Resting in Richmond

We’re settled-in for our first night of camping in the Beehive, at the King’s Dominion Fort Wilderness Campground. MTTS Day #2 is in the books, and it has been a long but fun day.

We started the day on our second track, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, with acres and acres of MINIs lined up for chance to “go to the bank.” The banking at Charlotte is a major draw for racers, and I saw more than a few people taking advantage of  the opportunity to flirt with the laws of gravity. Hope and MightyBee were on the track again, and we were able to get up more speed and run a little wider than we did in Atlanta. Later we heard some people went back for a couple of extra laps and some faster speeds, so we’ll be looking for that opportunity on some of the other tracks. Hope did a great job driving again and she is bargaining for some time behind the wheel of MightyBee on some of the other tracks. We’ll see…

Once we were off the track, we said our goodbyes to Hope (the MINI) big brother Corey and Mrs. MINIBee, as they were headed to Asheville while we continued on to Richmond.

When we left the speedway there was a comedy of errors that caused a lot of confusion. It seems that an early route sheet had one turn that was wrong, and some people who printed the early route sheets were not aware of the error, so they left the speedway going the wrong way. Now if you’ve ever been in a large MINI caravan, you know that if you have a leader who motors with confidence, everyone just follows. That’s what happened today and after about 1/2 hour of confusion, we finally got on the same page and headed to Richmond. The route was very nice, through long stretches of rolling hills and tall trees. Several times I looked in my side mirror to see 50-60 MINIs coming up a hill and it made me smile.

I’m using imported GPX files in my Garmin for the first time, which were created by Gene Crouse and Joel Sowers. These files provide the exact turn-by-turn instructions that are on the MTTS route sheets, and they work great until someone makes a wrong turn that causes you to second-guess your GPS. That happened today, when a large group of MINIs went West on Highway 64 when they were supposed to go East. We followed the GPS at first, but as it seemed we were the only MINI going East, it made me nervous. We had planned to stop at the daily “Surprise and Delight” event, so I manually entered the address and we followed that route. The address we entered was correct but we ended up at that address in the wrong city and way off course, so we just re-routed to Richmond. Lesson learned…follow the MINI in front of you but DO NOT follow blindly.

We arrived at the King’s Dominion Fort Wilderness Campground around 4:30 and quickly set up the Beehive so we could head to the amusement park. The main goal was riding the Backlot Stunt Coaster, which uses MINIs for the roller-coaster cars. The park was not busy, so we were able to ride the MINI ride twice plus several other coasters while there. The MINI ride was cool, although it was disappointing to see how they had stripped the character out of the MINIs after the ride changed names (It used to be The Italian Job). A group of us met for a photo in front of the ride.

A group from MTTS met at the Back Lot Stunt Coaster which has MINIs for its cars.
A group from MTTS met at the Back Lot Stunt Coaster which has MINIs for its cars.

Next to us at the campground is a MINI couple with a T@G teardrop just like ours. They had contacted me on Facebook after seeing the Beehive, and I answered their questions and helped them as they planned for their purchase. It was great to meet them and see them out here with us!

Set up for the night at King's Dominion.
Set up for the night at King’s Dominion.

It’s a nice night here, about 73 degrees under clear skies, and as I listen to the cicadas chirping in the darkness I look forward to a restful night in the Beehive as we prepare for the next leg of our journey. Another track in the morning and then it’s off to Baltimore.

Hope and big brother on the wall at Charlotte, with a mystery photo bomber.
Hope and big brother on the wall at Charlotte, with a mystery photo bomber.

 

Hope is ready to roll at track #2.
Hope is ready to roll at track #2.

 

MINIBee and MightyBee ready at Charlotte.
MINIBee and MightyBee ready at Charlotte.

 

MINIs as far as the eye can see waiting to get on the track at Charlotte.
MINIs as far as the eye can see waiting to get on the track at Charlotte.

 

One of several classic Minis at Charlotte.
One of several classic Minis at Charlotte.

 

MINIBee and Hope "balance" on the roof of a 3D MINI painting.
MINIBee and Hope “balance” on the roof of a 3D MINI painting.

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