Live Trip Map Day 20: September 3, 2009
Evansville to the NCM
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The caravan moved out at almost exactly 9:00 behind its police escort. By chance, I found myself in the first dozen cars and that allowed me to participate in a little dance that I don't think included everyone. The police car that led us out of the staging area pulled over to block traffic as we pulled onto a major street. The lead car pulled onto the expressway and the line followed. That could have been the right way but it wasn't. Or maybe plans changed. I don't know the reasons or what communications were going on but I do know that we exited after a few miles and headed back toward where we'd started. September 3,1999
By Thursday night, the cars had coalesced into two caravans; the one I was with in Nashville, and another in Louisville. The closest they came to combining was this Bowling Green exit where Louisville's 2000 Corvettes drove along side Nashville's 1700 for a few hundred yards.

Exiting where we had originally entered, we headed due east to try a little Route 66 Indiana style. IN-66 is part of the Ohio River Scenic Byway. Part of the section we traveled is already divided 4-lane and there is construction in progress that will convert more of the 2-lane before long. We stayed with 2-lane by turning south on IN-121 and entering Kentucky over the 1940 Glover H. Cary Bridge. That kind of surprised me but pleased me a lot.

We pulled over at the edge of Bowling Green to reform and get ready for arrival at the museum. I popped the top and hoisted the flags.

There was an enthusiastic welcome and we made a pass by the museum itself.

There were about 100 cars in the group at this point. You may recall earlier claims of 50 & 200. The 50 was the number registered at San Jose -- not the number present. The 200 was the claim at our stop to pick up some Nevada cars. I'm guessing that it was also based on registration or maybe the fellow was just overly optimistic. That number and some of my early impressions were also affected by many local cars who gathered at the stopping points but caravanned little or not at all. I estimated that 200 cars may have been present at Miller Motorsports Park where we were temporarily joined by the Pacific Northwest caravan. Registration counts are especially unreliable this year. There were many tales of folks who registered a year ago then lost their jobs, sold (or are trying to sell) their 'Vette, and are not venturing far from home.

2003 was the 50th birthday for the Corvette and for Ray Ehly, Jr. The Corvette celebrated with cross country caravans and a party in Nashville. Ray celebrated by buying a new Z06 and joining the party. Ray picked up his car at the museum then, before reaching the 60 mile distant Nashville, drove it to all fifty of the United States. In late 2007, Ray was injured in a motorcycle accident then had his injuries aggravated when his truck was rear-ended. Ray is on the mend and will be back at the NCM someday but not this day. As we approached the museum, I donned the All 50 hat that Ray gave me and as soon as we parked I had one of the attendants take my picture with the museum behind me. I later took a picture of the commemorative brick that Ray's fiancé (now wife) had placed in 2004. Read Ray's story here.

The last time I was at the museum, the new addition was completed but not yet open. Today it was opn and crowded. I got far enough into the actual museum (i.e., the old part) to see there were some changes but it was extremely crowded. I decided not to deal with the congestion.

Instead I moved outside to look at a Kentucky State Police cruiser. Apparently the KSP, like many government agencies, are moving to locally made products. Plus I found one of those C5 retro conversions in a color that I'm sure wasn't available in either '53 or '54. I guess the "any color you want as long as it's white" policy wasn't working too well.

I did make it through the museum after the crowd had thinned. I believe the pictures of Hall of Fame members on the rotunda walls are new and "The World's Fastest Six Cylinder Corvette" wasn't here on my last visit. Special displays included the Mako Shark I from 1961 and the 1968 Astro II. The gift shop, where Corvette flip-flops are available for less than thirty bucks, is significantly larger. .

Accidents had closed I-65 southbound so when I reached my temporary home at Wigwam Village #2, Corvette caravans and larger vehicles were being diverted down the old Dixie Highway (now known as US-31W). I later learned that there were two accidents. One and possibly both involved motorcycles and casualties.

I'm fairly confident that I've previously posted interior views of the wigwams but here's one from this visit anyway.

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