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October Dinner Meeting @ The Back Porch
Oct 3 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The Back Porch is located at 808 Belvedere Clearwater Road, Belvedere, SC (map), it can be found by taking Exit 21 of the I-520 loop in South Carolina or just let Siri, Google or the[...]
8:00 am Tail of the Dragon Weekend @ The Gap
Tail of the Dragon Weekend @ The Gap
Nov 1 @ 8:00 am – Nov 3 @ 8:00 am
The “event” hotel is the Quality Inn & Suites in Robbinsville, NC. The rooms are small and it is kind of pricey for what you get, but it is luxurious compared some of the other[...]

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2019 Bug Splat Summary

This is not an actual photo of the number of cars that showed up to kill bugs, but it felt that way to the organizers…who at the start were way too busy handing out dot stickers and route maps and removing any previous bug splats off the noses of cars and then again at the end with judging and handing out prizes to take any photos, so if you did take pictures, could you kindly email them to masters.miata.club@gmail.com, so I can add them to this post.

When: Saturday, August 17, 2019
Where: Greg’s Gas Plus, Sonic and the dark back roads of South Carolina in between
Attending: Sarah Acord, Donna & Brian Bogardus, Don & Kaye Boltz, Ellie & David Brock, Pat Charlotte, Shirley & Mike Dyer, Brenda Hays & Guest1, Glen Link & Deb Tonini, Dennis & Karol Mason, Trudy & Hal Scott, Stacey & Cindy Timmerman, Margie & Bill Vandermaas, Ralf & Annie Wilms and Sue & Dave Woomer.

There were 3 cars already parked in the usual spot by the time we arrived at Greg’s Gas Plus.2 And soon after Miatas started rolling in. And rolling in. And rolling in. Quickly we filled the left side of the parking lot. They still kept coming and now they were lined up in a double row on the left side of the building. It has been a few years since we have had this large a turnout. Departure time was set for 8:15 and just about the time everyone were heading towards their cars to leave, an 18-wheeled behemoth inched its way into the parking lot to fill up the business’s gas tanks leaving barely room for the first 4 or 5 cars to get out.

Consequently, when we did leave, where we normally lead the troops, Donna and I ended up about car number #4. Cars #5 & 6 were not too far behind us, but after that the next 8 had to wait a bit to leave the start point as random OTMs3 came along on SC230. We were not too worried as I had gone over the route with several people and we did hand out a copy of the map for the technical 6 right turn route. When the light rain started after about 10 miles of the first leg, most everyone shrugged it off, but it started to come down a little harder as each of the next few miles were driven. When we got to the turn onto SC23 we caught car #2 with it’s roof up already and could see car #3 pulled over and raising theirs. A little further down the road we found the lead car pulled over and car #2 pulled over with them. So now Donna and I were in our usual spot, in front, with the rest of the 13 cars stretched back beyond our visible horizon. About then the rain tapered off to nothing and nearly all the folks who stopped to put their tops up, just left them up rather than stop again.

The rain, besides the damp car interiors and occupants, had little effect on the overall outcome of the Bug Splatting Contest because it seems that most of the insects came out of hiding after the rain stopped. At turn No. 4 onto Sweetwater in Car #10, the Timmermans, noticed that the cars ahead of him continued on straight. I guess the lead car of that, as it turns out 4 car group, either missed my briefing or didn’t look at the map or both and they all went the more pedestrian and 2 mile longer route to end up at the Sonic with everyone else.

The big, and I mean literally big, winners of the night were the Dyers as they claimed the beautiful Biggest Bug Trophy to take home with them. There were a couple other cars who had very similar sized splats on the front, but Mike & Shirley also had a quarter-sized, still twitching, partially flattened mayfly on the lower bumper that put them over the top. Glenn and Deb earned the Fewest Bug honors by arriving at the finish with as clean a car as when they started and if I didn’t know it was impossible, I would swear they must have activated a Star Trek-like front shield. The Vandermaas’s, er, Vandermaases, oh never mind, Margie and Bill did a direct flight path crossing with a formation of miniature housefly looking insects to take home the Most Bugs prize. Trudy and Hal Scott were awarded the Closest to the Dot prize for there own squashed mayfly that was within a couple inches of their green Avery dot.

