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10 Years Ago – September 2004

Master’s at the Gap

Date: Friday, September 10 thru Sunday ,September 12, 2004
Time: 24 hours a day
Place: Robbinsville, NC
Members Attending: Brian & Donna Bogardus, Karen & Kurt Breitinger, Carol & John Haff.
Guests Attending: Mark & Sue Seiler.

Friday Morning
Good: A side stop on the way up outside Elberton, at Georgia’s Stonehenge.
Bad: Spray painted graffiti on a couple of the stones.

Friday Mid-day
Good: Lunch at Zanzos in Clarksville, GA. Great Italian food in an unexpected place.
Bad: Road construction in Clarksville, GA kicking up clouds of dust that settle on our cars as we ate lunch.

Friday Night
Good: Two clean runs through the gap, out and back. First time that has happened in 3 or 4 years and if we had gone home immediately afterwards the trip would have been worth it.
Bad: The mostly crummy meal served for dinner at The Sweet Magnolia Café in Robbinsville.

Saturday Early Morning
Good: Two nearly clean runs. About 8 miles out of a possible 11 before being temporarily slowed for some motorcycles. Similar result for the trip back.
Bad: The continental breakfast at the Microtel.

Saturday Mid-Day
Good: Carnitas at No Way Jose’s in Gatlingburg, TN.
Bad: The freakin’ traffic in Gatlingburg, TN.

Saturday Afternoon
Good: Coming back to Robbinsville through the gap, this time with a little more traffic, but sometimes it takes a slower drive through to appreciate the sights outside the yellow lines.

Saturday Evening
Good: A Cherohala Skyway scenic overlook with the slowly setting sun as a backdrop on our way to dinner in Townsend, TN.

Saturday Night
Good: That same Cherohala Skyway scenic overlook with the field of stars spread across the night sky with a background of the milky way overhead on the way back.
Bad: Driving 49.7 miles on the Cherohala Skyway to dinner in Townsend, TN (although to be fair this can also be listed as a highlight.)

Sunday Morning
Good: A nice lonely drive on the normally crowded Hwy 19/74 through the Nantahala Gorge on newly resurfaced asphalt.
Bad: A crowded drive with straight piped Harley cruisers and old folks on the way to church through Maggie Valley on Hwy 19/74.

Sunday Mid-day
Good: A meatloaf sandwich at Cracker Barrel.

Sunday Afternoon
Good: Home unscathed except for the layer of dirt, brake dust and insects on the car.
Bad: The drive home always seems so long…

10 Years Ago – July 2004

Cruise In

Date: Saturday, July 3rd

When Rachel dreamed up this “special” Last Saturday Cruise In, she was counting on the fact that the City of Augusta wouldn’t shoot off their fireworks on the actual 4th because it was a Sunday. You can see most of the show from right in the Sno Cap’s parking lot. What’s that old saying about the best laid plans of mice and men?

Turns out the city went ahead and did it on Sunday. That and the fact that is was holiday weekend made the turn out very light. It was just 8 Miatas, a 65 Mustang, a current Crown Vic and a couple of rusty pick-ups.

We had some 50’s music playing in the background and snacked on all the cool munchies available at the “Cap.” Everyone who came filled out a door prize ticket and later on Rachel broke out the elementary school level 50 States and Presidents books. A name was drawn out of the jar and a question was asked. Amazing how many adults, me included, who couldn’t come up with the answers. Except Bonnie who knew it all. Unlike school, we got a prize even when we were wrong.

Pool Party

Date: Saturday, July 10th

We held our annual pool party at the Creer’s this afternoon, where we have done it every year for the last 5 or so. Because the Jim & Judy are pulling up stakes and moving to the Sunshine State soon, next year we will have to drive to Spring Hill, FL to have it at their house.

There were plenty of grilled brats and dogs to be eaten, along with the usual assortment of side summer type salads. Then there were a couple of delicious homemade desserts to finish off the meal.

We called it a pool party, but a majority of those who came didn’t go in the pool. Only Donna and I and the hostess floated and bobbed around a bit. It was a heck of a lot cooler in the water, than sitting around it, even if you were in the shade. Jim didn’t even get in the water. Too bad too, as usually he and I make fools of ourselves by having a big-splash contest off the diving board.

Jim did make a fool of himself in a slightly different manner. He climbed a couple of ladders up a couple of levels of his house to get to the top of the roof so he could take a group picture…


Date: Saturday, July 17th

The day dawned overcast and cloudy and it showed every promise of rain, but by 4:00 the rain had stayed away in buckets and it looked like it might hold off for a few more hours.

We gathered at the SNO-CAP to fortify ourselves with most all of the regulars: Bill & Bonnie, John & Carol, Ron & Chris, Dave & Bobbie, Stacey & Cindy, Rudy & Patty and of course the Rallymasters. After precisely 30 minutes of conviviality, all but the Haffs headed North for the first annual Running of the Rally Route.

