G03 Day Two - Thursday
G03 Day Three - Friday
G03 Day Four - Saturday
G03 Day Five - Sunday

Wednesday - Bruce's Trip to Joplin:
Unfortunately, due to difficult and inconsistent running, my dreams of driving a twin-turbo '72 Nova to G03 were dashed about a week before the event. Fine, so I'll take off all the turbo stuff and drive it down in "normal" mode. I made the changes, but then proceeded to have transmission, brake, and cooling system problems that made my Nova one of many that were MIA at G03. Well, it's not the end of the world, I'm going anyway! Uhhh, in my wife's minivan. How embarrassing.

I took off about 7:15am on Wednesday. I hit the Minnesota/Iowa border around 9:30am. Minnesota even has a nice monument thanking you for visiting.

What about Iowa? A cheesy aluminum sign welcoming me. Gee, I feel all warm and gooey inside.

I can let them get away with it if they'll give me some decent speed limits. Whoops, 0 for 2.

218 miles of 65 mph speed limits. Ugh.

Okay, enough about Iowa. How about Missouri? Well, an even-smaller sign, but at least we were back to 70 mph.

Any idea what these things are? I saw several in Missouri and I think some in Iowa. Big Brother is watching...

Hmmmm...

Okay, this is insane! I can understand it's a little warmer in Missouri than Minnesota, but holy cow! At least it was really humid.

Phew! Made it to Joplin and our home for the next several days.

I certainly wasn't the first to arrive, however. Ken Boyd from California drove his Caprice and got to Joplin on Tuesday night, I believe, and Emo, Jill, and Destiny from Rhode Island drove down with Peter from Boston and were all there, as was Jim and his kids.

 

Wednesday - Craig's and Angella's Trip to Joplin:
For the first time ever, we actually got on the road earlier than planned (about 6:30 am), so the trip to Joplin was off to a good start. Angella and I met up with Dave and Susan Osborne in Bowling Green, KY, where we loaded Angella's '63 convertible onto Dave's trailer behind his big ol dually. 

We trailered it to Missouri for a couple reason, one being its wanting to run fairly warm. Plus its more enjoyable to on such a long drive to have someone to talk to. The trailer came in very handy later on in the week, but I'll get to that later.

We took the same route to Joplin that we took to G01 in Kansas, which is US-60 from Paducah, KY to Springfield, MO. Other roads were involved of course, but that was the bulk of the trip to G03. So we ended up not taking a ton of pictures, since we had done that just a couple years before. So you can look back at our trip to G01 and pretty much see our trip to G03!

We stopped off at Fort Defiance, Illinois (again) where the Ohio and Misssissippi Rivers meet to take a few pictures, stretch our legs and look at the rivers. 

After a short break there, it was back on US-60 into Missouri where we dodged pop-up thunderstorms for most of the day. We never really got rained on, but we ran across some nasty, dirty, wet roads, which got the trucks, trailers and both Novas very dirty.

US-60 crosses the Ozark Mountains, but I swear they are just big hills. But if they want to call them mountains, then who am I to tell them they can't? Not much to see in the Ozarks. Just hills and trees. That's OK, its pretty country.

Dave's Powerstroke diesel dually got to take it easy on the trip, but my little 4.3L was pushed hard all day long. Occasionally Dave would pull up beside me, smile and wave and then roar on around me. Eventually I'd get back up to speed and catch him. All in all, the little V6 doesn't do too bad at all. Going up against a turbo diesel isn't really a fair fight, even if the diesel is a Ford! I've about got my V8 GMC Sierra GT done, so watch out Dave :-)

We rolled into Joplin around 6:00pm where we found Bruce, Jim and sons, Ken, Emo and family, and Peter already there. Not a bad trip at all. About 600 miles of trouble-free travel on the US backroads (for the most part) and hardly a cop in sight the whole day.

 

Approaching Joplin and views of Rangeline Rd.

There was plenty of construction along Rangeline near the Motel 6 where we made base camp.

Wednesday - In Joplin:
There's Jim's '66 and Angella's '63.

And the 2QuickNovas...errr....whatever.


Unfortunately my twin-turbo '72 Nova wasn't in operating condition despite my best efforts, so I was forced to leave it at home and take the family cruiser.

Craig, Angella, Bruce, Dave, and Susan heading to dinner at Applebees in Angella's '63 convertible.

Off to bed to prepare for a busy Thursday!  

Copyright 2003 Bruce Johnson and Craig Watson