This year I did something a little bit different than previous years driving to The Shootout. I carpooled up with a buddy from 2GNT.com. He didn’t want to run all the way up there in his Evo X. Taking my Jeep would give us more room and a softer ride. Plus, I was already planning on driving my Jeep so it wasn’t going to be a big deal. Sharing a vehicle for the first time on a 32 hour round trip would be nice. Splitting fuel there and back would be nice as well.
On the drive up I was passed by my boss and his wife somewhere in north east Mississippi on I-59. It took me a few moments to figure out why someone was pacing me and I had an Asian lady excitedly talking to me through the window and wagging her fingers at me. I knew he was going on vacation at the same time I was, but I was definitely not expecting him to pass me on the Interstate.
On the first day of driving, I stopped in Kentucky to surprise a different friend. This extended driving to about 12 hours instead of the usual 8 or so with a stop in Nashville. We did not announce that we were coming up and it was meant to be a surprise. He kind of figured out we were coming up because his wife was acting a bit off. He was still no less happy to see us. We talked cars, we talked beer, we talked current events, we stayed up way too late.
The drive on day 2 was only about 4 hours and was pretty leisurely. It was nice to not be in a rush. I got to sleep in. I got to the hotel at a reasonable time. I missed a lot of traffic. Once in Norwalk, OH, I checked into the hotel, unloaded clothes and then drove into town to grab some ice and other supplies. After a pretty good Chinese buffet dinner, it was back to the hotel to start meeting up with fellow DSMers. Then, the drinking starts.