Photo recognition by the NHRA

Below is a link we had sent to us of a NHRA video of photos from Speedweek 2016. Of all the stuff that’s at Bonneville to take a picture of it’s pretty neat that we landed in the photographer’s top ten.

The Finish Line

It is time to put an end to this trip which began almost three weeks ago. Our 2016 adventure to Bonneville will not easily be forgotten. Each of us will take away our own perspective of the trip as anyone does when they go anywhere. This is just a huge endeavor that most people I know don’t quite understand. It takes months to prepare for and isn’t really anywhere anyone would “vacation”. I agree! 

By the end of this trip we will have traveled through 13 states, gone over 5,000 miles, reached a height of over 10,000 feet, stayed in ten different hotels, killed one billion bugs with our trucks and averaged just over 10 miles to the gallon. One truck used roughly 540 gallons of fuel so it’s a good thing the price was down right now. And yes, that’s the crappy mileage you get pulling a 9′ high trailer behind you. Seems like we could just cut that down to save on all that drag since the belly tank is not quite 4′ tall? Just a thought.

We weren’t sure how this trip would go having a two year old with us. I have to say, she probably did the best out of all of us. She’s upset we aren’t staying in anymore hotels and traveled better than I could ever have expected. Luckily, she is a Welker at heart and the loud cars didn’t bother her and she liked driving around in the bug. Who would have thought? I do believe she is going to have withdrawal from not seeing her cousins Caley and Brockey as she has started to call them. I think it may go the other way as well. 

The last quote does go to Cora for this trip. When putting in a new dvd for her, I disconnected the charging cable momentarily and she told me, “I will hold it and I promise, I will not put it in my nose.” Ah, from the mouths of babes. I was happy to hear that.

I want to thank everyone for following along, whether it’s your first time or you have continued from before. We really only started this for family so we didn’t have to make a lot of calls with updates how the car was running. We found out when we got home the last time that it grew quite a bit larger than just family that was interested. People I didn’t even know came up to us saying they had followed along. I appreciate all the nice comments in regard to the writing as well. Like I said before, I don’t know much about the cars but I can try to make you feel like you are there.

Thanks again. This is all done from Andy’s desire for speed. Deep down, a lot of people have their own inner desire, he is just lucky enough to have been able to see it come to fruition and experience driving at 168.8 mph. Pretty cool!

Please check back for updates. As we get home and have time after cleaning everything, we will post more photos and videos.

(Feel free to hit us up for t-shirts, we still have a bunch to sell)

Time to Head Home

After yesterday’s adventure into the middle of what seemed liked an endless ocean of corn, we can’t top it so it’s time to head home. This trip has been riddled by small incidents, today was not immune. Andy always has an eye on the trailer tires and we pulled off at a rest stop when he noticed one looked funny. This resulted in the changing of not one but three trailer tires with cracks in them. They had not blown and still held air but they swapped them out to be on the safe side. Funny thing though, the one he saw with the small bubble was still okay, go figure.

We are just hammer down at this point but did stop in LeClaire, Iowa again at the American Pickers store. They have built a new building since we last visited. Nothing really special but a quick stop to stretch legs.

Other than that, just covering a lot of roads. Which, America, are pretty awful! And we always say PA roads are bad. I can’t say they are any worse than anyone else’s and we covered A LOT of roads on this trip. 

I did want to mention I was pretty bummed yesterday when I realized I missed this event.

I would have loved to have stopped and eaten some Minnesota corn at the Buttered Corn Days. I’m just trying to picture how this all works. Do you all sit and eat with big tubs of butter on the tables or do they have butter wenches that come around when you need some? This sign just makes you see that every area has something, whether it’s a corn festival, demo derby or a tractor pull. We all have local events that come around every year that remind you of home, no matter how dumb they are! (Look how happy those girls are with their corn)

The quote I have to go with today may not be exact but you’ll get the point. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for supper, first one we’ve seen for days believe it or not. In reference to the store part, they sell Moxie in it. Steve wanted to get one for the boys to taste it but they wanted to know what it tastes like. Steve’s reply was, “It tastes like sweat filtered through an old dirty sock.” If you’ve had Moxie before, you’ll know that sounds about right!

Let’s bring home a …

Monday took us from Sioux Falls, SD on a detour to Hector, MN. Why Hector you ask, what could possibly be there? Well it turns out that on the Saturday before we left Steve won an online auction for a Fordson tractor in Hector, so off we go. 

Now as many of you may know, most Welker adventures come with a catch. This time the catch was we did not have trailer space to haul home a tractor that is assembled. So what is the solution?  Why tear it apart on the spot and stuff the pieces into all available spaces.

The Bug is now stuffed with luggage, Steve’s truck is full of wheels and small parts, and the engine and rear housing are in front of the Bug on the trailer. Just took some creative packing. 

A short drive got us to Albert Lea where we stayed for the night. Not much else interesting to report other than seeing this in the hotel parking lot. 

