At Wing-Ding 30

Trip Start Jun 15, 2008
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Trip End Jul 25, 2008


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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Friday, July 4, 2008

THURSDAY

Had a very early start to be at the Carolina First Centre for the opening ceremonies and got there just in time. Lots of the customary fanfare and a great welcoming speech from one of the City Councilors, set the scene for a great Wing-Ding.
We spent the rest of the morning and some of the arvo meandering through the throngs of bikers looking at the vendor stalls. The hall in which the displays were set up was absolutely huge - it would have held at least one and a half hockey fields!!!!
There was every conceivable accessory for a Goldwing that you could imagine, including fitting bays for tyres, servicing, accessories and custom painting. It was totally amazing!
By mid afternoon we had had enough and headed back to the hotel for a spell. Later on we went into downtown Greenville and had a meal and enjoyed a street party that is held every Thursday and Friday nights during summer. The main street is closed off and live bands keep everyone entertained. Last night there was a parade of Goldwings with all sorts of lights fitted to them - what a sight - some of them were way over the top and the big crowd loved it! 
                                                  Bike Bling
The locals have right behind Wing-Ding - naturally seeing as it brings millions of dollars into the city! We spoke to a couple of South Africans who had settled in Greenville - they thought our green and gold shirts were Wallaby rugby shirts.
                  Main Street  Band  Main Street - night

FRIDAY

Today is Independence Day in the USA - the 232nd birthday of the country!
It is a public holiday - but only for the business people I think because everything seems to open!
We had bit of a sleep in (we have been flat out every day) and then took a drive over the the border with Georgia where we had a look at some big lakes formed by hydro-electric dams and took a look at an interpretive centre at the Oconee Nuclear Power Station. There are over 100 nuclear power plants in the USA, the demand for energy is so high that coal and hydro plants cannot supply the needs. The centre was very interesting and we spent some time looking at all the info provided. Duke Energy which owns the station also runs numerous hydro and coal powered stations and uses a complex system of tunnels and pumping stations in the Seneca region to power a large area of South Carolina.
                                                   Oconee Nuclear Power Station
We then drove across into Georgia and had a look at the Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River. It is a huge dam and supplies a big area of both states. After a very dry couple of years the dam is well down on capacity but no-one seems to worry too much!
                   Lake Keeowee  Hartwell Dam  Savannah River
When we go back to Greenville we went and saw the Grand Parade where about 800 Goldwings set out on a parade through the city streets. Not sure how many there were butthe GWRRA were trying to set a Guiness Book of Records record for the number of Goldwings in one parade.
                                    Grand Parade  Parade Starts
On our travels so far we cannot get over all the fireworks shops on the sides of highways and freeways all gearing up for today's celebrations - they are legal every where it seems and we even saw them for sale in gas stations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tonight we are off to a huge display in downtown Greenville which should be a highlight.
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