2011 -- IndyCar Dream Summer.

We are planning on spending the summer following IndyCar racing around the country.  On the way we are planning on visiting several state capitals and the state museums. We owe this passion to Phil and his tour around the Michigan State Museum. 

We are planning on seeing the following races:

March 27    -- Honda Grand Prix in St Petersburg, FL --- Winner Dario Franchitti
April 10     -- Honda Grand Prix of Alabama in Birmingham, AL ---
Winner Will Power
May 29      -- Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, IN ---
Winner Dan Weldon
June 19      -- The Milwaukee 225 in West Allis, WI ---
Winner Dario Franchitti
June 25      -- Iowa Corn Indy 250, Newton, IA ---
Winner Marco Andretti
August 7     -- Honda Indy 200 in Lexington, OH ---
Winner Scott Dixon
August 14    -- New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loundon, NH ---

                                                                                                    Winner Ryan Hunter-Reay
Sept 4        -- Baltimore Grand Prix, Baltimore, MD  ---
Winner Will Power
October 2     -- Kentucky Indy 300, Sparta, KY --
Winner Ed Carpenter


Oct 2011

We spent a couple of days at Holiday Park Campground outside Greensboro, MD, a lovely family-owned and wooded facility.  We spent a day in Dover, DE where we enjoyed an excellent tour of the Old State House by Curt, complete in 18th century clothing.  We learned Delaware has only 3 counties, the original 3 that separated from Pennsylvania.  The Old State House sits on the Green and is surrounded by historic buildings.  After lunch at The Smithers we took the historic walking tour, led by Rosemary, also in period clothing, who explained Dover history and gave us insightful information about the buildings and the important people associated with them.  Afterwards we walked across Legislative Mall to Legislative Hall, the current State Capitol.  It is a large building from outside but the legislative chambers are not really big or ornate as some we’ve visited.  From Dover we drove to Chesapeake City, MD where we saw the Delaware-Chesapeake Canal, built to connect the Delaware and Chesapeake Rivers for large vessel travel.  We visited the Army Corp of Engineers Museum, then went into the office where we met two engineers who were more than happy to tell us about the canal and their work there.  They also gave us a dinner recommendation, The Bayard, right on the canal.  We had a delicious meal on the patio, enjoying the pleasure boats on the canal.

Chesapeak Deleware CanalChesapeak Deleware CanalDeleware House Floor from the Gallery

View of the Senate from the GalleryDeleware House of Representatives FloorDeleware Senate FloorHistoric Dover Guide Rosemary with Bob

Historic DoverThe Dover Century ClubJohn Brown House

Artifacts in the John Brown HouseDover GreenT W SmithersRidgely House in Dover

Old Statehouse in DoverOld Statehouse in Dover -- Kathy and Curt (our guide)Old State house in Dover, note the free standing staircase. Holiday Park CG

Next stop, Richmond, VA, where we visited the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson.  It was completed renovated in 2004-2007 and houses America’s oldest legislative assembly.  We did a self-guided tour, armed with excellent information from a couple of delightful volunteers, one of whom told us about Queen Elizabeth’s 2007 visit.  We enjoyed lunch at the Tobacco Company Restaurant housed in an old warehouse an easy walk from the capitol.  This four-story, breath-taking restaurant embodies the spirit of Southern hospitality and charm.  The food and atmosphere were excellent.  After lunch we toured the White House of the Confederacy then drove down Monument Avenue, where we saw monuments to Arthur Ashe, Matthey Fontaine Maury, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart.  We drove past St. John’s Church, where Patrick Henry gave his “give me liberty or give me death” speech. 

Our Rig at the Amicamp Best Travel Park outside of Richmond, VASt John's Church in RichmondWhite House of the ConfederacySt John's Church

Tacbacco Co restaurant in Richmond

Virginia's Governor's MansionSenate Chamber in the Old Virginia Capitol

House Chamber in the Old Virginia CapitolRobert E LeeBob with George WashingtonOld Capitol RotundaHouse Chamber in Old Capitol

Virginia State CapitolInsert VA Pix

We spent two weeks in Columbia, TN, visiting son Mike & family.  Bob was able to help Mike with their house and Kathy enjoyed taking each of the grandchildren shopping.  They are each so unique and such fun to spend time with.  Grandson Patrick spent an afternoon with us and Bob’s family in McMinnville, meeting relatives he’d never met.

