We left our lakeside $10/day campground for a two hour drive to a large grassy field next to the Darlington NASCAR track where we are paying $20/night to dry camp for five nights - no water, electricity, or sewer service. However, this location is a fine one, because we can walk to the races, the hospitality tent, and the vendors without dealing with the traffic that will crescendo this weekend. This rally is sponsored by Escapees, an organization by and for full time RV'ers, which many of our 53 fellow ralliers are. One couple has lived on the road for the past 18 years. When we are on the road, our home post office forwards our mail to the Escapees office in Texas and they forward our mail to us whenever we are on one spot for a few days. Escapees also has economical campgrounds for its members and the ultimate campground - a retirement home for full timers who are too old to continue driving down the road. It appears that many of our neighbors here are ardent NASCAR fans - no surpirse there. The young me would have tried to hide my ignorance, but at this point I assume that folks are always glad to share their knowledge and we may feel like experts by the time we leave. Our little Escapee group is only a drop in the bucket. There are vast fields around the race track designated for various types of RV parking. For considerably more $$$ it is also possible to camp inside the oval.
To kick off the week's festivities, we attended the Taste of Darlington. Darlington is a small town and I can't imagine all the lah-di-dah foods we sampled tonight were made by local chefs as they are at Chicago's Taste, but wherever they were made, the eating was fine. Traditional southern fare such as BBQ, fried catfish, crawfish, and marinated alligator were next to herb encrusted filet mignon, sushi, and strawberries dipped in chocolate. The event was also all-you-can-drink, which was not a problem for us. When we had enough, our rig was only a few blocks walk away.