Archive for October, 2009


October 8, 2009

I’m leaving on Saturday for a week-long horseback riding vacation at the Epona Equestrian Center in Seville, Spain with my mother so I figured it’d be best if I updated now with all the craziness that has been going on over the past few weeks… 😉

As many of you know, Atlanta got hit with some pretty severe flooding not too long ago. We were fortunate in that our house was spared, although the creek behind us that is normally only 1-2 inches high rose to over 5 feet and swamped our backyard. The barn I ride at, Huntcliff, wasn’t so lucky. They’re located on a peninsula right in the middle of the Chattahoochee River which came up over the 100-year flood plain mark and swallowed the barn whole – covered the roof and everything. The horses were evacuated and transported to a nearby barn for temporary housing where they will stay until things are back to normal. While the main structures at Huntcliff are still standing, there was tremendous damage that will need to be repaired and all the feed/equipment/machinery/etc. was lost. I’m so upset by the devastation and although it’ll be quite a tremendous task for them to rebuild, I’m confident Huntcliff will come back better and stronger than ever before.

On a more positive note, Erik and I have been going to a lot of concerts lately! We saw Depeche Mode not too long ago, went to The Sounds with some friends, saw U2/Muse the other night (the spontaneous rendition of Stand By Me, accompanied by the 75,000+ fans at the Georgia Dome, was spectacular) and will be heading up to see Social Distortion (one of my favorite bands ever!) in Athens when I get back from Spain.

We did manage to go see the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs the other weekend which was pretty cool. I saw the making of it on Discovery a while back and had wanted to go ever since. I can’t really describe it, but it was all life-sized and incredibly detailed to the point where even though it was real life it seemed almost like CGI. Incredible.

This past weekend we went to the 2009 Bosch Octoberfest at VIRginia International Raceway since DGTrials was asked to host the gymkhana and VW Challenge on the skidpad. The event itself was great; we had a very complex course for the regular gymkhana that people had a blast driving (and getting lost) on. The VW course was simplified as this was open to any attendee who registered in advance and wanted to drive a track-provided 2009 VW GTI. I was working the timing equipment and registrations, as usual, and met a lot of really great people and had a blast.

Early in the day on Saturday, a team came over to us from the Grand Am race that was also going on that weekend. They had wrecked their Porsche Boxster and rather than fix it enough to continue racing, they decided to play with it on our course instead. Cool! The car was dope and they were an absolute blast to hang out with. At one point they decided to run their golf cart on the gymkhana course and got that bad boy up on two wheels. I LOLed.

Sunday I got to do a ride-along on the road course with a pro driver in a simulated race. Shockingly enough I’d never actually been out on a road course before, and I loved every second of it. I need to get my car track-ready again… There was also a GTR hanging out in the paddocks that the owner let me crawl into and play around with. Yay!

Speaking of GTRs… one of the participants at our gymkhana had an absolutely gorgeous, showroom-new quality 1989 Nissan Skyline GTR. The cool thing about it was that he was letting anyone drive it so long as they had the balls to ask him. His reasoning was that the car is too much fun not to enjoy and share. Amazing huh? I didn’t drive at all the whole weekend because I was so busy running the event, but at the end of the day on Sunday he walked over to me and stuck the key in my hand. I looked at him with this confused look on my face and he just pointed at the car and said “go, you’re driving it”. Me? really? In an R32 Skyline? No way! Long story short, I wound up driving it around for a while (although I was too worried about breaking it somehow, haha, to really push it) and couldn’t stop smiling. I’d never ever driven right-hand drive before but found it surprisingly easy. It doesn’t feel weird to sit on the “wrong” side of the car because you’re focused and concentrating on driving it so that you don’t even notice. I was even more surprised to find that I didn’t try to shift with my right hand, not even once! Go me! I need to get one of these babies for myself…

I drove a RHD 1989 Nissan Skyline GTR!! 😀