This is the final installment of Mental’s adventures in the BABE Rally in 2011. By now their van has been traded for beer. They are looking for a ride to New Orleans and still have to find a way home.
Just outside of Talladega Alabama, the wheels I borrowed from my shop mate have become props for the evening parking lot games. My wife and I manage to secure rides, but in separate cars. That’s probably safer for me anyhow.
She will ride with “The Scots.” They are exactly what you think; two Scottish friends and a sister that have spent their last two vacations coming to America just for this event.
I hitch with “The Ginger Kids.” They are also exactly what you think, a young, fair-skinned, scarlet-headed trio. The BABE rally prior, the driver’s car had broken down in front of the house of a young girl. The ensuring conversation resulted in a yearlong romance and this year she accompanied him and his friend for the rally. You can’t make this stuff up.
Both crews were blissfully uncompetitive, quite hung-over and elected to drive straight through to the Big Easy along the freeway. But it’s still a blast. My wife is entertained by stories from the land of the north in Sean Connery accents.
Food fight on I-20 at 70? Don’t mind if I do. Two hours into this leg and I almost glad the van died. Texting my wife, she is having a blast as well. Both teams came on this event to have fun.
40 miles west of Birmingham a Jaguar XK rolls on our bumper, cuts off the Gingers as well as Team Jemken in their truck (Do not Google that term at work, or mention it to teenagers). We see his NY plates as the tool speeds away. Damm Yankees.
20 miles across the Mississippi border, we see 2 K9 State Police Tahoes on the side of the road. They have pulled over the XK, the trunk is up and several boxes are on the ground beside the car. The driver is handcuffed and sitting in the grass
We get to the hotel, check in, clean up and head downstairs for the awards banquet. Winners are crowned and beer is consumed. We get an honorable mention as the first team in the history of the event not to start, not to finish and the only team that ever our vehicle for beer.
After the awards, we hit The Quarter. The Scotts don kilts. We run across various competitors; share drinks and stories. I do a horrible job of riding a mechanical bull. I make the big Scott do it as well. There are too many vodka slushies, beer and a trip to Scores. A wedding procession marches down Bourbon Street through horse poop, the wife gets it on video.
The next day my wife arranged the purchase the Luftwaffe Mercury Capri, aka The Crappy. The owner Jim, has bought a Canadian spec Jetta with AC for much nicer drive back to New Jersey. The borrowed tires are strapped to the rear deck; we hit the Café Dumonde and point the Capri home for what should be an easy drive.
Two exhausting days later, the Crappy limped into my driveway in Edmond Oklahoma, but that is another story…
If this kind of adventure holds interest for you, head over to Asphault Adventures on Facebook , round up some buddies or a very patient spouse with a similar decision making disorder and start car shopping. Even through the BABE Rally has left our shores, it’s spiritual successor, the Saints to Sinners run from St Louis to Las Vegas is coming in the summer of 2014.
In the meantime. Thanks for reading. Here’s wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season.