Layd Out at the Park 2011 – Morristown, TN
Just so you know, Layd Out at the Park is by far one of my, if not THE, best show of the year. Every year since 2006 (except 2008), Jeffrey Dillard has put on the show to bring minitruckers together. For many, this is the first show of the year after a long, cold winter slaving away on their mini truck in the garage. Like the past few years, it was at Cherokee State Park in Morristown, TN from April 8-10. The park is the perfect size for the show and I love the location. The weather cooperated for the most part, with just a bit of rain Saturday night back at the hotel. I still have nightmares from the freezing cold temperatures of 2007.
I decided to roll my bodydropped Sonoma all the way down there. The truck was roadworthy last July just in time for Camp and Drag and I drove it there and back and just had one issue, a blown fuse. So just like I always do, I had a few issues to fix on this truck for this show and wait til the last couple days to really deal with them. Mainly the alternator! But I was in bed by 11:45pm on Thursday and the truck was packed and ready to go. There were still a few bugs with the V8 swap, my brake lights decided to go out that morning, and I have small tires “protecting” my billets. Fortunately, I made the long drive there and back with no major issues! Just a stuck thermostat and a weak battery were the worst of my problems. I was very surprised I didn’t bend a wheel with the Dayton and Cincinnati roads!
Once we passed the worst roads, I was rolling low, windows down, and the Comp Cams Thumpr cam & Thrush mufflers were providing music to our ears. We all met up at the first rest stop in Kentucky to roll down as a group. Of course I drive slow, especially since I’m paranoid about massive potholes sneaking up on me, so everyone passes me. Well not even an hour later, I caught a glimpse of a line of trucks on an exit ramp. I didn’t have time to hit the exit bought called one of the guys up.
“HE HIT A DEER!!” The guy in the lead (Lesh with a bodied orange/black Zu) hit a deer in hit tow pig and the result was crushed core support and leaking radiator & hose. They were already out to buy replacement parts to get them back on the road so we just kept on truckin since we cruise slow.
About halfway there, we were starved. My dad and I bashed on some amazing Mexican food at a place called El Cazador. What’s crazy is my girlfriend and I love our local Mexican restaurant also named that, and we eat there at least weekly. After demolishing the loads of food, we had to get some of that hot sauce to go. Those middle-of-nowhere-Kentucky workers know how to make some damn good food!
The ride down there was perfect besides not having brake lights, although I was turning my head/tail light switch on and off to resemble brake lights. The people in front of me were probably wondering why I was flashing my headlights at them at every stop light. But once we were an hour or two away, a couple of Severed Ties guys flagged us down. A blue frontier blew a front bag and I just happened to have a couple of spares with me. We seen them later at the show and the bag worked out perfect. Always glad to help out when I can!
Even closer, maybe about 20 minutes from the show, we stopped at the top of Clinch Mountain (the highest elevation of our trip) to get some breathtaking views. I wish I could walk out my backyard and see that scenery everyday. Then it was down the massive hill (which my high-temp V8 loved) and on our way to the show. We pulled into the show around 2pm and got a couple shirts early so they wouldn’t be sold out. If you’ve ever been to Layd Out, you know those small, medium, and large Drop Em Wear show shirts sell out faster than the hotel rooms. There wasn’t much going on at the show, so we headed back to the hotel as the rest of the guys were unloading their rides off the trailer. It was time for a beer for sure!
As always, we seem to be the source of entertainment for the rest of the hotel, and this year was no different. The music was up, the beer was flowing, and the random past minitruck stories were being told. Not to mention, a few new memories are always being made at every show we go to. “We just want to know if they are salamis or pepperonis!?!?!”
After a long night, most of us are wide awake and ready to head to the show. This is when my thermostat stuck and the overheating began. Once that was fixed and we got some lunch in us, we were on our way to the show. Well, we stopped for sunscreen and Pedialyte. Sunscreen is a seasonal item at the local Kmart, and even though there were 90 degree temps outside, they had none. I have the sunburn to prove! And ya, my dad is sold on the Pedialyte as a hangover remedy. I think it worked pretty damn good. But I think Gatorade is a better tasting alternative.
At the show, it wasn’t hard to find the rest of the Aftermath crew. I just looked for my buddy Tayfur’s bodied F150. That blue paint is so bright, I’m pretty sure you need SPF-200 to be around it. Once I laid my truck out, I was ready to take a ton of photos. With the long drive down there, no sunscreen, and drinking/staying up all night, it was hard to walk the whole park a few times that day. But the quality that is at this show every year makes it worth it. Everywhere I looked there were cover trucks, trucks that I’ve been following the builds on, and jaw-dropping ones that I’ve never seen before.
I also met up with Eric Saliba from The Little Shop of Horrors. I’ve briefly talked to him at a couple shows in the past but this is the first face to face meeting since I’ve done some website work for him. He’s always been a cool down-to-earth guy that builds some of the sickest rides around. Some of the people who get his type of celebrity status (he’s in all the magazines, on TV, etc…) tend to let their ego go to their head. Not him! The truck I’ve been dying to see was the silver S10 with the red interior that was at SEMA last year. If you remember the burnt up black spike truck, this is it’s rebirth. It’s truly a work of art. They even had Nick Crouch from Surface DVD design a new shirt called Blaze & Glory that was printed by Brandt and Shelly over at Graphic Disorder. Here’s a link to their swag page if you want to buy one. Seriously, you need to check it out. I’ve got mine on right now!
After hours and hours of photo taking, and a $23 lunch tab at one of the food stands, it was time to head back to the hotel to relax. But not before I got a bite to eat at a local restaurant called Justin’s. The food was decent, but the waiter was super annoying. I’d say he asked if we needed anything once every 3-4 minutes. If we said no, he just stood there confused. Awkward. There was also a big storm coming in. For us, it only turned out to be an hour long shower with some insane lightning. The rest of the night included more beer, new friends, 4am Waffle House (damn jukebox didn’t work & they were out of Texas Cheesesteak… weak), and sleeping on my truck’s bench seat as I was locked out of the room. I swear, I end up sleeping in my truck a couple times a year.
Sunday was another late start for me. Everyone left and headed home as they wanted to get a head start in case anything happened. We got some food and headed to the show for an hour or so. A lot of people had already headed home as well, but there was still a good showing, mainly waiting for the bikini contest and awards. On our way out, of course my truck dies in the cruising lane. So after a few minutes of finger crossing, we were on our way. It was another long drive home, but totally worth the trip. I can’t wait to do it again next year. Hey, my truck may even be painted by then. Haha.
If you’ve never been to this show, you are for sure missing out. Check out the show’s website for more information and stay tuned for info for the 2012 show. I’d like to thank my dad for riding down with me, my girlfriend for putting up with me, my neighbors for tolerating the loud garage, my boss for letting me have the days off, the whole Aftermath crew for being my second family, Jeffrey for putting on an amazing show, the Travelodge hotel for being cooperative, and to all the minitruckers out there who read this massive long post and who checked out my show coverage!
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