Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Visiting Bowling Green

We had cool and rainy weather for a couple of days so we planned indoor things. We had reservations for an afternoon tour of the GM Corvette plant and had to wear closed toe shoes, could not bring any cameras, cell phones or any type of bag on the tour.

There was a good sized group waiting but they called Group 1 and all but five of us got up and left. So 10 minutes later, the five of us in Group 2 got a very personal tour. I didn't realize there are four (I think) models of the Corvette that range in base price from $71,000 to $135,000. That's a lot of money for fiberglass!

There are so many things that mean different things on the models. There are different engines, colored tail lights (for cars going to a foreign port), spoilers, insignias, wheels, tires, calipers, flare and non-flare wheel wells, all meaning something in identifying the model and various options. They have to be careful on these distinguishing features because the $135,000 owners want to be sure people know they aren't driving a $71,000 model!

We followed the one mile line watching the cars being assembled. Our guide would point out different models and then tell us what distinguishing characteristic denoted this. When we got to the end where the car is started for the first time and driven to the test room, the guide asked me if I wanted to start the car! I pulled up the seat so I could step on the brake and pushed the starter. And it started right up! I had to test the defroster button and saw the 0 miles displayed in the dash. I rode it on the line until the end. They took my picture and gave me a certificate saying I had assisted at the birth of a Corvette.

It then went to the test room where it must pass 800 tests. Of course, since it was MY car, it passed. (They have a 99% pass rate so I really wasn't surprised.) Then they drove it outside and I thought maybe I could pick it up on my way out. No such luck, they weren't giving out any free samples.

We bought a shirt as a Christmas present for Ted's friend in Tennessee who has a Corvette. That made shopping for him easy this year. We stopped for a late lunch/early dinner and came home to more rain. The new season for shows is starting so TV is good at night.

Wednesday we drove to the park that houses Lost Cave, hiking trails and a butterfly garden. We had a good walk to the cave opening and passed what they call a "blue hole." It has a water exit and entrance but is deep enough to hold water all the time.

We rode a small boat back into the cave and saw how smooth things were from the constant water and flooding.

The neatest part was the Cave Nightclub that was first used back in the '30s when there was no A/C. Today proms and dances are still held here.

We followed the Ridge Top Trail to the butterfly house. I took a few pictures but none as outstanding as the one I took last year in the valley that I'm entering in the photo contest at the HitchHiker rally. Wish me luck.

We followed the Blue Hole Trail back to the parking lot and I told Ted there was a Dairy Barn on the same road we were on. An ice cream instead of lunch sounded good so we set out to find it. We were out in the country when we arrived at Chaney's Dairy Barn complete with a corn maze. We ordered an ice cream cone and looked around. I found milk in GLASS bottles and I haven't seen that since Moby Dick was a minnow!

In the parking lot was a motorized manure spreader carrying a moonshine still. A commercial was going to be made with actors impersonating the Beverly Hillbillies riding on the spreader. The fellow that made the spreader was there and talked to us while they got cameras set up.

The next day we went to the Corvette Museum.

They had Corvettes galore and I found the personal history of the individual cars most interesting. I also learned that the original insignia featured an American flag and checkered flag and was on the 1953 Corvette taken to the New York auto show. But GM Legal determined the use of the flag was illegal and it was replaced with the current Chevrolet bowtie and French fleur-de-leis, still in use today.

This mural was stamp sized photos of owners and their Corvettes. Amazing when you looked at it up close.

After a sandwich at the Corvette Cafe we fueled up for tomorrow, bought a few groceries at Wal-Mart then came home to do laundry.

Tomorrow we head to Nashville which is only about an hour away.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Sounds like lots of fun - I used to have a Corvette - 1970 White. I guess everyone has owned one at one time or another! Just a little piece of Americana. Have fun and travel safe.