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Alaskan Couple will Chronicle Month-Long Road Trip to Food Lion AutoFair
Fred Keller and Judy Foster will pull out of their driveway in Wasilla, Alaska, today and drive 5,000 miles to attend the April 7-10 Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The couple plans to maintain a video blog on the speedway's website as they tow their adult-size, street-legal Radio Flyer wagon across five Canadian provinces and nine U.S. states.
The nostalgic roadster is making its debut on the national show car circuit during the four-day event. It will share the AutoFair's Showcase Garage with other attractions, including an assortment of "Beauties and Beasts" from American automakers, high-riding "skyscraper" sedans that roll on 30-inch custom wheels, a Legends of Drag Racing display and a collection of electric and hybrid cars.
The first blog entry shows Keller and Foster loading their unusual cargo into the enclosed tandem-axle trailer Keller finished building just in time for the trip. The sturdy Alaskans appear undaunted by the 22-degree temperature, 45-mph wind gusts and snow that has covered the ground since Halloween. Carpet squares are shoved under the Radio Flyer's rear tires to give it traction on the ice.
Their route starts with five to seven days of travel through western and central Canada, during which time video postings might be delayed as high-speed wireless networks become harder to find. After re-entering the United States through North Dakota, the rig points toward Foster's hometown of Mulvane, Kan., where the Radio Flyer spent its first lifetime as a 1976 Mazda B1600 pickup. From there, with half a country still to cover, the couple will head east for Charlotte, N.C.
At an average of 15 miles per gallon, the couple's Dodge motorhome will drink 327 gallons of low-octane gasoline, which averages around $3.50 along their international route. Pump prices will be highest in remote Canada, where they currently are $4.50 or more per gallon.
"We've been looking forward to this trip since the speedway first contacted us," Foster said. "After loading the wagon in blowing snow and sub-zero wind chill, we're holding them to their promise of 70-degree weather."
Like the experienced recreational pilots they are, Keller and Foster have carefully mapped out the road trip, but they intend to be spontaneous about the stops they will share with internet viewers. Their Alaskan husky sled dog, named Spirit, will make several appearances in the blog.
Food Lion AutoFair
Hours for the April 7-10 Food Lion AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Ticket prices are $10 per day for adults or $25 for a four-day pass; children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5. For more information on the four-day event, contact the speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.