We thoroughly enjoyed our last Indy Car race of the season at the Kentucky Speedway near Sparta, KY.  We spent a day in Frankfort, where we visited the State Capitol, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.  The rotunda ceiling is lit with LED lights that change colors and is very pretty.  There are four pendentive murals that were installed on the dome interior for the centennial celebration.  Originally the murals were to have been painted when the capitol was built but the artist went down with the Titanic!  An interesting bit of Kentucky history!

It was quite cool for the Kentucky 300 weekend but we had a wonderful time.  Thanks again to Panther Racing for the exceptional season we’ve enjoyed.  Also thanks to Foyt Racing for credentials for this particular race.  We enjoyed spending time in the garage and pits as well as an absolutely fabulous race with so many position changes and a dramatic duel for the last 25 laps.  Our congratulations and best wishes to Ed Carpenter and Sarah Fisher Racing for winning the race by a nose!  It  was the first IndyCar win for both Ed as the driver and Sarah as the car owner. It couldn't have happened to nicer people.

Bob with the Truck at the Kentucky SpeedwayAt Kentucky the auto leveler raised the wheels on one side clear off the pavement. Rig at Kentucky

Kentucky Speedway garage -- Bob in background in White JacketBob talking to Joe in Panther GarageFoyt GarageCurt Cavin with Tony KannanRyan Huner-Reay

Castroneves duing QualsEd Carpenter after QualifyingBuddy RiceWill Power in the Pits

HelioEd Carpenter talking to Pancho CarterMike Pochenas talking to Wade CunninghamJR was the provisioinal pole for a while!JRJR during Qualifying

Wade CunninghamVitor MeiraVitor MeiraScott DixonEd Carpenter

Simona de SilvestroWill PowerBob in the Panther PitDixon in the pitsJR going out for practiceChip Ganassi in the pits

Pit RowTK in the pitsPanther team working on the dampners

Working on JR's car in the pits

Buddy Rice CarEd Carpenter's car

Buddy Rice with hatJames JakesNatinoal Guard Car in the garage areaThe Foyt #14 car driven by Vitor MeiraAlex Lloyd

Ana BietrizBob and Mike

Mike and Tony KannanJoe on the Panther CrewBob in the Panther PitHappy JR

JR in his carAnna working on JR's carFranchitti Car at KYBob with pace carBob with Dario's display car

Getting tires ready for practiceSaavadra HelmetBob with Pippa MannRace cars arriving at the Kentucky Track

Kentucky infield before the raceBefore the racePanther Pit before the race

Lining up the cars for the startStart of the race

JR running 2ndAna's car after the wreck25 lap dual between Ed and DarioRacing at 216 at the end of the race

Carpenter Wins!!Carpenter's crew after the race!!Tony George after the raceSarah Fisher smiling after her first win as a car owner!!

What a fabulous end to our dream summer!  We have driven 14,262 miles through 20 states (some more than once!), visited 18 state capitols, 3 presidential libraries and attended 9 Indy Car races, including the Inaugural Baltimore race and the return to Milwaukee and New Hampshire.  This truly has been a dream summer for us.  We are back in Indiana for the month of October, visiting friends and family before heading to Texas for the winter.

While here in Indiana, we spent a day in Indianapolis, our own state capital.  We enjoyed a self-guided tour of the State Capitol, built of Indiana limestone and completed in 1888.  It is a beautiful building, the interior including Maine granite, eastern United States marble, and Indiana white oak, walnut and maple.  The rotunda is topped by a stained glass dome, original to the building.  Some of the fourth floor chandeliers are also original.  We met some great staff who shared some “behind the scenes” information.  From the capitol, we walked a few blocks to the U.S. Court House, as suggested by our friend Jan.  Unfortunately we had to place our camera in a locker, so we don’t have pictures to post of the beautiful glass mosaic tile ceilings, grand staircases, and stained glass dome.  We were able to spend a few minutes in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, where a hearing was underway.  It was interesting to listen to the discussion while enjoying the beautiful courtroom.  The building originally also housed the post office, and evidence of that era remains.  It was a wonderful way to complete our state capitol tours.

Left to right from front: Emma, Kathy, Marianne, Ruthie Back row. Rick, Colin, Ross, BobShelby at her soccer gameShelby at the soccer game

Indiana State House RotundaIndiana StatehouseIndiana Senate Chambers

Indiana Supreme CourtBob

Telephone BoothMonument Circle in Indianapolis

Indiana Capitol BuildingIMPD mounted police

It was with great sadness we watched the Las Vegas Championship race. What was to be the climax to a great season quickly became a sad ending.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dan Wheldon family as well as the entire Indy Car community.

September 2011

We rode out Hurricane Irene just south of Utica, NY at Lake Chalet Campground & Motel.  The campground sustained tree damage from the winds and rain but we survived unscathed.  We found a farm within walking distance with delicious fresh corn, an added bonus.

We spent 2 days at Cedar Lake Campground in Dover, PA about 30 miles from Harrisburg.  We spent an afternoon visiting the Pennsylvania State Capitol, a beautiful building opened in 1906 after fire destroyed the original capitol building. While admiring barrister bookcases in the House Speaker’s office, we met Betsy who showed us around the office, then introduced us to Kelly & Collette, also employees of the Speaker of the House.  Kelly gave us a wonderful book about the United States Capitols and we spent about an hour visiting with them.

We arrived at Cherry Hill RV Park just outside Washington, DC on September 1st.  We’d stayed here with granddaughter Shelby four years ago and felt it was a good choice while attending the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix Indy Car race.  We were able to drive to a satellite parking lot and take a shuttle to the race course where we enjoyed re-connecting with the Panther Racing team and meeting so many people who were excited to have an Indy Car race in Baltimore.  We were also able to re-connect with Jerimy Daniel and Max with the Star Mazda TRC team and watch Jerimy race on Sunday.  The course was in downtown Baltimore, so we enjoyed seeing the Inner Harbor and Oriole Stadium as well as the local food and hospitality.  Although the race was not without its glitches, it was a great race and we hope to be able to attend again.  We spent Labor Day with Bob’s cousin Suzan, her husband Chris, and their grandson Jonathan who introduced us to delicious tapas dining at Jaleo and showed us some of the beautiful homes and areas of DC.  We spent a rainy day in Annapolis, MD where we visited the US Naval Academy in time to see the Noon Formation at Bancroft Hall.  We toured the State Capitol there, once the US Capitol and the oldest state house still in continuous legislative use.  We saw the spot where George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army December 23, 1783.  Even in the rain we enjoyed walking through town and visiting a few quaint shops.

Panther Racing Garage

Jerimy Daniel waiting for his raceto start.Worn racing tire

Bob with Panther spotter Pancho Carter

Bob & SimonaKathy & Jerimy Daniel

Bob & Larry Foyt

We are back to our former reputation of it always raining when we go camping, thanks to Hurricane Irene and now Tropical Storm Lee!  It has rained non-stop since September 7.  Our summer of visiting state capitals would not be complete without a visit to the nation’s capital so we spent a day in Washington, the first DRY day in a week!  Thanks to suggestions from Bob’s cousin Suzan, we visited the International Spy Museum which was very interesting (and a little scary!) and enjoyed lunch at the Spy Café.  We visited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, a very impressive memorial to fallen officers, where we found the name of Mike’s friend Will Phillips and a friend of Bob’s dad’s from Vandalia, OH.  We toured the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum which provides for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history, and is dedicated to helping leaders and citizens of the world confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.  We spent time at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall, which is beautifully done with many fountains and an abundance of water.  From here we had beautiful views of the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument with the US Capitol in the background.  It was a great day!

WWII MemorialBob at the WWII Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background

Entrance to the Holocaust MuseumUS CapitolLaw Enforcement Memorial

Maryland Statehouse Dome under repair.

Chapel at the Navel AcademyField House at the USNAChapel at the USNA

USNAUSNABob with the Ship's Bell from the USS Enterprise

Noon formation at the USNANoon Formation at the USNAChris, Suzan & BobAnthony, Suzan & Chris


August is almost over. We are continuing our stay on Cape Cod. We enjoyed a beautiful day on Martha’s Vineyard, taking the ferry from Falmouth across Vineyard Sound.  We took a bus tour of the island, seeing driveways of the rich & famous, enjoying a stop at Gay Bluffs, the eastern tip of the island and enjoying the beautiful scenery.  We saw a couple of security details for President Obama but no First Family sightings.  We strolled the shops in Oak Bluffs before taking the return ferry to Falmouth.

Our final destination on Cape Cod was Provincetown, the eastern-most town on the Cape.  It has beautiful scenery along the Cape Cod National Seashore, and is more of an artistic, touristy area.  The highlight of our day (and probably the week!) was an afternoon aboard the Dolphin VII, one of the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown whale-watching boats.  We saw a few Minke whales and several Humpback; they were absolutely awesome. We had a close view of a couple of Humpbacks doing a flipper slap. Unbelievable!! Each Dolphin Fleet vessel has an experienced naturalist on board who provides great information during the trip and is able to identify many of the dolphins seen. We closed out the cruise with a 5 minute view of a Humpback named Sundog doing a flipper slap. I cannotg describe how great it was. See the video hereAfterwards we had dinner at Pepe’s Wharf Restaurant, right on Cape Cod Bay.  The food was delicious and the view fabulous; the perfect ending to a perfect week!

Tomorrow we are heading inland about 250 miles with the hopes of missing the worst of Hurricane Irene.  This is creating a slight change in plans so we will explore central Vermont rather than the New England coast.  Ok, after checking out the weather report on Irene we decided to go to Utica NY rather than Vermont. We are glad we did as Irene just went right through Vermont. However, she also went about 75 miles west of where we expected so we got hit pretty hard in Utica. We were fortunate to have survived with no damage. Now it on to Baltimore for the race!

We had a great time at Mid Ohio. It's a real shame that JR Hildebrand had such poor luck getting hit by Viso when JR had a really good car. However Scott Dixon had a great car and drove a great race!  We were able to hook up with friend & former neighbor, Bill, his buddy Beck & nephew Michael while there and saw some great racing.  It was interesting staying at the speedway campground and being able to walk or catch a shuttle to everything.

Scott Dixon in PracticeJR Hildebrand during qualifyingJustin Wilson car

JR Hildebrand

Bob with Ana BeatrizBob with Ed CarpenterBob with Mario Andretti

Next stop, Albany, NY, where we spent a day exploring the state’s capital.  The capitol and state museum sit at opposite ends of the Empire State Plaza, a lovely area.  We happened to visit the day the local farmer’s market was on the plaza which was interesting.  The Capitol took 32 years to build at a final cost of $25 million dollars.  The Great Western Staircase, also known as the Million Dollar Staircase, took 14 years to construct and cost more than one million dollars.  The staircase is breath-taking and has a very different appearance from each level. 

From Albany we had a pretty but tiresome drive to Loudon, NH and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway where we helped welcome Indy Car racing back to NH.  We again stayed at the speedway campground where we had great neighbors, Chuck, Stephanie & family from northern Maine and Bruce & Cindy from New Hampshire.  We enjoyed visiting with all as well as our friends at Panther Racing.  The speedway is a great place to view racing as you can see around the entire track, slightly more than 1 mile.  The race itself had several mishaps and yellow lights and JR Hildebrand was hit again, ending another good run for Panther.  You can see a video of the practice session from the Panther Pit here.

We drove the short distance to Chichester, NH and Great Meadows Campground where we stayed while visiting the state capital of Concord and nearby Portsmouth.  The State House is the only state capitol whose legislature still sits in its original chambers--no small feat, since the 424-member New Hampshire General Court is the largest state legislative body, and the third largest legislature among English-speaking peoples.  While there we met Dennis Fields, a member of the House who took us onto the floor of both the House & Senate and gave us some interesting history.  While in Concord, we also visited the Museum of NH History and the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.  We spent a day in Portsmouth, NH where we enjoyed Strawberry Banke, a living history museum in one of New Hampshire’s oldest waterfront neighborhoods.  Afterwards, we walked to Kittery, Maine for a delicious lobster dinner, and then walked the quaint streets of Portsmouth.

JR Hildebrand

Roger PenskeSebastian SaavedraEJ Viso

Panther Racing GarageBob with Graham Rahal

Ana Beatriz

We are currently at Peters Pond RV Resort on Cape Cod, MA.  We are within walking distance of the resort beach and have a lovely shaded site.  We spent an afternoon driving on scenic Highway 6A through quaint little villages, enjoyed lunch at the Blue Dolphin, and wandered through Orleans.  We spent a day at Plymouth, first at Plimoth Plantation, a 1627 living history museum, where we spoke with Wampanoag descents and English role-players.  We visited the Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction built in Devon, England and crossed the Atlantic in 1957.  We also saw Plymouth Rock and strolled through some of the little shops.  We hope to spend a day at Provincetown and a day on Martha’s Vineyard.

Picture 1



 We are currently in Dayton, OH visiting Bob's Aunt Lorraine and visiting some friends. Bob was able to contact former High School Classmate Kay Hall to see if we could get together. Kay contacted several people from our class who still live in the Dayton area. We had a nice get together with about 12 people. We went to the Dayton Air Show Saturday. It was spectacular! We spent the next day at the Air Force Museum in Fairborn, OH. We have been to many Air Shows and Aircraft Museums in our travels, but these are by far the best! We have posted some of our pictures. It was the 2nd time we had seen a B-2 in flight. Looks like a spacecraft!

 Next we are headed to Columbus to see the capital and then off to Mid Ohio.

Butler 65 Get together at TFI Friday's in Huber Heights. Butler 65 Mini Reunion

Replica of the 1909 Wright Military Flyer Replica of the 1909 Wright Military Flyer Army Golden Knights

B-2 Bomber in Flight Bob at the Air Force Museum along with the Stawberry Bitch B-24. This plane has been at the Air Force Museum since I was a little kid. Bob with the F117

  B-70 Valkurie Stephinie, Aunt Lorraine, Jackie and Bob

We spent a week in Columbus, where we spent a day at the Ohio State Fair and an afternoon at the Ohio Statehouse.  Having grown up in Ohio, Bob had never visited either.  The weather was perfect for the fair and we enjoyed the exhibits, including a 200 pound chocolate pig and a lumberjack show.  The state capitol was completed in 1861 after 22 years of construction, and was restored to its original grandeur in 1996.  It is considered one of America’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture.  Our tour guide was a retired first grade teacher and was excellent!

We are looking forward to “going racing” again, and are headed to the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio this weekend.


After the Iowa Race we headed to West Branch, IA to go to the Presidential Library of Herbert Hoover.  It is a lovely area where we visited Hoover’s Birthplace Cottage, the Blacksmith Shop owned by Hoover’s father, the one-room schoolhouse and the Quaker Meetinghouse.  The museum was built in 1960 and covers not only Hoover’s life but bits of the lives of other presidents from Roosevelt to George HW Bush. We really found that we knew very little about Hoover other than he was president when the Great Depression first hit. We Learned about his childhood, how he was orphaned and went to live with his uncle in Oregon. He became a very successful mining engineer with a worldwide reputation.

Herbert Hoover Historic Site Birthplace of Herbert Hoover Cottage where Hoover was born. Hoover's father's blacksmith shop.

Herbert Hoover School House Hoover Schoolhouse Hoover Schoolhouse

Quaker Meeting house -- Hoover attended Quaker Meeting House Bob in the Meeting House  Hoover Museum 

Quote in the Herbert Hoover Museum Herbert Hoover Museum Rig at the Hoover Museum

We spent a few days in Springfield, IL at the Double J Campground just south of town.  We enjoyed the modern Lincoln Presidential Museum which is very well done, with exhibits depicting various periods of Lincoln’s life and presidency.  We had lunch at The Feed Store on the Old Capitol Plaza, a quaint little deli with delicious soups and sandwiches.  We toured the Springfield State Capitol which was designed by the same architect as the Des Moines State Capitol which we visited the week before.  We drove to the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, a very solemn, impressive monument.

Bob witht the Lincoln family Lincoln National Museum Lincoln Museum Lincoln Museum

Lincoln Museum Lincoln boyhood home in the Lincoln Museum Lincoln Presidential Museum

Old State Capitol The Feed Store Deli & Bob The Feed Store Deli Illinois State Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Illinois House of Representatives Illinois Senate

Illinois State Capitol Dome Capitol Rotunda Illinois Supreme Court Lincoln Herndon Law Office Marker

Lincoln Herndon Law Office Abe, Mary & Tad Bob at the Lincoln Tomb

After that we went to Champaign, IL and met our granddaughter (Along with her Mom Amanda and Aunt Penny) to pick her up and take her on a trip to South Dakota. Our first stop was in De Smet, SD . This is the clildhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote the Little House on the Prarie books. Abby has read one of the books and enjoyed seeing the way she had lived. We then went to Rapid City where we had to get our driver's license renewed. We then went to Mt Rushmore. This was a great thrill for Abby as we had previously taken her dad and brother to see the famous mountain. You can see more of Abby's Awsome Adventure here

June -- Iowa Corn 250 Update:

From Milwaukee we went to Des Moines Iowa to see the state capital and attend the Iowa 250 Race in Newton. The weather was not very good. We arrived in Iowa on Monday and it has rained every day except Friday. But we were able to dodge the showers enough to get some reorganizing done on the new camper and to see the Capital of Iowa as well as the Iowa State Museum. Both were impressive. The Capital is one of the most beautiful we have seen.

We spent the weekend at the Iowa Speedway and can't say enough about the hospitality of the Panther Racing Team. Joe and Doug have both gone out of their way to answer our silly questions and to enhance our racing experience. To add to that, JR and the Panther Team ran a very good race to finish 4th. That is JR's best finish so far as an IndyCar rookie. He is a leading contender for Rookie of the Year for the Series. He is an impressive driver and an impressive young man. Here are some pics from this week.  We were able to watch the Indy Lites race from the top of the Panther Transporter. What fun!

Iowa State Capital View of the inside of the Capital Dome Great Quote inside the Capital

State Capital building Inlaid Table from the Iowa Historical Museum Bristol and Power talking on top of the Penske Transporter Panther Racing/National Guard Garage Panther Racing Pit

Bob with Driver James Hinchcliffe Will Power in his garage Helio Castroneves recording a commericial for Verizon

Iowa Pole Sitter Tacuma Sato Panther Garage Bob headed to the top of the Panther Transporter to watch the Indy Lites Race Top of the Panther transporter Will Power after hitting the wall

Milwaukee 225 Update:

This was a very good race, unfortunatly our drivers had problems in the 4th turn. But it was a good win for Dario with a lot of very good racing all over the track. Now it's on to Iowa for next weeks race.

We were most fortunate to have passes from JR Hildebrand of Panther Racing for this race. We also were able to reconnect with Jerimy Daniel and Max of TRC racing in the Star Mazda series. They were kind enough to let us sit out the rain in Birmingham in their garage area and remembered us from that. Nice Folks  --  Go Jerimy!

I'm really excited to report that I was able to ride 3 laps in the IndyCar 2 seater! You can see a picture below of me with the driver after the run. I had to remind myself that it was fairly safe, but WOW!!! How exciting. What a Father's Day present from my dear wife!

It's been a bit of a struggle for Panther Racing with some technical problems cutting down on their practice time, but JR has done a great  job this year of staying out of trouble and moving up in the standings. I look for a top 10 finish here in Milwaukee. I have a couple of pictures from the track and you can see some of our other racing pictures here.

Sarah Fisher Racing Panther Racing Star Mazda Driver - Jerimy Daniel USAC Silver Crown Car Dario Franchitti's car

Simona de Silvestro's car Helio Castroneves car Justin Wilson car Helio in his car

 AJ Foyt at practice Practice Tony Kanaan JR Hildebrand in car JR Hildebrand in car Ryan Hunter-Reay

Ana Beatrix Panther Racing Scott Dixon Kathy with Tony Kanaan Panther Racing Garage after qualifying

May Update:

We  went to the Indy 500 for the 30th consecutive year. What a race! We went with Brigette, Brandon  and their two beautiful daughters, as well as our good friends Jan and Steve.  In a tradition started by Brigette's dad we get a pass each year for parking on 10th street and with it get a special route to the speedway. After a tailgate breakfast, Steve and I went into the track and into the garage area before the race. It was a great thrill for both of us to be able to spend time with the Panther crew and driver before the race. It was interesting to walk thru the garage and see how the different teams prepared for the  race. This was about 30 minutes before they took the cars out to the track.

The race was very exciting! Lots of passing, and a very exciting (disappointing) end to the race! A shout out to the Panther Crew for a job well done!

Steve with the Panther Car before the race! Panther Car in the Garage before the race. Panther Garage with Tire Changer Joe in background

Borg Warner Trophy  Cars in front of us - Marco, Ryan and Danica

Jim Nabors singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" 1911 winning car - The Marmon Wasp driven by 2 time winner Parnelli Jones The Green Flag starting the 2011 Indianapoliis 500!!!.

We spent the last two weeks of April at Campers RV Park in Columbia, TN while visiting son Mike & family.  We enjoyed spending time with them, having a “date night” with each of our four precious grandchildren, and spending some time in Nashville, Tennessee’s state capital.  Included here are some pictures from last summer’s visit to the State Capitol as well as pictures of our time with family this spring.

We arrived “Back Home in Indiana” April 30, which was an adventure in itself!  We saw quite a bit of flooding on our way north and managed to get our truck (with 5th wheel attached) stuck at S&H Campground in Greenfield.  With the help of several campers we were able to get unstuck and into our campsite, our home for the next 6 weeks.  We also had a tire separate before we arrived, causing damage to the door side of the 5th wheel.  Just another “Adventure of Bob & Kathy”!

We have enjoyed spending time with family and friends, and returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".  We spent opening day at the track where we visited our friends at Panther Racing and enjoyed watching cars on the track for the first time this May.  It has been cool and rainy much of the month but we’re hopeful for qualifications this weekend and a great race Memorial Day weekend.  We are so excited that 4-time Indy 500 winner A. J. Foyt is driving this year’s pace car for the 100th anniversary of the race! For the 6th straight year Bob has worked in the garage area with the Safety Patrol and when not working he has spent much of his time at the track. Below you will find some of the pictures of our family and of the track. Enjoy!

  Tennessee State Seal Mike's Birdhousees Grandpa and Shelby on date night Tenessee State Capitol Grace at Homestead Manor Tennessee Governor Reception Area

Abby on Date Night Grandkids on Easter Easter Easter

Patrick on Easter Grandkids on Easter Family at the Grand Ole Opry Grand Ole Opry House Indianapolis Zoo Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo Indianapolis Zoo Meercat  Indianapolis Zoo Marabou Stork Indianapolis Zoo Indianapolis Zoo Ringtail Emur

S & H Campground Site Racedriver - Buddy Rice Kathy with JR Hildebrand -- Driver #4 Racedriver-- Takuma Sato  Bob with Race Fans Race Driver - Helio Castroneves

Mike Conway -- Race Driver  IndyCar Driver James Hinchcliff IndyCar Driver Dan Weldon  Bob with AJ Foyt Bob with AJ Foyt

Bob with the Pace Car  Panther Racing Panther Racing Panther Racing Prototype of the 2012 Car 2012 Prototype car -- Road Courses

IndyCar Driver Tony Kanaan IndyCar Driver Tony Kanaan  IndyCar Driver Tony Kanaan Pagoda Vintage Race Car

National Guard IndyCar Driver Alex Lloyd IndyCar Driver James Hinchcliff Panther Racing Front Straight at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway IndyCar Driver - Pippa Mann

Bob with Pippa Mann Panther Racing Mike and Roshonda

We spent March 25-27 in St. Petersburg, enjoying the Honda Grand Prix, our first street course Indy car race.  We had paddock passes, so we were able to wander through the garage areas, and get great pictures of various drivers.  We talked with Bob’s friend Joe with Panther Racing, whose big sponsor is National Guard, an organization close to our hearts.  We also met and talked with Christopher, the team trainer; it was interesting to learn about his role with the team.  He is also involved with the Green Castle, IN National Guard.  Kathy is definitely now a Panther Racing/National Guard fan.  Driver JR Hildebrand did very well, moving from 25th starting position to finishing 10th.  Our seats for the race were in the first turn, where we saw a lot of action as well as being able to see the start/finish line.  It was a great race and an excellent start to our IRL summer!

 St Petersburg Track with harbor in background Jumbotron Picture of the Panther Team JR Hildenbrand in the Panther National Guard car # 82 Tony Kannan entering turn 10Kathy with Tony Kannan's car in the Garage

 Mike Conway Danica Patrick  Charlie Kimball in run off areaAna Beatriz

 Bob with Joe in the Panther garage Vitor Miera car -- Foyt Racing Tony Kannan's car in garageEJ Viso's wrecked car coming into the garage.

 3 cars running together on the track Joe working on the Panther car with Bob in background. Bob at the track Bob on race dayBob with Helio's car

 Kannan & Wilson during the race. Kathy on race dayBob with Dario's car after the race.

We will be leaving our winter home at Oak Haven Mobile Home &  RV Park and will begin our journey north.  We plan to visit state capitals in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, as well as the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in Birmingham.  We will spend a couple of weeks visiting son Mike & family before returning to Indiana early May.

We traveled from Oak Haven to Tallahassee, FL and visited the Florida State Museum and the Florida State Museum. This was most interesting, Florida has grown very fast in the last 50 years and is now the 5th most populous state in the union. We also went to Quincy and Havana, FL. Quincy has many old large southern houses to admire and Havana is full of interesting shops. This little side trip was recommended by our friend Penny.

 Lunch at the Mignolia Cafe in Havana, FL Bob in Hanana, FL Civil War Flag in the Florida State MuseumOur rig in the Tallahassee RV park

  Tin Can Campers -- early tourests in Florida traveled in homemade campers. Interesting note about Navel StoresTin Can Campers

 Old State Capitol Old State Capitol Old State CapitolGovernors Office in the Old State Capitol

We had a good time but discovered that we were getting some tire wear on the camper. We were unable to find a dealer who would look at the suspension on the camper so we headed for Atlanta where  we stayed at the Stone Mountain Park Campground. We found a Route 66 RV dealer who fixed our camper and we proceeded to spend a couple of interesting days in Atlanta. Among other things we did a VIP tour of CNN, A tour of the World of Coca-Cola, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Center, the Olympic Centennial Park and the Martin Luther King memorial. Did a lot of walking, saw some really neat things and got to ride the MARTA train into the city and back. All in all a good couple of days....but a bit expensive with the camper repairs.

Kathy at the Jimmy Carter Preidenial Center Our site at the Stone Mountain Park Campground

 Martin Luther King MemorialCarter Center President Carter's Oval Office

Reagan, Ford, Carter, & Nixon in a rare single photo Carter Center Atlanta from the Carter Center Chess game during the Camp David negotiations

Tomb of Martin Luther King and Coretta King Kathy at CNN Olympic Centennial Park World of Coke - demo bottleing line

Kathy at the World of Coke Speed Limit at Stone Mountain Park Bob with Stone Mountain in background

On Friday April 8th we moved from Atlanta to Birmingham and parked at the Carson Village Mobile Home and RV park.  After parking our rig we drove to the Birmingham Raceway for the free parking before taking the shuttle to the Barber Motorsports Park. This is a great place to watch a road race. We were able to find good seats for all the action and our Paddock passes allowed us to see up close and personal the teams prepare for the race. Our favorite team (Panther) was there and JR Hildebrand qualified 15th out  of 26, much better than the race at St Pete. We were able to visit with the team and get some pictures in their garage.  Hildebrand ran a good race after a rough start, he finished 13th. The team seems to be improving with each race. Keep it up guys! We sat upon a hill between the 2nd and 3rd turns so we could see the start of the race and the exit from the pits. We got some good pictures of the action and met some of the nicest, friendliest people of any track we have been to. After a good nite's sleep it was off to Montgomery to see the state capitol.

  Panther Racing -- National Guard car Helio's car -- different paintjob Charlie Kimball # 83 Dixon Practice runPractice run

Vitor Miera --- Foyt Racing Simona De Silvestro  Panther Racing