|Caroline & I rode
about 6 hours in Bussie to make the 200 mile rally trip from Charlotte, NC to Thomson, GA.
This was our fourth Georgia Rally & with Bussie, our slowest travel time yet.
We had a nice ride that Thursday, with Caroline napping just as we arrived.
Met several folks along the way as we stopped for gas & fluids check every 2 hours.
And one older couple from Saluda, GA came to the "static display" on
Saturday after our conversation. Several of the usual suspects were in attendance
& we had new cult members as well. And the notable absence of Bruce &
Michele from Florida with their closed-cab WC trail truck. Many of us had contact
with them through Christmas & the beginning of 2001, but nothing recently - we hope
all is well & would like to know everything is alright.
I don't have specifics, but about 20 trucks & 40 folks made the effort to
be in Thomson. States represented included Vermont, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Tennessee,
North & South Carolina & of course, Georgia. Vehicles included several
civilian PW's in all manner of repair, Bussie a '51 PW with Wayne Coach, 5 townies (and
the Burrito Wagon stayed home), several M-37's, a WC-52 & some conventional cab W100 /
W200's rounded out the display.
The Sawyer twins made it & we had
fun with both in one place. Both drove (no trailer) Townies - Donnie & Pattie
from Texas, Ronnie & Jan from Vermont. And Ronnie got the "Distance
Award" this year - with NDT's at 40psi all the way !!! Roger K. & Bill G.
also drove Townies. Frank, USMC had several "STOP" lights for Bussie he
found digging around & data plates - THANKS !!! Den Sherman came down with lots
of parts, t-shirts & a Townie. Chuck had a neato WDX with rear pulley &
mechanical governor. Several military vehicles including Bill Wincapaw's PERFECT
M-37 & Paul Cook's WC-52. Dwight did bring his beautifully restored PW, winner
of last year's "People's Choice Award" - see below for this year's surprise
On Friday, we found the mud hole &
started getting trucks dirty, then stuck. The hole expanded to larger & larger
dimensions, until it basically swallowed everything within reach. We also had a 60
mile round trip to "Heavy's BBQ" - a local tradition for some 50 years.
And Heavy's been collecting anything & everything for those 50 years - endless hours
could be spent checking everything out. Scott & Olivia rode the 60 miles in
Bussie & proclaimed it to be the best riding POWER WAGON ever !!! Smooth ride,
lots of legroom, good breeze - really like a PW Limo !!! And when not riding in
style - Bussie served as the perfect, shaded playpen for the growing number of children in
attendance. Sam & Alex seemed especially smitten by Caroline & Bussie.
In addition, Billy, Joseph, Ashley, Alexandra, Kendall & Olivia were all in
& out of Bussie during the weekend. Luckily, nice weather prevailed the whole
time - warm during the day with cool nights.
Saturday included more trail rides, more
mud & a static display open to the public. As we got hungry, Bill & Rita
Lammers & Bill Wincapaw provided a fine hot dog lunch - THANKS again. More trial
rides in the afternoon & a quick nap at the hotel to get ready for the evening.
Before dinner we loaded up Bussie, with anyone who would go, for a couple of trips around
the ponds & made quite a good time of it. Many were impressed with Bussie's
relatively smooth ride over varied terrain. More BBQ for dinner, with sweet ice tea
& delicious banana pudding !!! Then the door prizes & awards - Den & VPW
contributed many t-shirts, mugs & playing cards, I threw in a "Townie-T",
VPW added a $50 gift certificate & even metal polish was awarded for a matching ticket
number. As mentioned above, Ronnie got the distance award with a 1,000 mile trek
from Vermont. Bill Wincapaw's M-37 was, again, voted the Military "People's
Choice Award". And Bussie won the hearts of children & adults alike to take
home the civilian PW "People's Choice Award". My wife just doesn't
understand the appeal of an old jalopy PW bus & wonders what sort of folks would vote
it "best of show". Finally, in the "Other" category, a Dodge
Viper received an honorable mention. A night trial ride was organized, while others
continued to discuss & see videos of the Dodge POWER WAGON. A late night fuel
pump hiccup for Ronnie's Hemi Townie turned out OK, but a backup pump was purchased for
the trip home - just in case.
On Sunday morning we gathered, hemmed
& hawed a bit more & reluctantly got packed up. We stood around &
watched as trucks were driven onto trailers, parts were secured & folks generally got
ready to head home. We pulled out with the last of them - taking all the two lane
roads home again & enjoying a slow ride in a loud bus. Already looking forward
to next year !!!
The Georgia Rally has really turned out
to be a nice, family-oriented POWER WAGON gathering. Lots of wives & children
are now in attendance & it certainly makes for a GREAT rally !!! Please plan on
coming in next year & bring the whole family !!!