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Mini Leaf Tour Wrap Up

Members Attending: Brian & Donna Bogardus, Rudy & Patti Wilmoth, Larry & Rita Garner, John & Jackie Nicholls and Ernie Bloom.

Alternate Title #1 You Should Have Been Here Last Week

Two weeks prior to leading the leaf tour Donna and I ventured to the northwestern part of SC looking for places to go and see colorful leaves. We saw some color, but enough brown and bare trees to make us rethink the traditional all day affair we usually present. There was no sense driving all that way and spending all that time to be all disappointed.

So last week, we drove on a closer to home, shorter in time loop that provided a fall sampler in the mid state area. It included breakfast at a favorite mom & pop breakfast joint, a nice drive to farm for a small no admission fee corn maze and a very back road drive to see colorful fall foliage. We felt we had a sure winner and everyone would be home for lunch instead of the usual after dark return.

In the chilly near dawn of this Saturday we were pleased to be joined by 4 other Miatas for our fall drive. Two cars had their tops down for the short drive to breakfast at the Airport Cafe near Twin Lakes Airport in Trenton. As we usually do everywhere we eat as a group we made ourselves right at home by dragging some tables together. That is just fine with the folks who run the cafe as it is definitely a help yourself kind of place. When they are busy you should feel perfectly free to pour your own first cup of coffee while you wait on your food.

After eating, a couple more cars lowered their roofs for the trip to the corn maze at Hickory Hill Farm. I had made up sheets of paper with a map of the route on one side and a list of directions with intermediate mileage numbers on the other side for everyone. It was also especially important for Donna, my navigator, to have one because we had only driven the route once and didn’t want to lead everyone astray. Ahh, the best laid plans…

On one longer stretch of road I must have carried a one when I didn’t need while adding the odometer reading to the leg mileage because I missed a turn and didn’t realize it for sure until too late. But luck was on our side as I realized when we came to the next stop sign that I knew where we were and knew how to get back on track with little fanfare. It just meant that we would take a tour of downtown Edgefield instead of a rural loop around it. Seeing as we were a small group, everyone was just following the car ahead, so only one person even noticed the detour.

I noticed that, as we pulled up to the 1/2 acre corn maze that Donna and I had chased each other all around inside of last week, it was already in the process of being plowed over. The maze is part of the dairy farm’s every Thursday in October open house where they give tours and have other activities for $5. Today was November 3rd and they had wasted no time getting back to farming. I had tried to call on Friday to see if the maze was still going to be up, but the number that I got off Google was for a private residence.

No really big deal, it was a pleasant day and a good spot for a leg stretch. While some folks wandered about the half standing maze others shopped at the self service fridge for fresh milk, both regular and chocolate. As an example to show you how the love of a small open topped sports car can bring wildly divergent personalities together, two different couples were picking and shucking the dried corn off the standing stalks to take with them. One wanted them to feed the cute deer that wander out of the woods behind their house into their backyard and the other wanted them for their backyard as well, but they are used it to lure squirrels to their deaths by BB gun.

The last leg of the journey was a 50 mile route through the Sumter National Forrest to get back to North Augusta and the end of the tour. This is where we had found some really awesome color, but because of 7 days time and the winds of Hurricane Sandy there was virtually nothing but brown and the ever green of pines. To keep thing interesting anyway I threw in a close call with the back end of an Edgefield County Sheriff Deputy’s car who pulled out without looking and a missed turn that had 5 Miatas pulled off to the side of the road in the middle of nowhere only to have a nice couple in a pickup, dressed for a wedding, stop and ask if we were lost.

Alternate Title #2 Is That With a Y or an I?

Back at the corn maze Larry mentioned that a friend and ex club member was showing his Cobra at the CSRA Road Angel’s fall car show at Hooters on Washington Rd, so a plan was formed. One car (Nicholls) made a quick stop at home to drop off milk, one car (Ganers) made the longer trip to their house for the same reason and one car (Wilmoths) just went home. Five of us wandered around a gawking at the cool rides in all shapes and sizes for about an hour and were getting ready to split when the Garners returned and we all decided to have some lunch.

Hooters was naturally jammed what with the car show, college football on the dozens of TVs and the nattily attired servers, so we grabbed one of the only free tables and ordered some drinks. Our waitress introduced herself and after she left none of the guys were sure if she spelled her name with a Y or an I even though she was wearing a name tag.

When Brandi returned with the drinks and took our food orders we all made sure to notice that it was with an I. The food was, surprisingly, not bad. Donna enjoyed the crab legs and I’d order the grilled fish tacos again. None of us bought the official Hooters calendar that one server was hawking, even with the promise that she could get the girls to sign our copy.

When we got to the car show I bough 6 tickets for $5 for the 50-50 raffle before I knew that you had to be present to win and they wouldn’t call the number until around five o’clock. We asked Brandi whether she would still be around at 5 that afternoon and she said she’d be just about getting ready to go home. So to go along with the standard tip I gave her the raffle tickets and said, “Good luck.”

After lunch the Donna & I, John & Jackie and Ernie returned to our cars to head home leaving Larry & Rita to enjoy more of the car show.

I wonder if “Brandi with an I” won the 50-50.

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