Fortunately the Baughs had noticed the speed limit change on Martintown Road from 55 MPH to 50, so the drive was a little more leisurely than originally planned. At the pit stop some of the members noted that the official route had far fewer turns on it than the one they ran. An order-of-march adjustment and we were on our way to Wades Southern Suppers for Supper. Mild overcast and temperate temperature, good food, good friends, no contentious spouses, no emergency envelopes; what more can I say. – Submitted by John Nichols.

10 Years Ago – June 2004

Big Mo Drive In

Date: Saturday, June 26th

We had almost 20 Miatas crowded into the little lot outside Baynham’s Family Restaurant and inside there were a bunch of hungry people. The group was pretty much evenly divided between the Low Country club and ours.

After eating, we all climbed into our cars and drove up the road to Monetta to see the show at the Big Mo Drive-in. Even though we were way early, our long string of cars got in the shoulder of the road behind at least 8 or 9 early, early birds. When we finally got through the gates we snagged a good chunk of rows 2 & 3 near the concession stand for our 14 cars (we had shed a few cars who were not interested in the movies.) Show time wasn’t until 9 o-clockish, so we had a couple of hours to kill talking Miatas and/or standing in the concession line.

The 1st flick was “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Aardvark.” This is the third installment of the series and I wonder how many more they can make before the stars are like Shatner, et al in the last of the Star Trek movies. The second, which only a couple cars stayed for, was “Dodgeball”. Enough said.

10 Years Ago – April 2004

Len Foote Hike & More

Date: Friday – Sunday, April 16-18, 2004
Place: North Georgia Mountains
Members Attending: Brian & Donna Bogardus, John & Carol Haff, Bob & Anne Smith, Stacey & Cindy Timmerman and Rudy Wilmoth.
Guests Attending: Patti Letizia.

Friday dawned cool, but cloudless, for the drive up to Amicalola State Park. At each intermediate stopping point it seemed like someone’s top would go down until they were all tucked under their boots. We planned on lunch at Zaxby’s in Dahlonega, but when we got there, there was a sign on the door explaining they were closed because of a technical difficulty, but would open soon. Not wanting to wait we headed into town for pizza at Caruso’s. Because Carol & John were volunteering at the Hike Inn, they needed to be there a little earlier. They, along with Brian and Donna, hiked up on ahead of Stacey, Cindy, Bob and Anne who got to take a leisurely and more normal pace. The smart folks took a shower when they first got there in the afternoon, those who waited until that night, got a shower that was just a little warmer than ice.

A very pleasant dinner was followed by much relaxing around the rustic, but very nice Inn, making new friends and comparing blisters. With no TV and no Internet though, the 10:00 PM mandatory start of quiet hours, quickly became the start of sleepy time hours.
Sunrise at the Inn is definitely worth the price of the hike. They have built a room that faces east with a deck all around it that we gathered on to witness the start of the day. Following a hearty breakfast we split into the two groups again for the walk back. About a mile from the finish Donna took a tumble when a tree root grabbed her ankle, fortunately only minor physical damage was done.

Waiting to greet us at trail end were Patti and Rudy. They had driven up in Rudy‘s new Mazdaspeed MX-5. Stacey and Cindy hurried off home and the rest of us headed up to the lodge in the state park for a late lunch. After a nice buffet (the Grand could take some lessons) the Smiths and the Bogarduses headed back leaving the last 4 to plot a course to drive the Snake and then finish up with some outlet shopping before returning on Sunday.

10 Years Ago – March 2004

Tech Day

Date: Saturday, March 6, 2004
Place: Breitinger’s Motor Carriage Shoppe
Members Attending: Brian Bogardus, Kurt Breitinger, Miller Butler, Jim Creer, Ray Cullen, Lee Davis, Dave Harp, Kathleen Kennedy, Earl Shimel, Rudy Wilmoth and Dave Winkler.

Brian installed a new muffler on his new car. He and Dave also swapped around some interior trim bits. Jim finally got to try his famous 5 minute Cam Angle Sensor o-ring change on a 1.8 engine. Ray was the lucky recipient of this mechanical wizardry. While Jim had Ray’s hood up he did some other stuff, like idle adjustments and timing tweaks. Kathleen had a couple things done, one of which was to lube the tracks of her power windows to make them go up and down faster. Stacey changed nearly every dirty icky fluid with nice clean petrochemicals. I’m sure there were more things done, but I can’t remember them now.

About noonish work came to a grinding halt when Kurt returned from Blimpies with two giant platters of sub sandwiches and all the accoutrements. We managed to wolf down most of the sub bits, helped along by a little healthy dose of testosterone induced quantity challenges.

After stuffing down a cookie or two for dessert we headed back out into the garages to finish up the many procedures underway. As some of us headed for home, in drove Dave Winkler to race prep his car for the next weekend’s Talladega Track Day with the Peachtree Club.