Monday, November 30, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods Run

Saturday morning and the weather was as the weather guessers had predicted….Gorgeous! It would be a grand day to participate in the ‘Over the River and Through the Woods Run’ of 2009! Five cars met at the WAWA in Stafford, VA and proceeded to the assembly point to join up with the rest of the cruisers. Along the way we picked up another car then continued to the beginning location near Warrenton, VA. At the starting point we topped off our fuel tanks and waited for the rest of the cars to arrive. Eight more cars were there by 10AM which made 13 special cars rolling on the beginning of the cruise. We traveled on Rt. 17 till we got on Rt. 66, the ‘mother road’. We cruised Rt. 66 for 22 miles and it gave a lot of people a chance to see cars that they might otherwise never get to see. Since we cruise between 55 and 60 mph a lot of cars passed us. I actually estimate about 400 cars/trucks passed us….some honked….some gave us thumbs up….some took our picture….most just smiled. This is the reason we drive road cars….to share our hobby with others while we enjoy the thrill of driving a special car. We had a nice mix of special cars from the red ’29 Ford sedan to the blue ’08 Vette and most of the other decades between.

When we left Rt. 66 on Rt. 522, I must have been listening to the voices from the mother ship or maybe it was the Princess yelling at me over the walkie talkie to turn or wait or speed up or slow down or look out and I took a wrong turn looking for Rt. 55! We ended up going about 12 miles out of our way. When I realized I was lost I did the unmanly thing of stopping and asking for directions (it’s those darned sensitivity classes). Fortunately we had two cars that knew where we were! Ted and Jim had their cosmic atomic powered GPS machines running and gave me new guidance. So after much ridicule about my navigation capabilities we gathered up and off we went, again. We had also picked up another car that met us while I was trying to get un-lost! Later on in the day I spoke with some cruisers that thought the “lost” stop was a planned stop and they liked getting out and walking around a while! Naturally I agreed and explained about the importance of planning, navigation and taking the needs of people in consideration when setting up a run like this and was glad that some voiced their appreciation of my hard work….grin As we were finding our way back to the planned route we picked up four more cars on Rt. 55 making a total 17 cars cruising down the road. Finally we got to our first “planned” stop, Wardensville, WV. Some of us that have mileage challenged cars (gas guzzlers) have to fuel up about every 100 miles, so Jimmy and his blue ’71 Rancheroo and I eagerly waited for a vacant spot at the fuel pumps! After all the bladders were emptied and fuel tanks filled we cruised through some of the town till we got to Trout Run Rd. and began the…. interesting…. part of the cruise. This is a road the Princess and I had run a few times long ago while we were on the Harley….it is a great road for bikes. But the road is narrow and there is no center line or side lines and for some areas there is no shoulder or guard rails! And it is a typical mountain road with many switchbacks and tight turns that those of us with chopped tops have fun navigating! I guess the best way for you to experience the deal is to put down your sun visor and crank up your seat as high as you can then drive on twisty roads….it does take some getting used to! And some of the cars were…. large like Dan’s black ’55 Chevy and Fred’s red/white ’57 Dodge so when they met oncoming traffic there was not a whole lot of room to pass! Anyway it was 40 miles of very precise driving and a lot of great scenery. We worked our way down to Edinburg, VA and then back up over another mountain to Luray, VA and Sonny’s restaurant for lunch/dinner. I called ahead and Sonny had the tables set up for us and they coped with the number of people eating…I think it was 26! I think everyone enjoyed the food which didn’t surprise me! Sonny loaned me a piece of split wood so I could use it for a wheel chock! Real hot rods don’t need emergency brakes!

After we all ate too much some started to leave….some had other commitments that afternoon so they had to leave early. We all pretty much said our good-bys in the parking lot and left in small groups or alone. Our Stafford group continued on over the last mountain to Sperryville then on to Culpeper where we picked up Rt. 29 then Rt. 17 and back to Stafford. It was a 237 mile trip for us but some others, like Wyatt with his DeLorean who is from Annapolis, MD, traveled much farther. Except for Fred demonstrating how quick Mopar’s can be fixed….everyone had a trouble free cruise which is a testament to something? Good mechanics? Or only American cars? Or Dan's steam powered billet & chrome dilemma detector that he carries in his '55? Maybe the Earth/Moon/Mars alignment? HEHEHEHE Whatever it was, it worked! Be sure to check out the pictures http://rides.webshots.com/album/575711902fdDjYb

Except for the few times we will just drive around Stafford to give old people a bad name we are pretty much done cruising for the season. I need to get the cars ready for next year so they may be apart till February or so…. We attended 68 “car” events (shows & cruises) this year which is some kind of record for us….I don’t know if we will do that again next year, we’ll see. We enjoyed meeting new friends and deepening old relationships during the year. Also unless something extraordinary happens I won’t have any more blog entries till February/March.

Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and an enjoyable and productive winter….hope to see you on the road next year.
Chuck the Slacker & Linda the Princess