It was time for a change-up in our usual trek to the track. Tom and the boys did Time Trials this year -- I stayed home! Tom left Thursday morning and set up camp at the Indiana State Fairgrounds; I don't think he has ever soloed in the Silvermine before! He enjoyed the whole afternoon walking the Speedway, watching practice, and strolling through Gasoline Alley snapping behind-the-scene pictures of drivers.
Friday, early afternoon, he was joined by Micah -- who arrived in his brand new Chevy Silverado truck -- lookin' good, Micah!
One more piece of the puzzle was missing; and when Caleb got off work at 9:00 Friday evening, I hustled him in the car and drove south towards Indy, while Tom and Micah drove north to meet me. We made the exchange about 1 1/2 hours later, and Caleb joined the boy outing!
On Saturday morning, the boys were up early, at the track, and in their traditional seats in turn one -- by 7:30. From the pano picture, you can see that they were pretty much the only ones there! Practice started at 8:00, and qualifications at 11:00. Two cars qualified before the rain shut everything down for the day!
All week there were serious recurring glitches with the cars set up in qualifying mode. . . they were flipping -- end over end! Sunday after Ed Carpenter took his turn upending, all practice stopped while a 4-hour, closed-session, meeting of the key track officials decided what to do.
Drivers were not allowed to use their qualification set-ups and had to run their standard race-day format, resulting in all cars qualifying in an uninspired performance. But, the field was set, and Scott Dixon was on the pole! The track closed at 6:00, and the boys went to pick up the trailer to head home.
At home, with three days to regroup, we made some minor changes to include Caleb's Halie in our track-side accommodations. Micah would stay with Tom and I in the Silvermine, and Caleb and Halie would drive down Friday morning and make the fold-down backseat of the van their sleeping headquarters. All five of us would live out of the little 16' Silvermine -- on the blacktop, in a parking lot, just off 16th street, across from the Speedway -- for 5 days!
It began with Tom and Micah and I meeting up with Tink for Wednesday Lake Haven RV, in southern Indianapolis, 11 miles from the track. From there we did our customary early dash for the parking lot, arriving at 7:30 AM Thursday morning where we could choose our little piece of urban campsite for the next 4 days.
Our camping pass bought us 4 parking lot spaces each, plenty of room for the two trailers, two tow vehicles, 12' square awning, and a place for Caleb to park when he arrived. We staked our claim far up towards 16th street, literally in the shadow of our seats at the top of turn 2! Creature comforts included electricity, and water, ice, and honey-dipper services could be purchased as needed. Usually the heat on the asphalt in May is a problem, but Thursday as we set up, it was only 48 degrees and we were trying to catch some radiation to warm up!
During the arrival and set-up frenzy, Tink suffered some damage to her main electrical receptacle. Fixing that was a minor wait for the mobile RV Medic -- a repair service that made house calls to the parking lot!
Tom and Micah went to the track for the Indy Lights practice and qualifying. Later Tom and I walked back over so I could see the vintage car exhibition. It was fun to walk around the big-top tents and watch the boys playing with their toys. They made quite a parade taking turns on the big track!
Race cars weren't the only vintage toys -- here was a little Airstream, shined to a sheen and sportin' two stainless steel air-conditioners on top!
Our first day at the track ended with a birthday celebration with Tink at the Outback Steakhouse. Friday, things would rev up a notch as Caleb and Halie joined the party. . . come back to read all about it.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown