A couple of days ago we left John, continuing our trip through the USA. As I got the visa for Canada and Lucy needs to extend hers, we decided to go to Toronto and the Niagara Falls. But first we’ll be taking a detour to St. Louis, MO to visit my former coworkers from AT&T located there (and I also want to see the arch there).
We took a couple of self-kicks (for the road) at the Angus Barn in Raleigh (the only self-kicking machine still in service out of a total of 2) and stopped by the largest chest of drawers in the world, in the small furniture-making city of High Point, NC.
So how did we end up going SE to Charlotte instead of NE? John had a couple of tickets to the NASCAR hall of fame, which, to my opinion, was the only thing worth seeing in that city. The tickets were date 2011, but we took our chances and visited Charlotte. We managed to get in the venue and I was impressed from the start seeing the Famous Hudson as the first car exposed there. The whole visit took us about 1.5hrs, but if any of us was passionate about race cars, we would probably spend there half a day interacting with all the panels and screens.
So NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) started with the prohibition and the production and transportation of MoonShine (the home distilled alcohol). To get away from the cops with the alcohol, you needed a fast car. The pride was high, so they started racing at Daytona beach. And before things went crazy and more people get hurt, a handful of people founded NASCAR and established some rules for safe racing.
There is not much else to show when it comes to racing other than what’s in this building. They have famous past cars, suits and trophies, pictures and statues of former pilots, but also real simulators (where you sit in a real car), some computer training, where you get instructions from a guy beside you, and a lot of car tuning tips and solutions, used by the teams in this sport. And since it came out of historical necessity (for alcohol), I would call this sport the pure-breed American sport. Not baseball, football or basketball.
We didn’t spend much time in Charlotte because it was crowded, hot, an I could only see a lot of office buildings. We headed out towards Asheville with a mission: to visit the art studious and the Black Mountain College – inspired by the movie “The Longest Ride”, and the Biltmore house . Tell you how it went in the next post. And meanwhile, some pictures from Lake Lure, where we spent the first night: