A couple weeks ago my sister and I headed out to Washington's Olympic peninsula to attend a Rod Run (car show for Hot Rods and classic cars) put on annually by our dad's car club. We grew up going to these events every summer, so the spectacle of hundreds of fancifully-colored cars of yester-year all parked together, with the smell of gasoline in the air and the throaty rumble of souped-up engines vibrating in my ribcage is now highly nostalgic for me. We took my sister's Brittany Blue 1966 Mustang that our dad restored for her to the Oldtimer's Port Angeles Rod Run, after many years of choosing to do other, less boring things during that weekend. See, after you arrive and see all the pretty cars and get heckled by all your dad's car buddies and do a walk-through of the cars, boredom seeps in for all but the true "aficion-auto." These old, usually bald, beer-bellied, and camera-wielding men wend their way through the aisles of parked cars at a snail's pace, examining every detail of the body and engine.
But after a several-year hiatus, we forgot the time imbalance between one's enjoyment of the colors and one's weariness at the lengthy duration of the event. Oh well. We escaped to hike Hurricane Ridge, which was gorgeous, with perfectly clear skies, so I took a zillion photos to paint from later. And we visited one of Port Angeles' famous lavender farms—again, beautiful watercolor reference. And we snickered at all the signs of Twilight-mania (P.A. is only about 50 miles from now-famous Forks) such as life-sized Edward n' Bella cardboard cut-outs in most shop windows regardless of what is sold there, and homemade signs chirping in Curlz MT "Twi-hards Welcome Here!"
So, last week my dad and I spent days of hassle getting my Mustang out of storage (of course Daddy had to build one for little sister too) including trying everything to get it started after a 2-year sit before fining the coil needed replacing; removing, disinfecting, and re-installing a mouse-infested heater core; removing all the seats and steam-cleaning the carpet, and various other cleaning and tune-up details. Then he decided to buy my registration at this weekend's Goodguys car show that his club helps host. It was fun to show off my Pink 1967 Mustang, but weekends are busy, and I fear we weren't present at the fairgrounds as much as Dad would have liked. Oh well. Again, my sister and I spent most of Saturday on a wonderful hike in Mt. Rainier National Park, where we saw not only breathtaking close-up views of the mountain, but also a cute park ranger in his hunky ranger uniform. That night we headed back to the fairgrounds for the bizarre phenomenon of "Cruising" at the car show, in which you join a lineup of cars that slowly parades though the fairgrounds while people in lawn chairs sit and watch the line of cars go by, occasionally heckling, cat-calling, complementing, or egging you on to rev up the engine. Apparently anything goes during cruising, (except burn-outs, which are ineffectually reprimanded by event staff.) Here we were greeted by a pack of pre-pubescent boys with "Sup Hotties!" Once parked, we found Dad to make sure he knew we were in attendance, and he encouraged us go meet boys. We assured him that there were no boys our age at the event. He insisted there were "dancing boys" at the bandstand. We sidled away when he was sufficiently distracted. On our way to the car, we were cornered in conversation with a pack of forty year old men (too old for my taste.) I think it'll be a while before I brave another Rod Run, even for the sketching opportunities. The cost in patience is too high!