Can’t really explain it. Just a truck and trailer with some kind of stuffed animal sculpture? You just never know what you’ll find. 

From Yellowstone to the Badlands

Leaving the Salt Flats we decided to head north for our trip home. We wanted to get a different view of the country because none of us had ever been in this area before. Saturday morning we woke in West Yellowstone, Montana. When we arrived the night before, the temperature was 32 degrees, slightly different than what we were in that morning. This was a quaint little town which was nice to walk around in for a bit that is right at the west entrance to the park. So, off we were to see a few trees, something we hadn’t seen for a while.

We did get to see some bison and deer. One bison was even walking down the road with a long line of cars behind him. It was odd that people weren’t beeping at him or making rude hand gestures like you normally see with slow drivers!

We stopped to see Old Faithful, with about 1,000 other people. Sorry to say, this did not impress me at all. I’m not sure I knew what to expect but now I know. Very touristy which is always a turn off to me.

We had some white knuckle driving late at night coming down some rather large mountains to stay in Buffalo, WY. Pronghorn and deer decide they like to stand right along the road a lot in these areas so we had to keep a good eye out as well. 

Sunday got us back on the road to go see “the heads”, as Cora kept saying. Off to see Mount Rushmore. Again, the town right before you enter the national park was major tourist throw up. It’s unbelievable what pops up at these type of landmarks but the people were filing in. Here to, neat to see once but I thought it would have been bigger. More intrigued watching the people taking selfies with the presidents behind them.

We kept trucking through the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. Not much to see except a lot of free range cattle all over the place. Still wondering how you know where to find your own? In this day and age, do they have gps trackers? Made it to Sioux Falls for the night and will update you tomorrow on the next great American landmark we come across.

Or to tell you about the tractor we have to pick up. Yes, you read that correctly. Can’t wait to see how that turns out myself!

The Other Guys

Believe it or not, there were other cars attending Speed Week. When you have your own vehicle, it becomes quite a task to find time to socialize. Usually the only time you really do it is when you are in line waiting to run. Plus all they want to do is talk about cars and I find myself lacking in that area. 

Today has been another long day so I don’t have the energy to ramble on as usual. So here are a bunch of pics to show you what else you may find at Speed Week, it’s pretty much anything!

Not exactly sure about the speed on the Moho above. We think it ran in the range of 120. First time for us to see a motor home take a run on the salt, who knew they could do that?

Speed Week Is Over

The end of the road, or should I say, the salt, has finally arrived. With ten runs under his belt, the week was pretty successful. To many, a trip like this is crazy, myself included. But, to each his own. This may not be your thing and whatever you are into may not be as extreme, but to have a passion about anything is a good thing. There are many that do this every year without fail and will tell you that the salt calls to them as if taunting them to see if they can conquer it just a little bit more. I still call it crazy but, like I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

The Blonde Bitch faired well on her second trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats. Other than the few minor issues previously mentioned, she’s coming home pretty unscathed. This cannot be said about a lot of other cars at the meet. Standing at my pit I could probably point out a half of a dozen cars around us that basically broke. Anything from a melted piston to a cracked cylinder head sent them home early or at least stopped them from racing. So if you look at things from that perspective, taking a car home in one piece is pretty good. We had even heard that some racers stopped racing on the long course simply because they didn’t like the way the salt was and how their car was reacting to it. I imagine if I spun out doing 150+, I’d think twice as well. Probably a smart decision to sit it out if that was happening. 

Today was a day of packing and cleaning as much salt off of things as we could. We learned from the last trip what to do. The belly tank got a quick wipe down and the truck and trailer went to the car wash. It’s amazing how hard the salt gets after getting caked on. The inside of the truck also got vacuumed the best it could. After the last trip, any salt began to turn into a gooey mess as we headed east as the humidity rose. Don’t worry, it will take me weeks to clean up this mess but we at least got the bulk of it cleaned up, and yes, this is way worse than the beach. Nothing like vacuuming on your vacation!

For those of you not following Instagram, the first day we received our Honey Bucket, I had a good laugh while in there. Not that I don’t always enjoy a good laugh while in the porta pot. There was a sticker on the wall to enter a Honey Bucket selfie contest. You could win a Honey Bucket or $1,000. Now, I don’t know about you but who couldn’t use their own portable toilet. But how do you split that if we would all win? Darn, I guess we would have to take the money. We didn’t forget, here is our entry. Note the driver on the seat!

So, we leave the flats and are heading north to go through Yellowstone. Please leave more comments, we do enjoy them while we are away from home. I just think at this point we need a vacation from this vacation. 

I do have a good quote for you today. As we were all discussing how the dry air is effecting us, it was mentioned that our nails are splitting, lips are cracking, etc. (sounds pleasant, I know) And then Steve chimes in, “My feet look like a nine year old Amish girls.” Most of you where I live will not need any explanation for that one so I will leave it at that!