Saturday, September 22, 2012
Williamsburg Virginia - WWR 6 Yorktown Victory Museum and Banquet
While most of the people headed out to breakfast, including the one which shall not be named, we stayed back and had the continental offering courtesy of the motel. As a result, we were some of the only people to greet Bob and Linda from Pennsylvania as they dropped by on their way home from the Outer Banks.
Bob, Linda and Sandy
After people returned from the various morning feasts, we milled about for a while. Wrong Turn and KT had to head back to Fayetteville WV and we said our goodbyes until next time. A few others headed out as well.
Wrong Turn and KT leaving for home
Cheap B and Wanda observing
A bit later, we firmed up the plans for the day. Sherm wanted to go to Yorktown and Slammer had a couple of tickets for the Yorktown Victory Museum, so the four of us piled into the Avalanche (Mrs. Slammer had taken their car shopping) and headed down the Parkway. The first stop was the Coast Guard Base in Yorktown because Sherm wanted some boot polish.
On the way into the base, after going past the Yorktown battleground, we almost tangled with what looked to me to be a golden eagle. All I know is its wingspan seemed to fill the windshield as it veered away from the roadkill it was targeting at the very last moment.
The Coastie on the main gate at the base examined Sherm's credentials (retired CWO4) and pointed out that since the truck did not have a sticker, we would have to pay a visit to the Security Office to get a temporary pass. I pulled in there and followed Sherm to the window with my driver's licence and the vehicle registration and insurance papers. The ensign on duty sharply pointed out to Sherm that photos were not permitted on the base, examined my papers and gave us a large red card to put on the dash. He was all business until I asked how to get to the Exchange He told me to turn left out of the lot, keep going and I would run into it. When I told him I hoped I would not really "run into it", he cracked a smile.
The exchange was interesting. I browsed the insignia and uniforms while Sherm got the boot polish, along with a belt and some other doodads. The prices may have been a little better than outside, but not a whole lot. I was surprised to see some Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's since I thought their sale had been prohibited by the injunction Apple won.
After leaving the base, we again crossed the Yorktown Battlefield where the Colonial rebels besieged General Cornwallis in 1781, eventually forcing his surrender which led directly to recognition of United States independence in the Treaty of Paris. This is a significant place in American history and all the citizens visiting seem quite upbeat. Those of us who are still subjects of the Queen are a little more confused, but I personally am glad that the Founding Fathers were able to sustain their fight to bring liberty to our world.
Past the village, the museum appeared to be under construction. After parking, we paid our admission and, on advice of the staff, hightailed it past the colonial village and through the museum building to the military encampment in the back. We got there just in time to witness the demonstration of cannon firing. A young lady in colonial uniform recruited volunteers from the audience to go through the procedure of loading and firing the gun. Then the pros took over and actually fired it with 1/4 of the full powder charge and no ball.
After the firing, we checked out an example of what a military kitchen of the day looked like. Then we looked at some firearms. Back in the building, we watched a twenty minute movie on the siege and looked at exhibits of the people and the times. Patrick Henry and his opposition to the Constitution was highlighted in some places, showing people that the Founding Fathers were not of a single mind once the conflict was over. Reading the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers should be required of all US children and our kids could probably learn from them as well.
Sherm, Sandy and Slammer at the museum
Learning how a colonial cannon works
This soldier is charged with lighting the fuse
I hardly flinched
Our colonial mess sergeant in his kitchen
George and Sandy
Traversing the Parkway
We left the museum and went through the village on the way to the Parkway. During this short time, we passed Southern Draw twice. I'm not sure which one of us was going in circles. Back at the motel, we dropped Sandy and Slammer off and I took Sherm to a place I had seen on Richmond Road that advertised Virginia hams. This family run operation has its processing plant in Surry and I remember riding past it the other day on the Five and Dime Ride. Sherm picked out a nice aged ham in burlap and asked if it would make survive the trip to Arizona The proprietor suggested that it would still be good even if Sherm took ten years to get home.
