and I apologize for not getting any pics of that.

Then we drove to the nearby town of Sturgis, of biker fame, where the drag racing was in progress. It was beastly hot but we enjoyed watching the action. They were only running 1/8th mile but cool regardless.





Well, the Poker Run came with a "gift" - as one of the activities, you could make one run down the drag strip. Single car, but a passenger was allowed to ride along! I figured the car was certainly up to ONE banzai run without a problem. My wife said something about she'd take a picture as I went by, and I said nothing doing - how often do you get a chance to ride down a dragstrip? She was a little dubious but agreed, grumbling a little about what the borrowed helmet would do to her hair.

But she went along, we staged, put "ASR OFF", and made the run. I WILL say it felt a little strange not banging shifts, the C-4 is an automatic but back in my wild youth it was always a stick that I would be driving. Anyway, we made the pass and got our slip on the return road. I explained to her it showed reaction time, ET, trap speed, etc. And then she showed why I love her - her next words were "So what could we do to go faster next time?" I told her we could lighten up the car by about 100 lbs if she didn't ride along - or, we could lighten up the car by about 175 pounds if I didn't ride along instead! No, we didn't sign up and spend the rest of the day racing, but she was a happy camper and I think if they had allowed TWO runs, she would have gone for it! BTW, my notes show Reaction + 0.666 60 2.388 ET 1/8th 10.151 71.07mph Certainly not good for SERIOUS racing, but for a fun time. not bad.



When we got back to the hotel, we took advantage of a sponsor's wash tent - shade, a hose, and suds to clean the Vette, free. How can you pass THAT up?




And a clean Vette was important, because that evening they closed off the main street of Spearfish, and filled it with Corvettes. A fantastic collection of cars and we spent the evening wandering around checking them out. Had a great meal somewhere, I can't recall what the place was but the waiting line stretched up the stairs to the second-floor dining area.









It was a long but totally enjoyable day!
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:26 PM
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Great post and Pics!
Been to those same places lots of times, but always on the Harley!

Spearfish canyon is a great ride!
Devil's tower is always one of the wife's favorite places.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:49 PM
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I took my 96 to almost every state east of the Mississippi , and encourage everyone to road trip in their C4 as much as possible.

And thanks for the post and pictures!!
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:59 PM
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There are on-line maps you can access and customize. Here's our map for the '92.




It's a frantic fall with a wedding, and various other stuff. But at this point I'm planning to take the Vette to that wedding in Tennessee, and maybe add Alabama and Georgia to the list. Also we want to take a 2-day jaunt to see Delaware and New Jersey at some point.

And then next spring I'm hoping to get the '64 on the road, and we can start ANOTHER Corvette map all over again!
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Old Yesterday, 10:34 AM
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July 18, 2009. Had to make one of those tough choices this day. The Poker Run included lots of scenic roads around the area and would have been fun. But because we got to the area earlier in the week we had already been on some of them. We had a couple weeks of traveling left and naturally expected to encounter warm temperatures. We had survived so far with the air conditioning not working, but it was not ideal.

Queen City Chevrolet, the local Chevy dealer in Spearfish, was nice enough, and smart enough, to have extended service hours while the Corvette convention was going on. We dropped the car off, accepted their courtesy ride back to the motel, then spent the day walking around the shops and other sights of Spearfish. By afternoon, the car was done, having been converted to the newer R-whatever refrigerant and blowing nice cold air.

That evening was the final banquet and dancing afterward, and it turns out we went the entire day without taking any pics. But the Black Hills Corvette Classic was a lot of fun, was very well organized, and was something we'd do again if we were going to be in the region at the right time. It's 10 years later, but one more tip of my hat to the folks who made it happen!
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Old Yesterday, 12:30 PM
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That's great you enjoyed your car and weren't afraid to put some miles on the car. I did my annual trip to the C4 Gathering this year in Bowling Green, KY. Not nearly as many miles but still a good trip from my home in PA to KY. The car doesn't get driven a lot so trips like this are good. One of our ZR1 Net Registry members, Jim Voter and his wife Lyndi got back from their second trip to Alaska from Westminster, MD. The trip was close to 10,000 miles around 9800 I believe. No problems driving his car that far. Jim has it down to a science on traveling long distance in a C4 Corvette. He gave a talk this year at BG on how he does it along with a nice slide show of how he packs the car. On their first trip they drove a yellow ZR1 and on this trip they drove a purple 95 ZR1. You can see the daily log he posted over at the ZR1 Net Registry site.
http://www.zr1.net/forum/showthread.php?t=30620
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Old Yesterday, 01:27 PM
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9800 miles? Makes our trip look like going for groceries!

My wife was very good about packing light. I will say that a small car does limit what souvenirs you acquire, but maybe that's a good thing!
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Old Yesterday, 04:03 PM
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I know what you mean. Jim said they are going to enjoy their cars and drive them. I lost track of how many ZR1's he has. But he is an expert at packing all the stuff they need. His wife is an artist and she actually can paint while riding. That and she usually does all the camera work taking pictures and then Jim post them later that night for us to follow on line. Plus he actually carries a few things that could go wrong with the car and some tools. Just in case he might need them. I love to see people enjoying their cars. It's what it's all about. Don't get me wrong. I also love the low mile examples. Jim's purple Z is now close to 80 K miles. It will be just broken in when he hits 100K . I just rolled over 50K on the Bowling Green trip. Next trip will be the 45 minute ride to Carlisle.
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Old Yesterday, 04:58 PM
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Yup, everybody can do what they want with their cars and I am amazed at the beautiful immaculate cars at the shows. Mine has stone chips, a couple cracks, and now peeling-off clearcoat but I have a smile every mile I drive it. Eventually I'll make it pretty again but as long as it runs reliably, that's the biggest thing.

And talk about coincidence - I wrote that on this date 2009 we finally got the AC fixed. I just drove the '92 to the post office and would you believe the fan/AC is dead, out of the blue clear sky? I think I'll try to fix it myself instead of taking it back to South Dakota!
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