Better late than never! We’ve just returned from the 2015 Hot Rod Power Tour last night, and I didn’t have as much time as I’d planned, so I’ll be posting these updates as a bit of a backlog, brace yourself, there will be pictures!
Day 2 saw one of the longer drives of the trip, as we decided to stay home Saturday night and drive to Champaign, IL in the morning. The plan was to double check everything we had packed, and then meet up with Sam & Ashley in Madison to start our journey together. However, before we got much more than 10 miles from home we got a call from Sam explaining that their Galaxie was having a generator issue. We ended up stopping in Pardeeville to triple check everything and pick up anything we needed last minute, while we waited for Sam to call back and give the ok. Nate ended up running back to our house to grab a trickle charger in case we needed to keep the Galaxie battery topped off that way.
They couldn’t find a generator that was decently priced, which was okay as we later discovered it was actually the electric box that tells the generator when to top off the battery. This was livable, but meant that Sam had to manually jump it into charge mode every time the car was started. So we all headed for Madison and met up at the truck stops for a quick lunch. We had a few hundred miles to cover, and we were already behind schedule, so we hit the road.
We stopped off for gas plenty of times, those of us in older cars usually got around 18 mpg depending on driving conditions and what speed we were moving.
We arrived at the second power tour stop in Illinois around 5, which gave us enough time to get our time stamp and take a short look around before moving on to our camp site. Most people were already leaving as there was a fairly large storm moving in, but there were still plenty of great cars to see. Some shiny show cars, and others that were going more for a sleeper look, as well as some wild customs were all present. There was also a surprising number of buses. We also got to meet up with the RoadKill guys, Finnegan and Freiburger. It was really cool to talk to them, my brother’s been a big fan of theirs for some time and got Ali & I into watching their show on YouTube.
We could see the storm rolling in as we headed to the camp site. We figured we’d have enough time to park and quickly set up tents before we really got hit with the rain. That sort of worked, but our tent was leaking so we grabbed what we could and ran for a nearby shelter where we set up a grill for dinner and tried to stay out of the rain.
We got a few lulls in the rain, so we went to check the tent. It was a no go for the night, so everyone decided to sleep in their cars. I went for a picnic table instead since I had a 3 layer system to soften up the sleeping area. We all bedded down for the night to grab what sleep we could get before we had to head out in the morning.
It actually wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever slept on, I think a certain mountain in Arizona holds that honor. We made up some quick breakfast and then headed for St Louis as Sam had previously been to the city museum there and wanted to stop by while we were still semi-close.
We arrived at the St Louis City Museum around 1, and left everything in the cars at Sams urging. He had cracked his phone screen and nearly lost a few items on his first visit.
The City Museum is basically a massive playground, though there is an actual museum hidden there as well. We had all sorts of fun, pet some sting rays, ran up ten flights of stairs to take a giant slide down, crawled through some caves, climbed over a pretty crazy metal tube like bridge that was five or more stories up, ran around in a skate park, and built a Lego wall.
There are loads of places to crawl around and secret passages to discover.
We tore the wall down, a certain Mr. Waters said we should.
And I was then assaulted with the remaining pieces. Those things hurt more than you’d think!
We were all exhausted after running, crawling, and climbing around for nearly 4 hours, so we headed back across the border to the 3rd Power Tour stop in Madison, IL. Because of our previous stop at the museum, we were a bit late to this stop as well, and got our time punch at 5:43. By that time, most of the vendor were packing up and most participants were heading out for either the next stop or their lodging for the night. We still had some time to run around and check out the cars that filled the parking lot, like the Ring Brothers Happy Camper. This thing is supercharged, putting down around 900 horse, and the interior is nothing short of a work of art. Floor windows show off the engine and exhaust and lots of reused car parts make up the inside. Seriously, check this thing out.
Plenty of other nice cars showed up as well, including a newer Superbird conversion. Luckily we caught some as they were leaving.
Some of the really nice builds end up in the VIP section. I like the Django truck, though I’m not entirely sure of the wheel selection.
Someone even showed up in a LeBaron. They did the long haul in that thing.
Luckily, Ali had planned ahead and reserved room for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night. We headed for the hotel, and after the heat of the day, air conditioning was one of the best things ever. After a nice shower to wash off all of our cave exploring, we relaxed for a bit before turning in for the night. We knew we’d be leaving earlier the next day, the ride to Memphis was one of the longer legs of the trip and we really wanted to get to some of the vendors before they all packed up this time. We certainly slept well after the city museum!