36 SuperCars, 36 Hours – Day 1February 11, 2012
Did you ever do something that sounded so crazy, it might actually be fun (and be called crazy at the same time)? Well, a weekend ago, I think what my sisters, nephew, and I did would qualify as such.
First, let me introduce you to them. I have two younger sisters, both of which I have now passed my IndyCar addiction onto. Sister #1’s first 500 was in 1996, and she became immediately hooked. Sister #2 joined our Indy 500 excursions later on (I’m thinking 2000 or 2001 was her 1st, but I can’t recall), and has only missed one since – although a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris barely trumped the ’08 500. I also have a 9-yr-old nephew, and he is just now starting to experience IndyCar. He still hasn’t been to IMS when practice or the 500 is going – he’s a little leery regarding large crowds & loud noises – but I think he’s coming around.
Late last year, when it was announced that several “indycars” were going to be decorated in NFL team colors and distributed throughout Indianapolis & Central Indiana, Sister #1 jumped ALL OVER IT: hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, and the “Orca” fishing boat. She wanted to see them all – not lined up downtown (as they were the previous weekend), but when they were distributed. Being a teacher just south of Southern Illinois University’s campus, she (*ahem*) came down with a 24-hour cold and took a personal day. Sister #2 immediately came on board and took a personal day from her work at SIU. Sister #1 even talked with my nephew’s school, and pulled him out of school for Friday. As I am currently unemployed, it became clear – four people, small car, all SuperCars in 2 days. Game on.
My family lives in extreme Southern Illinois (as do I – for the time being), but since I lived in Indianapolis for almost 3 years, they left me to do the logistics. They didn’t mention I would also be doing the driving – all of the driving … ow. This blog post – is just of the SuperCars, with the singular goal … #36Cars36Hours
6am Eastern on Friday, February 3rd. (that’s 5am Central, where our adventure started – I was up at 4:15am)
- IL Rt 13 East to I-57 North
- I-57 North to I-64 East … Illinois/Indiana border … and one HECKVUA sunrise over the Midwest.
- I-64 to US-231 North … of course, nephew kept his eyes on a secondary prize – Holiday World – not this trip, sir!
- US-231 North to Jasper, IN … stop #1 for SuperBowl stuff (and McDonalds coffee #2 for me)
- Continue on US-231 North to IN-45 near Crane, IN
- IN-45 to … HOLY SMOKES, WE MADE IT … Bloomington, Indiana .. start the #36Cars36Hours clock!
Car #1: Arizona Cardinals – Fountain Square Mall, Bloomington, IN
(TimeStamp: 10:22AM Eastern)
- Gas up #1 at corner of IN-45 & IN-46 (after 270-ish miles) … “c’mon slowpokes x3, we gotta scoot!!”
- IN-46 East (after showing sisters & nephew IU’s Memorial Stadium & Assembly Hall) through Nashville, and on into Columbus, IN!
Car #2: St. Louis Rams – The Commons, Columbus, IN
(TimeStamp: 11:35AM Eastern)
- IN-46 West back to I-65 North … Both sisters swoon as I gun past Edinburgh’s outlet mall.
- I-65 to IN-44 East towards Shelbyville, IN
- Arrive in Shelbyville … left turn, right turn, left turn, right turn, left turn, right turn … what kinda backwards direction is this?!? Finally!!
Car #3: Cleveland Browns – Sandman Brothers GMC, Shelbyville, IN
(TimeStamp: 12:29PM Eastern)
Now, I realize some backtracking was coming. From the back seat, it was … the voice …
Sister #1: “Deej … I’m going to have to find a restroom soon.”
Me (showing my bachelorhood): “Can you taste it yet?”
Sister #1: “What?!?”
Me: “You’ve got 25 miles – you can make it.”
Nephew: “Yeah, mom. You had to have that large McDonalds tea.”
Sister #1: “WHAT?!?!?”
- IN-44 West (military style: left/right/left/right/left/right) back to I-65 North
- I-65 North to County Line Road West
- County Line Road to US-31 North
- US-31 North to Greenwood, IN … much to the relief (literally/figuratively) to the passengers
Car #4: Green Bay Packers – Greenwood Park Mall, Greenwood, IN
(TimeStamp: 1:11PM Eastern)
After a quick stop for refreshments and quick lunch (Chicken McBites – meh), it was time … TO THE CITY!!
- US-31 to Southport Road East to I-65 North
- I-65 North to … the Racing Capital Of The World … Indianapolis, IN … and Washington St. Exit
- A couple quick turns and we arrived at Indianapolis Arsenal Tech High School
Car #5: Indianapolis Colts – Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 1:56PM Eastern)
As a sidebar, my nephew is a big Peyton Manning fan. He was decked out in his jersey, and was almost in tears seeing this car he was so excited. It was too bad they had this car shoehorned against a wall in a small room, because I would have loved better angles. Oh, well – back to the Hyundai!
- Various meandering between Arsenal Tech and Meridian Street (won’t bore you with road details)
Car #6: Dallas Cowboys – Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 2:30PM Eastern)
As we exited the Children’s Museum (one of which I cannot overemphasize how AWESOME it is – if you have kids and are in Indianapolis – GO! Your kids will thank you later), I started dreading what was coming next … parking downtown for the several cars there. I heard rumors of $20-$500 parking, and we were only going to be there a few hours. Originally, I thought I got lucky with free, on-street parking near IUPUI, but realized it was a “No Parking 4pm-6:30pm” zone. My heart sank. So … I went for a long shot and came up roses!! IUPUI Visitor Parking – $5 for 3 hours – OMG! YAHTZEE!!!! The bonus? We were 2 blocks from our next SuperCar!
