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I've been watching NASCAR for a few years now, after many years watching Formula 1. Not actually watching, more like having it on to accompany whatever I'm doing - on TV you miss the speed and sounds of a real race. I once had a taste of stock-car racing when I volunteered at the Edmonton Indy, and thought the thunderous sound of a V-8 pushrod engine at 9500 RPM was AMAZING.

So I'm planning to see a race - in Bristol, Tennessee ...

  Start Here
2012.02-04 The idea strikes me...
Fortuitous Southern Hospitality
Not Just a Race Now
2012.05-06 But First, a Little Homework
First Contact: The Edmonton Journal
Second Contact: The Edmonton SUN
Nil for Two Media
2012.07-08 Money Well Spent
Life's (Going to be) a Beach
Itinerance Exposed
Getting Myself in Gear
Digital Resources
2012.08.14 The Revolutions Will Be Televised
Dearly Departed...
2012.08.21 Into the South
2012.08.22 Race Day 1: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
    and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Races
2012.08.23 Race Day 2: Food City Street Party and Hauler Parade
2012.08.24 Race Day 3: Tourist Shopping and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race
2012.08.25 Race Day 4: The Big One: IRWIN TOOLS Night Race at Bristol
2012.08.26 Tri-Cities Flea Market and Johnson City
2012.08.27 Through the Great Smoky Mountains to Charlotte, NC
2012.08.28 The NASCAR Hall of Fame
2012.08.28 Go East Young Man
2012.08.29 Beachside Day 1: Introducing the Beach
2012.08.30 Beachside Day 2: Thursday
2012.08.31 Beachside Day 3: Friday
2012.09.01 Beachside Day 4: Saturday
2012.09.02 Beachside Day 5: Sunday
2012.09.03 Beachside Day 6: Labour Day Monday
2012.09.04 Beach Life Left

2012.09.05 Home Again


Finally I land home to hint-of-fall weather, a 30-degree F difference in temperature, but the same level of humidity since it's raining. Squirty is still alive and healthy and cute as always, my peace lily not so much - forgot to remind JG to water it. Too dark to check the tomato plants, but there's a nice little stash of Romas on my desk. Caught up with mail (mashed in my box), and a few system things, and here I am now to begin to try to recount what happened.

I come back to some news already - Jerome Messam is now an Edmonton Eskimo, and the Quebec election has an upset minority PQ government with its election-night celebrations marred by a shooting (and killing) near the leader's acceptance speech. The world has unfolded as have I.

2012.09.14 Recounting


It's taken me over a week to recount my journey as best I could on first pass. Of course there's no way to do it Correctly, but only Well Enough. And I take the fluidity of writing on the Internet for my advantage: without the need to commit to paper or a publishing deadline this story is open and never "done" until I leave it behind. Which I do aim to do, after another pass for edits and more recollections as they entertain and motivate me, with a few exta photos I have in mind.

Because of the tools I use for this blog and the fact it was a holiday with lots going on I did all the computing I cared to do there. I could have blogged what I did as I did it, and took lots more pictures, but I was too busy doing to care aboust so much recording. And if I had, this whole remembering and writing and organizing process would have been much much longer. Fortunately, I have a good memory. I can sit and, once started, recall anything of significance. And if I can't, a little help from our favourite search engine helps fill in some details.

Between emails with various people, managing photos, even doing some real work (like remoting from Bristol to my machine here in Edmonton to use a virtual machine to run a Windows VPN client to connect to a server in Ontario to do some code fixing) it was a good bit of remote-life reconnaisance. My laptop and phone and camera worked real well for what I wanted (and knew how) to do, and I see where the gaps are. Like a mini-keyboard, which I had coming from eBay, but it didn't arrive before I left. It would have made making notes or doing some actual writing easier, and you wouldn't have to wait so long to find out how it all went.

Next time.

2012.09.16 Artifacts


Some amount of things accumulate on the way away and back to home; things you didn't own before you left. Papers, souvenirs, wallet-stuffers, trinkets - all the things that need to be dealt with after unpacking, eventually - discarded or displayed or just stored away. Artifacts of time spent somewhere else. I travelled pretty lightly, and didn't do a lot of buying of things, but enough to need some sorting out: mementoes to store away in a box, some to display (and dust). Today (Sunday) is a good day for that: a week before nights become longer than days, sunny but not warm outside, football on TV. Prairie fall. I felt like nerding-out on some image-whackery.

clockwise from upper-left:
- VIP goody bag with tickets
- souvenir lemonade jar
- race headset
- Aug 26 newspaper
- extra program & car
- Carl Edwards souvenirs

VIP goody bag
(except window flag,
which was on each seat)

tickets on
NHoF map

souvenirs from the
NASCAR Hall of Fame,
the Christmas ornament for my Mom

Collected papers -
I like to grab maps,
and airline barf-bags
Today is the last day of the
Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, featuring a huge
lineup of acts

The only thing I can't show is an orange It's Bristol, Baby! t-shirt I got from Wal-Mart in Bristol and left with TFS. Handy for the beach.

2012.09.18 The End of This Road


I've taken a pass through my whole tale to catch obvious errors and fill in a few things with a bit of research, mostly the first week in Bristol, Tennessee . Google Maps and StreetView have been very handy assisted-reliving tools for getting some details, like the name of the church I parked to attend the races. Whatever errors are left escape my story-tired eyes right now. Any details and story that remain remain untold and worth telling await some incentive to do so.

I must again thank Nikki and TFS for being: without them, there would be no story at all. Without them, this story wouldn't be as good as it is either: I don't think I could have dreamed up what both these adventurous (and brave) ladies would do to make an off-hand idea about seeing a race I'd seen on TV a couple times into a reality that I can only describe now the way I did when I first got back home: pick your own favourite superlative(s) - it was THAT good!!! Thanks to Jim for being very friendly and helpful too in Bristol, and Bingo for being entertaining. Thanks to JG for watching my place, and PM for listening to my Before, During, and After chatter and being interested.

I've quite enjoyed recounting and presenting this travelogue to you. The best response to-date has been disappointment that there was eventually no "next" link. :)

Another idea may strike me though... with more "next" links.

Bye for now.


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Document EIL/PEWQ/0.14:2012.09.18    A branch of The BRIDGE Tree