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Our Clubs Annual Fall Colors Drive on October 23rd, 2010
by Larry Palguta & Tom Shumaker

The cars lined up for the start of the Drive.

Saturday October 23rd started out as an overcast day and stayed that way. But it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the Brits as they gathered at Randy and Bev Glanders' house in Elkhart for back country driving through multi-colored trees and cool breezy weather. Four MGBs, an MG Midget, a Stag, two Spitfires and the Shepherd's SUV made up the caravan of nine cars for the day. Randy set up a drive that followed the usual route from his home but with a few changes.

As usual, traffic was a bit heavy northwest of Elkhart and, after a missed turn by the tail-enders, the caravan reformed and drove along less populated roads. At one point we merged into the Vintage Car Club of Elkhart which included a Model T Ford in the lead and a Jeepster. Fortunately the now greatly extended caravan didn't last long (have you ever driven behind a Model T at its cruising speed of less than 30 mph!!?) and the Brits split off to head north. Randy's route included a new road around the north side of Corey Lake. The road twisted and turned through woods and then snaked along between cottages and the shoreline. Near the end it devolved into a one lane, small asphalt lane just above the shore - a really fun road to drive. Shortly we arrived at Fisher Lake Inn at Mendon for lunch. The Inn was ready for us with our own waitress for the 18 diners (Roger Deacon was truly "Stag" and Dave Terhune drove over in his beautiful 1974 MGB to join us just for lunch). There was a lot of lively conversation at the table, including Fearless Leader expounding on the two universally forbidden subjects - politics and his Speedo! During the relaxing and good lunch, the President, Bev Glanders and Michele Shepherd (the hardcore fans) checked college football scores on the TV and I-phones.

After lunch, it began to rain as everyone headed out to the parking lot for the afternoon's drive. Surprisingly, in the back of a pickup truck was a fully restored, vintage 1914 Harley Davidson motorcycle (rear end of bike in photo just below Fisher Lake Inn sign).

It was obviously still being driven, as indicated by an LED tail light mounted on the rear. Anyway, for those who ran over in the rain for a quick look, the bike was a real beauty. Because Roger was tired of the solo driving, he invited Deb Palguta (now aka "Drift" from the Fall Tour) to drive his Stag until we got to Bonneyville Mill County Park. Driving in the rain was somewhat enjoyable since the club so rarely drives in rainy weather. Anyway, the rain stopped after about 20-30 minutes but left the roads wet. Entering Bristol at a sharp angle intersection, only Roger could see back out of the right side window and told Deb to go when the car ahead went. So she did, then saw in the rear view mirror a Mini Cooper bearing down fast on the Stag's rear bumper, and stomped on the gas pedal of the Stag which, unlike the MGB she is used to driving, responded powerfully and fish-tailed all over the road. Fortunately the Mini slowed down and everyone made it into and through Bristol. Now the intersection is known as "Deb's corner" and, lost in the confusion and jokes, was an opportunity by Roger to flag down the hard charging Mini and ask him to join the club. At Bonneyville Mill County Park, everyone got a potty break, a chance to visit while stretching their legs and backs, and Chuck Knight replenished his supply of milled cornmeal.

The group drove back to the Glander's house where we were joined by Chuck & Rosie Gushwa and Mike & Carol Montgomery, and everyone began a sumptuous potluck dinner. This was my third Fall Colors Drive and it was as fun a drive and fellowship as the previous two drives; a great way to finish up the year's driving season. But as a first club drive, it may look and feel different to someone who just joined the Brits. So here is Tom Shumaker's synopsis of the day:

Little British Cars are noted for going around curves and enjoying the tour of the road, so I've been told. Well I had to experience it for myself. I bought an MG Midget and joined the club. My first experience was going to Winona Lake. That wet my appetite and going on the fall foliage run was a must. With my wife beside me, we thoroughly enjoyed the winding, twisting roads thanks to Randy. Seeing all the cars ahead and behind us was exhilarating. Food fellowship and cars is a good combination.

Tom & Debbie Shumaker and everyone certainly enjoyed the day and the fellowship. While the Brits are pretty good at providing day drives and longer trips, we're almost as good at dining along the way.

 

 
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