Arlington International, Arlington Heights, IL, Jun 30 & Jul 4

Distance: 286.8 miles
Drive time: 4.75 hrs
Construction zones: 8
Authority vehicles spotted: 4
Dead deer: 1
Times lost: 0 (I would certainly hope!)

Home at last!

What a treat to finally relax at the track and visit the horses on the quiet backside, knowing there's only an hour to my own bed, over familiar and slow village streets, as opposed to watching interstate North America whiz into view at relativistic speeds through a bug streaked windshield and disappear just as quickly in a vibrating rear view mirror.

Admission: free, thanks to the IL owner's card. AP was even very understanding and let McChump #2 get in free on his Arizona owner's card. Man these things are a good investment - pay a mere $1500/mo in training costs for a horse, and get into the track free.

Parking: free. Program: $1.75. Beers: $2.50. Hamburger: $3.00. (picnic area prices). Graded stakes on the card on July 4: 1. Graded stakes won on July 4 by the big favorite, Awad: 0.

Not too much to relate about AP that hasn't been related before, but we did get some cheap entertainment, in the form of "the official voice of Arlington", who *still* doesn't know that it was a perilous fight, not flight, and in the form of a broken water main that created a small flood in the picnic area that scattered the blanket-on-the-ground crowd and was only wrestled under control when no less than 5 suited AP executives came out to supervise the turning off the water process, and in the form of the petting zoo, which retains its strange fascination for McChump #2, even though the baby camel isn't there this year, and in the form of a grumpy old drunk with an evil looking cane who plopped himself down at our table and proceeded to inhale popcorn in large handfuls and otherwise entertain us until AP security stopped by and invited this gentleman to take a walk with them - where to, I'm not just sure, but a couple of hours later he was spotted walking down the middle of one of the lanes of Northwest Highway just outside of AP, obstructing traffic in a most impressive manner.

Total miles for the big Summer '97 McChump Tour, including side trips: 5927.

Hey! Let's do it again next week!