2022 Road Trip-Part 15B

9 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 15 Continued (5/30/2022)

After another trip down memory lane at the Morrison Motor Car Museum (I especially liked the DeLorean display), I headed southwest 25 miles on I-85 to check out the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  There were no races going on today (looks like I missed the Coca Cola 600 race there at the Charlotte Motor Speedway by just one day), but I got this cool photo of the track entrance.  I love watching NASCAR racing and just get a thrill seeing one of these famous racetracks.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was only a couple of miles from the Charlotte Motor Speedway to the Hendrick Motorsports Complex there in Charlotte, where I wanted to visit the Hendrick Motorsports Museum, Performance Shop, 40/5 Race Shop, 9/24 Race Shop, and Engine shop but they were all closed for the after-race holiday.  I was disappointed as Jeff Gordon (No.24) was one of my favorite NASCAR drivers.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I drove into downtown Charlette to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame located in their new ‘Uptown’ facility.  This Hall of Fame (Shrine) is dedicated to the memory of NASCAR racing history and the drivers and race teams that made the sport possible.  The NASCAR Hall of Fame offers 50 interactive experiences including an ‘iRacing Simulator’ that tests your racing skills on your favorite NASCAR racetrack, NASCAR Cup winning race cars, and much more.

Photo Credit: nascar hall of fame north carolina – Bing images

Before leaving Charlotte, I headed over to the Jackson Homes area to visit the Carolina’s Aviation Museum located adjacent to the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport but they were closed.  I was surprised to find a museum of this size, situated right next to an international airport closed, but that’s what the guard at the entrance gate to the North Carolina Air National Guard Base told me.  So, I took a photo of their ‘Gate Guard’ and headed for my next museum.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed south 30 miles on I-77, across the border, to visit the Comporium Telephone Museum located in Rock Hill, SC.  This small museum displays artifacts and memorabilia that records the history of the telephone and other technologies for communications in the Rock Hill area dating from 1894.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Leaving Rock Hill, I headed south 45 miles on I-77 to visit the South Carolina Railroad Museum located in Winnsboro, SC.  This museum has several pieces of restored antique rolling stock and other railroad related artifacts.  However, the museum is best known for its weekend hour-long train rides pulled by their restored 1927 Baldwin 4-6-0 steam locomotive #44 on a section of the Rockton, Rion & Western Railway.

Photo Credit: https://www.coladaily.com/sc-railroad-museum/

Next, I continued south another 30 miles on US-321 to visit the South Carolina Military Museum located in Columbia, SC.  This turned out to be another museum located on a military base that is closed to the public except by special pass.  It was after 5:00, and I couldn’t get a pass today anyway, so I headed downtown to the Elmwood Park area to check out the world’s largest ‘Fire Hydrant’ located in the ‘Busted Plug Plaza.’  Standing 40 feet tall, this piece of ‘Art’ weighs 675,000 pounds and may be the reason it is leaning (not sufficient foundation).  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Just a few blocks from the Busted Plug Plaza, I stopped on Hampton Street to take a photo of the ‘Never Bust Chain’ that appears to link two large office buildings together across an alley.  Built in 2000 by artist Blue Sky (Warren E. Johnson), who is also the designer of the aforementioned World’s Largest Fire Hydrant.  The ‘Never Bust Chain’ is said to be intended to ‘Bring Together Industry & Art Culture’ while others in the city describe it as a whimsical artistic prank.  However, it should be noted that the ‘City Fathers’ must have had to approve its installation.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I was getting hungry by now and had looked up places to eat there in Columbia.  The one I selected was the “Lizard Thicket” restaurant located in the Elmwood Park district on Elmwood Avenue (US-21).  This restaurant specializes in regional Southern home-style cuisine (Soul Food) and I ordered their fried pork chops with collard greens, black eyed-peas, and creamed corn.  It was served with freshly baked cornbread muffins and strawberry jam.  What a delicious taste treat!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

With a full tummy (I had enough left over for dinner tomorrow) I took my brown bag and headed for the motel there in Columbia.  Greta (My Garmin) found the motel with no problem, and I got checked in.  I got my things moved into my room, recorded my activities for the day, and went to bed.  No need for TV tonight.  I was too tired.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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