This weekend I went camping with some buddies in the Gifford Pinchot State Park Campground in Wellsville, Pennsylvania. I travelled directly from work on Friday and two and a half hours later, arrived at the Williams Grove Speedway in the aptly named, Mechanicsburg. We spent the night watching World of Outlaws Sprint Cars race cars thunder around an oval dirt track. The noise from 850+ HP V8 engines filled the night. Along with red dust from the track. But it was exciting.
We later drove to the campground where I had a well-needed shower. There was red dust in my ears and all over my camera. I fell asleep to the sounds of frogs and a gentle breeze blowing in the trees. Peaceful.
The next morning we dined on eggs, bacon and Thomas’s English muffins cooked up on an iron griddle placed over the campfire. Joy!
We spent most of the morning at a jalopy and vintage car show in the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds and Racetrack near York Springs. There were a lot of interesting — my word for strange and bizarre — and creative interpretations of the word jalopy.
They came from near and far for the annual gathering. They had laboured in creative intensity to produce these works of automotive art. Spare parts from the bodies of other vehicles were combined into Frankenstein-like machines. Each one was simultaneously interesting and disturbing. I enjoyed walking around looking at the artistry and talking to the creators.
Later in the day, some of the cars assembled on the race track for the Jalopy Showdown. Some of the cars were jalopy hotrods which I got to see a race around yet another dirt track.
Before returning to the campground we took a tour of the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing. There was a lot to see including early versions of the sprint cars we saw on Friday night. We got to see the evolution of the race cars and learn some history of the sport and the drivers.
The significance of the name “Eastern” in the EMMR title requires comment. No section of the United States can claim a more dominant place in the history of Motor Racing that the area included in a one-hundred fifty mile radius of the EMMR site. The eastern seaboard became the area for large numbers of motor racing events from the earliest time due to the large population, the industrial revolution and the agricultural strength of the area.
Of course, no vintage car show is complete without a pin-up girl. One has to wonder. Have men and fast cars and beautiful women always been a thing?
We spent the rest of the day kayaking on Pinchot Lake. It was my first time travelling by kayak. My arms got a good workout. I had fun but my adventure was not without risk. I bumped my kayak against a rock and got stuck. In my attempt to free myself from the rock, my kayak tipped over and … lake water is stinky. Taking a shower was my motivation for quickly getting back to the campsite.
We ended the day with a campfire cookout of steak, steamed broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes. The filet mignon was tender and had no hint of the campground dirt from when Nathan dropped them. The five-second rule applies when camping and we can all use more minerals in our diet.