Hard-core America (or: when there's nothing else to do on a Saturday night)
Lorraine and I arrived today at Kelly's Countryside RV park in Callahan, FL. What the advertisements don't tell you is that when they say "Countryside"... they mean "far from civilization"! On the road, we've found that you don't measure things in miles, but how close you are to a Walmart. Well, the closest Walmart is over yonder in Yulee about 20 miles away. But the rates were reasonable and the people have been nice.
Once we unhitched and hooked up the electric, water and sewer line (which we are getting much better at), we went on a hunt to find a pub/restaurant that might be broadcasting the Eagles game tomorrow night (8:30pm kickoff). We decided to check out the small, crossroads town of Hillard (pop 2,701) but found that nothing stays open there beyond 9:00pm (except some of the baptist churches which don't let out until 10pm some Sunday's). So we turned around and headed south toward the small town of Callahan.
As we cruised down the 301, we passed the Callahan Fairgrounds.
From the road we weren't sure what was going on, but we saw lights, pick ups and people. Feeling adventurous, we rolled up our windows, locked the doors and made a u-turn. Not hearing any banjos.. we pulled in.
What we thought might be a rodeo turned out to be midget car (go karts) races at the Callahan Speedway.
Now, this is no boxwood derby. These cars can reach speeds of 45 mph and can cost thousands of dollars. The drivers are grouped by age and weight. The youngin's shown above are as young as 8 yrs old!
I have to say, although I would probably not visit again, it was an enlightening and educational experience. There was a family vibe to this event. Race car teams are usually made up of family members with everybody pitching in. And each individual "team" is usually related to somebody on the next team.
We talked with the father of one racer who said he used to midget race, his father raced for 40 yrs and now he's getting his son involved
("as long as his grades stay up"). Everybody was VERY friendly and eager to talk about racing.
We chatted with the mother of one racer who turned out to be the only female racer (8th grader) who participated that evening. She had won her race against six other boys. She explained that her daughter had arrived late to the track because she was pitcher for her softball team and had struck out six batters in a row earlier this afternoon!
We had a very enjoyable time and felt as though we experienced "hard core America". These are humble, hard-working, grease under their fingernails, my daddy grew up with your daddy, folks.
Here are some other pictures I took this evening: