Thursday, May 23, 2013

IMS - Day # 17 - Traffic Control - 12th Day - Community

We have entered the 4th turn of our race, and are heading down the home stretch to the finish line.  We're doing good physically and mentally, but are grateful we are about done with our "race".  

Wednesday is the traditional "Community Day" here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On this day IMS allows local charities to come in and collect ticket revenue at the gates.  There were a number of activities going on, including the chance to drive your car on the track for $25.  As you can imagine, there were a lot of takers.  The traffic was not super heavy, but kept us busy all day long.

The weather put somewhat of a damper on the day as the rain came and went.  Most of the storms seem to come from the southwest, and being stationed at Gate # 2 on the south end of the track gives us a front row seat to approaching weather, so we have time to prepare for the rain, and/or lightning as it approaches.  We were in and out of our rain gear all day long, and we had our jackets on a lot......the temperatures have cooled back into the 60's where they will remain through Race Day.  Our co-workers tell us that last year the temperatures were in the 90's and 100's, so we are happy to have the rain and cooler weather this year.  I can't imagine standing on the line in triple digit temperatures......it's tough enough in the high 80's!


I snapped this picture of the "Pagoda" around 5:45 am on our way down to Gate # 2.  It came out a little blurry.  Here are a couple of file pictures that may do it more justice.  It is quite beautiful when lit up at night.




Since we did not need any ticket sellers Wednesday we only had traffic control personnel scheduled, but there were only four of us on duty, so we ran 30 minute shifts of two on the line all day long.  30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.

Around 4:50 pm we we saw a large storm cell approaching, and it looked ugly......the clouds were stacking up thousands of feet into the sky.  We were advised via two way radio that they were expecting high winds and were starting to evacuate the facility.  We had left our awning up, and suddenly I'm seeing visions of a destroyed awning.  I went to our supervisor and asked permission to leave immediately to go to the coach and put the awning in.  It happened that another supervisor had just come up on a golf cart and he offered to wisk me up to Gate # 10.  We were there in 5 minutes and I was sprinting across the grass field as the torrential rain began to fall, the wind was just starting to pick up.  I quickly stowed the awning.....probably took 2 minutes, and I was drenched!

Thankfully the high winds never materialized.  TLE arrived home a little after 6 just as my wet clothes were finished drying.  Nothing like a little excitement to bring your day to a close.

TLE made Chicken Alfredo for dinner and it was scrumptious!  We watched "So You Think You Can Dance" while we ate, and were in bed a little after 9 pm.

Four days to go, and these will be the busiest days culminating in Race Day when 400,000 people will jam into the IMS for a few hours.

Thanks for stopping by!

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