Car #7: Kansas City Chiefs – Glick Indiana History Center, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 3:13PM Eastern)
Car #8: Tennessee Titans – City Market, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 3:34PM Eastern)
Car #9: Atlanta Falcons – Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 3:52PM Eastern)
Cars #10, #11, & #12: New York Giants (DW12), New England Patriots (DW12), & SuperBowl XLVI Cars – SuperBowl Village, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 4:17PM Eastern)
At this point, we started looking for the duplicate Giants, Patriots, and XLVI cars. These were the only cars that had known duplicates, as one set was always in the Village, and the second set was used in the “11 Rows Of 3″ display on the south spoke of the Circle the weekend prior. We asked many volunteers, most thought we were crazy – but finally, we found a volunteer whom could verify with us there were duplicates. However, they weren’t around. No one in SuperBowl Village knew where they were. We ended up assuming they would be put on display at Lucas Oil Stadium, so as we walked down, barriers prevented us from getting to the stadium (rightfully so). Sadly, at this point, we began wondering if our quest was really going to end up #33Cars36Hours. Where were the missing cars?!? The tweets went out … no answers … perhaps they, too, needed to track them down. No time to dawdle over potentially spilled milk – a couple quick snapshots of the stadium, plus the monstrous XLVI roman numerals on the Circle, and we had to scoot again!
- IUPUI Parking Garage to I-70 East
- I-70 to IN-9 South into Greenfield, IN
- Getting lost at Greenfield HS, since every parking lot wasn’t connected to each other, plus one-ways surrounding … *sigh*
Car #13: Miami Dolphins – Greenfield Central HS Fieldhouse, Greenfield, IN
(TimeStamp: 6:09PM Eastern)
Time to high-tail it … Wagon’s East!
- IN-9 back to I-70 Eastbound
- I-70 East to US-27 South in Richmond, IN (that’s a haul when you’re feeling under the time crunch)
- A little off the beaten path in Richmond, and we stumbled onto an old-school fire station. Hey, guess what!
Car #14: Denver Broncos – Firehouse BBQ & Blues, Richmond, IN
(TimeStamp: 7:17PM Eastern)
Oh, the smell of that place was absolute heaven, and it was PACKED! You give me some good BBQ, and I will inhale it. Sadly, I knew our time couldn’t be wasted. After some good photos in the restaurant’s waiting area (and a stellar “Tebowing” by the nephew near the rear wing), we had to skedaddle.
- US-27 back to I-70 briefly to US-35 North
- US-35 to the Muncie By-Pass … a quick glance at the iPhone for time … I think we can make it and one more.
- Muncie ByPass to McGalliard Road … to … to the slowest moving train I have seen in 6 months!!! NO!!! Quick-glance left & right … and a dejected head-hang.
- Train’s now gone (thanks to @MuncieTrain) … FINALLY!!!
Car #15: Oakland Raiders – Muncie Mall, Muncie, IN
(TimeStamp: 8:22PM Eastern)
Logistics stated … we had 35 minutes to make our final car of the day … quoting The Hunt For Red October … “This one’s gonna be close!!”
- McGalliard Road to IN-332
- IN-322 to I-69 South to IN-32(?!?) … uh-oh, Sister #2 might’ve jumped the directional gun on this one …
- IN-32 back to IN-9 South
- IN-9 South to … Nephew: “THERE IT IS, WE HAVE 90 SECONDS!!” … (*screeching tires*) (*hard right*) … “RUN!!”
Me: “Um … there’s a movie theater in there. I think the doors will be open” (2 Masters Degrees, and I figured that out!)
Car #16: Minnesota Vikings – Mounds Mall of Anderson, Anderson, IN
(TimeStamp: 9:02PM Eastern)
Sister #1 is a Vikings fan … in Southern Illinois. Figure THAT one out. I have no idea if/when I dropped her on her head when she was a child, but she’s been a long-time Vikings fan. Sadly, she forgot her “Helga” Vikings hat at her school, because that would have been a great picture. We spend a little more time here because of her fandom, but that was OK, we had made it. We did 16 of 33 (or 36) cars on Friday. What a wild Friday.
Well, let’s just say our logistics weren’t over. Our hotel that night was in Lafayette, where we would start Day #2. The foursome was also starving – you can only go so far on Twizzlers and (for me – being on the low-carb diet) black coffee. It was time for food. Then I had the epiphany … can we do one more AND get dinner at the same time? HECK YEAH – LET’S DO IT!!
Gas-up #2 in Anderson … screw the mileage, we gotta go. We can do this!
- IN-9 South to I-69 South
- I-69 South to I-465 West (along the north side of Indy)
- I-465 West to Keystone Avenue exit to 82nd/86th Street East
- Nephew (sounding tired): “Did we make it, Uncle D.J.?”
Car #17: Philadelphia Eagles – Fashion Mall at Keystone at the Crossing, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 10:01PM Eastern)
When we saw this car, it was both a relief that we saw it on Friday, but also made us realize just what we were doing. The Eagles car livery was just drop-dead gorgeous – easily the “prettiest” car we saw. All four of us were gushing about it. It was sharp. It was clean-looking. It had the Eagles’ wings on the top of the sidepods that just made it pop. The green/silver/white combination – wow. Even now … I would hope there would be INDYCAR teams that would find that color scheme and try copying it, because it just looked fast standing still. This is why we were driving all over Indiana … not for the SuperBowl, but for IndyCars.
A stop at the TGIFriday’s next to the mall, and onto Lafayette (where I lived for 6+ years). Hotel check-in time: 12:15AM Eastern – Saturday, February 4th. Final mileage for Day #1: 604.4 miles. Lights out 10 min. later – 7am alarm set.
Stay tuned – I’ll try to get Day #2 posted on Sunday … 17 SuperCars down … 16 (or 19?) SuperCars to go …