All posts by Gordon Dumas

Kentucky Meetup (Caves)

The Nomadica October Meetup is almost over and I’m just barely getting time to write about it now. We’ve all been so busy between field trips and football games that blogging has kinda taken the backseat.dc-001

Here’s an overview of the place we’re staying: Diamond Caverns RV Park, right across the street from Diamond Caverns (the cave). We went to the cave the first week we were here and heard ghost stories from the employees, who say they are mysteriously locked in the building and often hear things in the cave.img_3348

We talked to the ranger at the RV park and he told us how to get to a secret cave, where three mummified bodies were found almost two hundred years ago. The story is that the man who owned the land had a guano mining operation going on in the cave and one of his slaves found a mummified baby. The slaves were scared and threw the baby into the woods so they wouldn’t have to look at it. When they told their boss, he said to get him if they found anything else. They did. When he arrived he was looking at two more mummies, a man and a woman. He took them to the city and sold them to a museum. Both are in museums or exhibitions to this day. (That’s the story, anyway.)img_3358

We made a trip through the woods to explore the cave, which has an opening on each end and is not enormous in size. Its ceiling is about a hundred feet from the ground, and it’s about three hundred yards long. It has a stage in the middle because they used to have concerts for the campers. There are lights on the walls, made to shine down on the stage, which are now, of course, defunct. There are ledges to walk along on both sides of the cave, letting you get a good view of the cavern below. We would go to the cave and climb up to the ledges and just explore. We brought speakers and listened to Hotline Bling on repeat. It was our little spot.img_3276

Naturally, we decided to go on Halloween night, and at about 10:15 pm we started the hike. When we arrived we lit sparklers and walked in like explorers, holding our small torches. When they ran out, someone decided to light some candles that were sitting near the stage. We let them burn while we looked around with our flashlights, and when it was time to go we blew them all out but one. I don’t know why but that one just stayed in the cave, glowing faintly in the dark. It’s disputed what happened after that. We all just stood outside the cave looking at the candle. Some will tell you it moved. Some say nothing happened. Lots of us think there’s something spooky about that cave.img_3275

I’ll let you decide for yourself, but don’t just pass this off as a Halloween special, cause you know I like to report on FACTS. In the meantime, I have to go. I think I heard something coming from that closet…

Four Reasons Corvettes Aren’t Just for Old Guys

You know the stereotype: a sixty five year-old retiree driving through Palm Beach in his brand new Corvette. Now that his kids are gone he can finally spend the money on his long-time dream car. There’s no denying that old guys love Corvettes, but are they really the only people who appreciate them? I think not. The new Chevy sports car is of such quality, beauty, and speed that it really makes you consider purchasing one. I’m going to give you four reasons the Corvette isn’t just for old guys.

 

Track time

track

As you may know, last year, at Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap, Chevy’s Corvette made it around Virginia International Raceway in 2:44.6 that’s 2.9 seconds faster than the Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4’s time of 2:47.5. The Corvette also won Road and Track’s performance car of the year, made it onto Car and Driver’s 10 Best list, and, among many other awards and accolades, won Autoweek’s Best of the Best New Car Honor. Performance-wise, this is no longer your dad’s sports car.

 

Power, pure power

vette rear

This car is a beast. With 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, you can go from 0-60 in 2.95 seconds. The raw power holds your back to the seat and urges you to press the pedal down just a little further, until you reach the top speed of 205 mph. You can hit the drag strip and do a quarter mile in 10.95 seconds; that’s half second faster than a Ferrari 458! And for a third of the price, too. The Z06 package comes with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, and a variety of downforce-alicious aero bundles to choose from, including that dark-tinted transparent spoiler that looks so cool.

 

Features

interior blu

The same stereotype that says only old guys drive ‘Vettes also says they can’t use computers. Whether or not that’s true isn’t the point right now, but the 8-inch My-Link touchscreen is. It can record track data, analyze lap times, take video of your ride, show your record top speeds, 0-60 times, quarter miles, and more. You can get real-time data overlays with the Cosworth toolbox program and save your data and video with an SD card reader in the glovebox. That’s not all, though: Bluetooth, premium Bose audio, Sirius XM, and Apple Car Play make this a killer entertainment system. You can remotely unlock and start the car with your iPhone and stream music all day with built-in 4G WiFi from Sprint. That’s a lot of tech for an old guy car.

 

Classic

63 fastback

The Corvette has been around since the early fifties and has become a part of our American heritage. I’m talking baseball games, apple pie, Coca Cola, and Corvettes. There’s something special about a car that’s been around since ‘52 and will likely be made by Chevy for the rest of time. This car is as much of a legend as a Mustang, as beloved as the FIA Cobra, and as powerful as a Boeing 747. Okay, that might have been a slight exaggeration, but the point is, it’s a classic and the perfect car for anyone.

After Prince’s song Little Red Corvette came out, Chevy put up a billboard featuring a ‘63 fastback. The Beach Boys, LL Cool J, George Jones, Sir Mix Alot, and Jan and Dean have all written songs about ‘Vettes. That’s because  It’s a classic, a competitor, a winner, the subject of many songs, and a ride for the generations. And, as Chevy’s billboard put it: They don’t write songs about Volvos.

 

(Images licensed for non-commercial reuse)

Five Reasons to Buy a Cayman GT4

Porsche’s mid-engined sports coupe, the Cayman, has been dominating the entry-level sports car world ever since it hit the showroom floor in 1996, but now a new iteration of Cayman arises. Behold the GT4! With a 24-valve, flat-six engine straight out of the 911, this is the car to have, and I’m going to tell you five reasons why:

GT4It’s rare

This is an uncommon car. Only about 2,500 will have been made by the end of 2016, and only half of those will go to the U.S. market. Compare that to the 428,606 Toyota Camrys sold in 2015 alone. Just the fact that you’ll be driving something so rare is enough to make you drop by a dealership today.

It’s an investment

Because there aren’t many GT4s out there and this is quite possibly Porsche’s last manual-only sports car, the car is expected to go up in value over the next 20-30 years. That means you can justify the purchase of this fine automobile easily. Call it an investment.

It’s a good value

A great reason to own this car is the price. At a base of $85,595 it’s not cheap, but it’s also not unreasonable, considering a 911 starts at $89,400. You can option it with metallic paint, leather seats, sports chronometer package, and an extended fuel tank for $89,300. That’s $100 less than a base 911. That’s value.

GT4(2)It’s fast

Has there ever been a Porsche not made for performance? This track-happy little sports car gets from 0-60 in just 4.1 seconds. It has 385 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, rocketing this car to a top track speed of 183 mph. If you like to go fast, this is the car for you.

It’s fun

Which brings me to my last comment about this exquisite vehicle: the fun of it.Track days, racing guys at stoplights, drifting around corners, escaping the cops, and simply getting seen are the real reasons to buy this car.

The Cayman GT4 not only turns heads and is ranked as the number one sports coupe by Car and Driver magazine, but it will, I guarantee, make the garage your favorite room in the house

GT4 interior

 

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(All photos licensed for reuse via Google)

Five Reasons to Follow Us on Instagram

TurtleTells has been a blog since April 2013 and has had an Instagram since March of the same year. We’ve been posting square pieces of fun for three years, and if you don’t follow us already, I think you should. Here are five reasons why:

One

Inside peeks of little adventures before they end up on the blog, like this trip to Lake Powell last summer.

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Two

Bad puns. Really bad puns.

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Three

Great commentary.

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Four

More puns. More really bad puns.

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Five.

Family photos. Awwww😍

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If you want to follow us you can click HERE

Un Viaje a México

Hola, amigos! Today I’ll tell you the story of a short trip to Mexico that resulted in a gallon of horchata, a tamarind popscicle, and some very cheap dental work. One of the previous is not true, and I’m sure you’ll figure out which by the end of this post. So the story begins.

We were driving aimlessly through the desert of California in the RV with an end goal of making it to Phoenix, Arizona. We decided to park for the night in the RV lot of an Indian casino very close to the Mexican border. We got to talking to some of our neighbors at the RV lot, and they said you could get in and out of this part of Mexico with just your birth certificate and driver’s license, so naturally we decided to check it out the next day.IMG_1130

After waking up and preparing for our escapade, we drove down to the border and parked the car along with all the Canadians who come down here to escape getting freezer burn. To get into Mexico you literally just walk through a turnstile and, BOOM, you have entered the land of cheap dentistry. (This is the part of the story where you find out which one of the three results of our trip to Mexico listed above is not true. ) We walked past the dental shops, determined to venture deeper into the town.IMG_1129

Just for the record, Mexico is exactly like it is in the movies. Exactly. People are always standing on the sidewalks beckoning you into their shops and restaurants. There’s always a couple guys who shout,  “Hey you with the excellent hair, check out this tamarind Popsicle. It’s delicious and I can tell you want it. Tell you what, I’ll sell you two of them for a buck fifty ’cause I can tell you’re hungry for something sweet!.” The Popsicle was pretty much just sugary so it wasn’t incredible, But the horchata (a spiced, sweet, milk drink) was so good. SOOO much better than the stuff you get in the states. Eventually, we felt that we had explored enough and we made our way back to the exit door.FullSizeRender (11)

To get out ,we just walked through some more turnstiles and showed a Border Patrol officer our birth certificates, and BOOM, we were back in the states, headed to our RV and then to Phoenix, Arizona.

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument in on a peninsula just west of San Diego, jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, toward Mexico’s Coronado Islands.

The place was discovered by explorer and conquistador Juan Rodrigez Cabrillo. When he was young, he worked as a conquistador for Hernan Cortez. He became a ship builder and built the San Salvador, which he captained throughout the Pacific. He was sailing this ship when he discovered the San Diego bay for the crown of Spain.IMG_1054

The road into Cabrillo National Monument goes through a naval base and down a windy road to the tide pools. From there you can go up to the famous statue of Juan or up to the Point Loma lighthouse.

The tidepools, should you choose to visit them, are in a cove of sorts. When the tide goes out it leaves all kinds of weird squishy sea creatures stranded in holes in the ground, unprotected from stomping six year olds. You can read my sister’s in-depth post about it here.IMG_1072

If you pass the tidepools and go up the hill, you will find a lighthouse and a trail to the old World War Two bunkers. Back in the early 40’s, this place was a huge-deal military base. We needed to protect this chunk of land where anyone with a boat could come attack our beautiful city of San Diego. In fact, they put  guns on the peninsula in response to a Japanese submarine hit on Santa Barbara.

if you go in the lighthouse, you will see the rooms of the lighthouse keeper and his family, who lived on this peninsula long before living on peninsulas was cool. The kids had to row five miles across the bay to school. This lighthouse, unlike the others we’ve visited, was actually open, and you could climb to the top floor without going on a tour. I got this  picture of the Fresnel lens:IMG_1078

In all, it’s a pretty cool place, full of history and sea creatures, but be prepared to have a hard time finding a parking spot.

The Movie Cars

As you can tell by my last post, I really like cars. A lot. So when I heard that some of the Fast and Furious cars were on display at the Gold Strike Casino in Jean, Nevada, I was thrilled.

Obviously, Fast and Furious is my favorite movie series. (The seventh is my favorite, but the second one is really close behind.) So we went to the casino on the way out of Nevada. It was magnificent.

They had cars from Fast Five to Furious 7, including Tej’s Jeep, Dom’s Camaro, and Bryan’s Challenger. They also had the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine and the Batmobile. The casino itself is pretty far out of town and honestly not quite as exciting as any of the casinos on the Strip, but it was definitely worth the stop, and I would recommend it as a must-see for any car or movie lover.

(You can click on any picture below to enlarge it)

Shelby American and The Auto Collections

Las Vegas is home to many iconic things like slot machines, David Copperfield, and losing a bunch of money, but did you know that Vegas is home to something even better?

The Shelby American headquarters, where they make the Cobra and Super Snake Mustangs, lives right off Las Vegas Boulevard.

The headquarters is a huge building where, not only do they make the cars, but they have a major collection of everything from the original car that Carroll Shelby built himself, to the GT500 Super Snake that sits at the top of Ford’s Mustang lineup today. They had a couple 1965 Daytona coupes and a 1963 Cobra LeMans, built to compete against the Ferrari roadsters of the day.

This was definitely a huge highlight for me, being a Mustang guy myself. It was so much fun I almost didn’t want to leave, but leaving kinda panned out because next up on the to do list was the Auto Collections at the Linq casino. (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them)

The Linq is a slightly smaller casino, but very high end and, for lack of a more lavish word, fancy. It claims to be the home of the world’s largest classic automobile showroom. Almost all of the cars were for sale, including a 1972 Lamborghini Espada, a 1971 Bradley GT coupe, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 Roadster, and a 1955 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud that is one of two in existence being sold for $1,950,000. But the coolest part is, we saw its twin at the Biltmore Mansion in North Carolina!

They also had cars that were too priceless to sell and were being stored away, safe from rock-chips and fender benders. These cars are beautiful, rare, stunning, and are worth such a ridiculous sum that if you owned them you wouldn’t want them anywhere but a climate controlled auto collection, either. These beautiful pieces of history include the cars of John F. Kennedy, Johnny Carson, and Marilyn Monroe. Other cars that are not for sale include:

A 1994 Jaguar XJ 220, a 2002 Rolls Royce, pre-production Phantom prototype, a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC prototype, and, you guessed it, MORE! Almost all of these cars cost as much as a comfortably sized house and are in better condition than most cars that have never left the dealership. Its was pretty amazing. So next time you’re shopping for a birthday present for that special blogger in your life, make sure to check out The Auto Collections.