Stock Car Stadium

Last night we arrived pretty late and stayed in the tried and true Wal-mart. Or tried to. This one had several signs up saying no overnight parking, and as soon as we rolled in, a car with police-type lights made his presence known. It seems that the Wal-marts in Florida may have had a bit of an issue in the past with people abusing the ability to stay overnight. You’re not supposed to roll out your awning, set out your lawn chairs and stay a week. But with campsites in the area charging $60 dollars a night (with no electricity), I can understand why some might prefer staying in a free parking lot.

Since it was already 12:30am and we were both exhausted, we decided to risk it and stayed. We left around 5:30am so as not to overstay our welcome. Though the Wal-mart is open 24 hours so who’s to say we weren’t shopping all that time? In principal, this is a reasonable plan. In practice however, it’s pretty hard to sleep when every noise you hear keeps you thinking someone is going to come kick you out.  Needless to say our nights sleep was not very restful.

On the plus side, the weather here has been great today.  While the temperature in Savannah is 40F (4C) while we’re getting a nice 70F (21C). It’s crazy what a couple hours of driving south can do.

To enjoy the sunshine we went to visit the Daytona International Speedway –
home of “The Great American Race”.

The tour itself was ok – they pretty much just drive you around in a shuttle type thing. Being Canadian though, we probably don’t quite have the same appreciation for NASCAR racing as many Americans do. Nevertheless the track is practically an institution, and you can’t overlook the skill it must take to get through those banked turns with 42 other cars around you.  In person, those banks are massive, stretching over 4 stories high – I just wish they would let you get out and actually walk on them.

We saw the place empty but in a single day this track can have as many as 450 000 visitors. On any given race day, they say it is possible for Daytona Beach to have the largest population of any city in Florida.

Along with a lap around the track, we got to check out the garages, the 500 Club and Victory Lane.

After we checked out the track we went to the “World’s most famous beach” – Daytona Beach, and got our first glimpse of the ocean.  The last time we saw the Atlantic Ocean was back in Nova Scotia at Peggy’s cove. It was only slightly warmer this time around.

Today’s track – Visited Daytona Beach area today and headed inland to reduce costs
Tomorrow’s plan – Not sure yet…