Someone later told me a tale about how a local businessman had sent a Virginia ham to one of his Yankee associates every Christmas for years. One day, he asked how they had enjoyed the gifts. The northerner said that he didn't want to mention it before but every ham had been moldy and they had thrown them away. News I didn't know. Aged hams do get moldy but once you scrub the mold off, they are excellent to cook and eat.
The Virginia Ham Shop
After the ham expedition, I dropped Sherm off and headed for the Jiffy Lube a short way up Second Street. The place looks so little like a lube place (brick building, landscaping, trees) that I went by it the first time. They took the Avalanche right in, changed the oil, filter and air filter and had me on the road in no time.
Back at the motel, we decided we would take the truck to supper so we loaded up the clothes in the box and then loaded the bike in the disconnected trailer after setting the rear jack legs down. We weren't the only ones. The parking lot looked like a trailer convention as many wheeled steeds were being loaded for the tow home. I remember when we all rode but I also remember why Sandy and I don't any more. In fact, we are WHOREs (We Haul Our Ride Everywhere) and are (mostly) not ashamed to admit it.
With the bike and gear loaded, Sherm and Lucky Al joined us in the truck for the quick drive to Shorty's Diner. Talon had our banner hung out front and marshaled us all for a group photo before letting us go inside.
The site of our banquet
WWR Group Photo
Checking the bikes
Photo done, we headed inside where Mr. Short's two servers handed each couple/single a Kawasaki green microfiber cloth. We were lucky to get a table where Priscilla started taking the orders right away. That way, we got our food first. Priscilla and her partner were excellent, in control of everything and especially pleasant and cheerful to boot. I had an open faced burger on Texas Toast with fries and mushroom/onion gravy. I knew there would be a price to be paid later but it was good and I ate the whole thing. Sandy had pulled pork with potato salad and slaw.
It's all for us
We felt very welcome
WWR mastermind Talon
Finding our tables
And checking the menus
The Great Lakes VROC crew
The long lost Shaft and Caleb's Dad
Badger and Shellfish
Judge, Tbone, Red Rider, Trent and Bobbob
Would you buy a used oil gear from this man?
The Slammers and the Toby's
Mostly Windy City
Jasmine (good to meet you) and Dufu
Cheap B and Wanda
Yvette and Malachi
The other server
Stonewall, the wonderful Priscilla and Lucky Al
My cardiac arrest on a plate
Sandy's pulled pork and two sides
After the eating came the drawing. The ever-helpful Badger assisted Talon with the drawing of raffle tickets we had purchased and the distribution of prizes among the sixty-odd assembled folk. Many prizes were provided by Riders of Kawasaki, the corporate club. We won some small prizes and Sandy swapped Sherm for a Heidi hat that she had been coveting. I got a bright green ball cap as well. To top it off, the big prize was a Kawasaki radio controlled car valued at $269 which we scored. Among other things, Sherm won yet another ROK membership. I also had Grampa D's tickets since he had to leave this morning. He won a coozie that asked "Where the hell is Slapout Alabama?" (guess who that came from) and some of Wanda's peanut brittle. I'd like to send his winnings to him but I doubt the peanut brittle will survive the trip home. Thanks to Kawasaki and the generous VROCers and sponsors for their donations.
Stonewall looks lost as Badger and Talon start the drawing
The grand prize is ours
Grampa D's first prize
Grampa D's second prize
Slammer and his beautiful bride
When the drawing was over, we went outside and found a light rain spitting down. Everyone repaired back to the motel except Skyking, who really needed a repair after his bike backfired and wouldn't start. One of the empty trailers was taken up to bring his Kaw back and the pros spent some time tinkering with it. In the end, they found an all too common problem. The backfire when he hit the starter button and blown the carburetor boot loose, causing a mixture to the cylinders that was too lean to fire. Before long, they had it fixed and roaring like a tiger.
I spent some time talking to Moosquatch, Malachi and Stonewall about all things politic. I think that if they were to put us in charge, we could solve the problems of the world Since they won't, after a lively discussion, I headed off to bed.
Last year, Talon had asked me if people would come to Virginia in September for a Wandering Rally. Not only did they come, he outdid himself in finding a great site and hosting an excellent rally. Thank you for the hospitality, James. The gathering was a great success and we won't forget it.