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I made her a promise when she was just a baby that we would participate in the Hot August Nights Cruise in Sparks, Nevada when she came of age. She was twenty years old. The time had come.

She had made the 2800-mile trip 6 times in her busy life but they (you know…the proverbial “They” clan?) said she would never make the trip again. Others said, “Maybe she’ll make it. Just keep her fluids high and your eye on the gauges.” Some laughed. “You’re gonna drive?”

Sure, she’d seen better days but I had always made sure she had regular check-ups.  I even gave her a custom paint job. A daunting warrior princess on a powerful unicorn guarded the hood, and just two years ago the Hubby got her a brand new rag top.   

Over the past year she had developed a worrisome, though occasional, clunking noise around her right rear end. (Don’t we all?). We simply could not find the source of the noise. We scheduled her for an extra-long stay at her favorite car clinic and the caring mechanics search for it. They loved her and wanted to make sure she stayed in top notch condition.

Nope, couldn’t find the source. Nothing was loose. Nothing was rusted or leaking. While she was there she also got a thorough inspection for the trip.

Her car doc, Larry, went over her with a fine tooth comb and he gave her a clean bill of health. Still with the clunk but nothing was loose and several mechanics in the shop had their turn trying to find it.  Dr. Larry even padded up some areas that might rub in certain positions and cause the distinctive noise but nope, no change. “Have a safe trip to Sparks”, he said.

Where is Sparks, NV? Well, it has been said that “Reno is so close to hell you could see Sparks”, so there it sits within eye-shot of downtown Reno. Sparks is elevated to about 4500 feet in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, overlooking Reno. Yep, sparks fly upwards. Sparks is also about 2800 miles west from where we start this journey.

So on July 21, 2015 we loaded up in my 1995 Chrysler LeBaron LX and headed for Sparks, NV.


Westward, HO!

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