We spent an extremely hot night in the RV park next to Albemarle Sound, North Carolina. It was cooking in the camper, and were it not for the fan that we purchased in Florida, we would have withered away during the sleepless night. There were plenty of bugs, so opening the door was not an option, so we hunkered down and dealt with it. From Waterlilly, we headed north into Elizabeth City. We found out that there was going to be a tractor pull in EC, so we decided to stay an extra day and check it out. That night, we stayed in a motel with a/c and it was quite a relief.
The photos below are what we saw.
south of our RV park on the sound, there were planted fields that
looked a lot like wheat. I never confirmed what, exactly, they
were growing, but the golden color was a great contrast to the green of
the surrounding area.
path took us by the sound and we saw this nesting pair of ospreys that
had utilized a platform that had been constructed for their benefit.
The ospreys had their beaks open for cooling -- it was hot despite
being somewhat overcast.
had lunch in a nice restaurant in Elizabeth City. The restaurant
was next to the city park and it turns out that there was a boat race
the following day. Some of the contestants were already there in
preparation for the race and they had their rigs out for public
boat had a complex hull design.
wood on this hull was in super shape. I am sure that the amount
of time and effort required to keep the wood looking good is
nice wood hull.
one is small and I am sure is very scary to operate if there is any
chop on the water at all. From the port area of Elizabeth City,
we went to a motel and got settled. From there, we headed north
to the tractor pull.
got to the "pull park" early and got a chance to walk around and see
some of the equipment before it got dark. These rigs were clean,
shiny and clearly cost a ton of money to build and maintain.
tractor turned out to be alcohol powered and dominated the
competition. Plus, the team that ran it had a large tractor
trailer rig with tools and support equipment.
second tractor run by team Galot.
were all manner of vehicles at the event. Some were real
tractors, some were pickups that had been modified for pulling.
modified tractor was quite impressive but would suffer a mechanical
failure during the competition.
rig is running 3 turbochargers, 2 feeding 1, in series and produces
about 165 pounds of boost. To get the motor "in the zone", 2
helpers stood along side the tractor spraying ether into each of the
front turbochargers until the boost got sufficiently high.
Impressive, but not easy to do.
rig was described as a Volkswagen, but the only VW present was the
sheet metal of the body.
yeah! A jet engine powered tractor. I really wanted to see
this one run, but a battery failure prevent it from competing or even
starting for that matter. Very sad.
Something a little different.
rig has an old International Harvester cab behind a big, blown V8 motor.
chrome. Note the tow line on the front. This is used to
winch the truck into trailer for transport. The wheels up front
prevent damage to the equipment up front. I am not sure what all
that stuff is, but it looks complex and tweaky.
rig had three big blown V8 motors connected through a common drive
train. The rear engine is installed pointing backwards. It
ran well and made it to the finish line which is no small feat for
something as complex as this. Starting this rig must be a real
is a photo of the large sled that is pulled during the
competition. The sleds come in several sizes, but the mechanisms
are common. Under the operator's cab is a big tray (with the
white stripes) that is on a track. The weight tray slides forward
as the sled is pulled, thus generating more drag. The sliding is
linked to the rear wheel by a gear assembly so equal pulling distance
results in equal tray displacement. At the end of a run, the tray
is all the way to the front (right) of the sled. It is retracted
by the operator via a winching mechanism that he runs from the
cab. Above, the sled is being tested with a normal farm tractor
to insure that the mechanism is working correctly. The big sled
generates something on the order of 80,000 pounds of resistance.
The sled stall this tractor during the testing.
competition finally began and most of the rigs were quite noisy.
Since the trucks were running after sundown, taking photos became quite
challenging. Notice the spray of dirt from the wheels as this rig
powers down the track.
fellow was spraying the sled and operator with big chunks of the
track. Damage to the track was repaired after each run with a set
of small tractors and a compactor.
3-engine monstrosity did well in competition. Note the twist in
the frame due to the torque of the motors.
rig blew up. Above, the driver raises the engine cowling.
Note the smoke and steam.
is this fellow smiling?? He just smoked his engine. Oh,
then I finally figured out that he is an official and it is not HIS rig.
fellow was at the extreme limit of what my flash would do. After
a bit of Lightroom work, this is the best I could achieve. Note
the huge plume of black diesel smoke coming out of the stacks.
Also note that the weight tray is at the front end of the sled --
"Southern Express" was no slouch in the smoke department. Note the position of the weight tray; the photo above was shot near the starting line.
rigs produced huge amounts of torque.
tractor was alcohol powered, thus the lack of an exhaust plume.
But, I think it did win the competition in its class.
Note that the smaller pullers used a smaller weight sled.
From Elizabeth City, NC, we headed north to Virginia Beach, VA to stay with a local mogger Jim Holmes. Jim uses his TLF 404 as part of his tree trimming business.
stayed at Jim's place and he took us out into the swamp in his
canoe. I was worried about getting my camera wet, so I did not
take it in the canoe. Above is a shot of the end of the canal
that leads into the swamp.
were plenty of dragon flies around and I managed to get a clear photo
of one. They are too fast to photograph if they are moving, so
you have to wait until one lands close enough to shoot. Look at
the eyes in the photo above. The white areas are reflections of
the sun, but the individual spots are reflections from the insect's
compound eye. Also note the hair on the body.
Jim's place, we traveled to the shore area of Virginia Beach for
lunch. From there, we headed north toward Washington, DC to meet
with fellow moggers John and Alice.
The path north required quite a bit of freeway travel and we had to pass through a tunnel to get under the bay at Norfolk, VA.
guy in a cow suit saw the mog and went ape. Or perhaps he went
and Alice raise llamas on their farm outside of DC. The coat
length of the animals varies based on time of year and sometimes they
have to be sheared, both for the animal's comfort in the heat and to
harvest the fur.
male has been partially sheared and you can see the length of the coat
if not cut. They have very nice fur.
gives some lovin' to one of the male llamas.
We had a great night at the tractor pull, it was something different for sure. We greatly appreciate the kindness and consideration that we got from Jim, John and Alice in letting us stay at their homes.
Our plan now is to
explore the DC area for a few days and then head north toward
Philadelphia to see another mogger. From there, north to Jersey
and Long Island.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2010, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.