Friday, September 07, 2007

Fun Labor Day Weekend

I flew into Ontario, California, last Friday morning... a spur of the moment trip to spend some time with my guy. He's been working these awful hours the past several months, and it seems to me, that we haven't seen one another in a very long time. I miss him.

For an extra special treat for me, my daughter met me at the airport in Ontario! We had breakfast together, talking over french toast and coffee for a couple of hours. It was so good to see her. When it was time for her to go - she had a pre-scheduled appointment she could not change - she dropped me off at the truck stop where we met up with my guy. There was a pleasant exchange of "hello's" between the two of them before my daughter had to leave. This was the first time in years the two of them have seen each other.

That afternoon, we drove over to the California Speedway, in Fontana, a few miles from the truck stop, to watch the Nextel and Busch Cup time trials. It was amazingly HOT! Too hot! With a major thunder storm just over the mountains to the north of us, the air was thick on top of 110 degree heat. It was incredible, it was miserable!

We parked a mile or two from the track, in the RV Parking lot. My photos do not do the parking lot scene justice. It was pretty cool to come upon the sea of flags sporting the number of the RV'er's favorite driver's car. Most every RV had a flag flying. We road the shuttle to the speedway.

Once inside the speedway, it became apparent just how big the facility was. I think the track is 2.5 miles long, with 14% grades in a couple of the turns. The back stretch is straight, the front stretch is arched.

Here's a few photos of our day...

We stayed in the heat and watched all the Busch race time trials. Denny Hamlin took the pole for first place in the next day's Busch race. I didn't know drivers could race in both races, Busch and Nextel.

After being in the heat and walking around the speedway forever, we decided to get a hotel room to cool off. We called around and found the Airport Marriott running a special, and got a room. Ahhh!!! A shower and wonderful room! Quiet, clean, plush, full service deli, full service restaurant, and full service bar & grill, and of course, full size pool in the center courtyard. We spent a refreshing night, ordered a pizza from the hotel deli that was absolutely the best pizza we've had in a long time! So, if you find yourself in the Ontario, CA, area and needing a room, I'd refer you to this hotel.

The next morning we headed for Idaho. We had thought to stay another day and see the Busch race, but it was miserable hot and there was no way we would be able to stay out in that heat. We drove up the eastern side of California, going through the miles of desert and the Eastern Sierras. As we drove along, I found these trees very interesting, I think they're Yucca trees. At first I was sure they were Joshua trees, but once I was home and looking at the photos, I'm thinking they're Yuccas.

We were in and out of thunder storms most of the day. The desert can be so pretty. Most of the time, I prefer a forest over a desert, but do find the beauty in both. We were able to listen to the Busch race, live on SIRIUS radio. It was pretty cool to know we were just there, saw the track, and heard the cars roar during their time trials. Seems the Busch race was pretty intense, those boys really got some race drivin' in.

We spent our next night in Hawthorne, Nevada. We woke up early and were on our way again. We listened to the Nextel Cup race, and again, what a race. Those drivers were fighting 130 to 140 degree temps in their race cars. It was over 105 on the track. Reporters tried to interview Dale Jr, he was so hot he couldn't even stop to talk with them. I think they need to do early spring races at Fontana, not in the middle of summer like this... it's just too hot! We topped the Treasure Valley before sunset. It's always good to be home.

I had a nice visit with my daughter... precious time with her I normally do not have. And, I had a wonderful time with my guy for a couple of days while driving back to Idaho from Southern California.


Becky said...

Great photos, as always. I'm not a race fan. LOL I see it as similar to watching tennis. People's heads swivel back and forth as the ball/car goes by over and over and over. *yawn* hee hee!

Astaryth said...

G was so jealous when I showed him your pics. He loves watching all things NASCAR and has been able to visit several tracks while we were on the road and would be in a town with a track nearby, BUT he's never been to a track -during- a race. Someday I hope to get him to one of the Daytona races. It's only a few hours from here, but with all the critters it is hard to schedule :)

Donna said...

My son, in Georgia, is a HUGE nascar fain. Daughter enjoys it too. I'd rather ride my horse. LOL.

Kelly said...

Sounds like a wonderful (and much needed) trip! I can just imagine being out there in all that sun and just having it pound down on you. Ughh, sounds like you made a good decision to hit the road :-)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a much needed get-a-way. I love the last photograph with the rainbow - beautiful.


~~Kath~~ said...

There's just nothing like going to a race! Those aren't yucca, they are Teddy Bear Chollas (Pronounced Choy-ya)- a type of cactus. I guess living in the desert has taught me something after all! LOL