Because the Rally Masters had a little bit too much fun in the Dollar Store there were also four Door Prizes up for grabs for the rest of the folks who didn’t claim any of the “major” prizes of the night. The Timmermans took home a pack of edible glowing worms.4 The Boltzes left with a wooden 3-D puzzle of a spider that they didn’t have before. The Brocks were the lucky recipients of a Matchbox-sized Chip Foose modified VW Beetle. And Ms. Acord received a possible cheat for a biggest bug win next year with a prize that consisted of life-size plastic Palmetto Bug dining on a fried egg.5

New Member Pat Charlotte’s Photos:

Dave & Sue Woomer’s Photos:

2018 Bug Splat Wrap

2018 Bug Splat Start

Members Attending: Debbie & Matt Wojtkowicz, Bobby & Sandra Matthews, Trudy & Hal Scott, Tom Varallo, Richard Whitehurt & friend Lee, Jennie & Thomas Hodges, Dennis & Karol Mason and Brian & Donna Bogardus.

Donna and I were a little worried about how many folks would turn out for a morning bug splat as opposed to the usual evening event, but it turns out they were unfounded. We ended up with 8 cars which is just about our average participation.

If only the bugs had turned out as well. The winning Big Bug was anything but and the total number of bugs and splats were few and far between. You know, it seems like I have been complaining about the amount bugs for the past few years thinking that they were so much more prevalent “back in the day”, so I got curious and looked back over the past Bug Splat wrap ups.

Turns out I have nearly always complained about there being hardly any insects to be had. So maybe this year was just about our average bug participation too.

The glamorously ginormous Biggest Bug Trophy was awarded to the Masons, the Most Bugs prize of a 2-Pack of Bug Racers was awarded to the Matthewses, the Fewest Bug prize of a deck of insect filled cards for playing Crazy Eights was won by the Scotts and the Wojtkowiczes took home the Nearest to the Dot prize of a bottle of Bull’s Eye BBQ Sauce

2017 Bug Splat Wrap Up

Members Attending: Don & Kay Boltz, Brian & Donna Bogardus, Jennie & Thomas Hodges, Doug Martins, Trudy & Hal Scott, and Bob & Pat Tarrant.

We had a group of six cars (about half of last year’s attendees) gathered at Greg’s Gas Plus in diminishing light of Saturday’s dusk. While the dozen of us (actually 11) stood a waiting for the 8:00 PM start time we did the usual chatting and standing around, all the while wondering who else was going to show. Turned out this was it, so our little caravan of insect assassins headed north in search of prey.

This year’s weather was a lot nicer than last, no rain for one, but both the temperature and humidity were below there usual high levels for this time of the year, making for a very pleasant evening drive in the country. Another thing nicer this year was while driving you could occasionally see bugs illuminated in your headlights. The 40 miles loop passed quickly and uneventfully for our little group.

Judging took place under the lighted canopy of the North Augusta Sonic Drive In while the group feasted on sundaes, shakes and even hot dogs and onion rings. Below is the rouges gallery of this year’s winners.

Participants, don’t forget to remove that green Avery dot off your car. Took me until this morning to remember mine and I daily drive the Miata, plus the thing was on my windshield!

2016 Waterery Bug Splat

2016 Bug Splat 01

Date: Saturday, August 20, 2016
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: Greg’s Gas Plus
Attending: Brian & Donna Bogardus, Don & Kay Boltz, Terri & John Bozzarello, David & Noel Brock, Shirley & Mike Dyer, Defending Big Bug Champ Karol Mason, Don Nesbitt & Guest, Trudy & Hal Scott, Bob & Pat Tarrant, Annie & Ralf Wilms and Dave & Sue Woomer.

Before the drive at Greg’s there was plenty of chatter among the group and the rally leader had to be prompted by a look at Hal Scott’s smartypants phone’s display of the incoming rain to get everything underway. Everyone who participated would claim that they hit several very large bugs on the first 15 miles of the drive, but unfortunately the light rain through the middle third of the trip that washed them all off the noses of their cars. And the still clean cars at the end were because as everyone knows, bugs all go inside their little bug homes so as not to get wet and then they stay inside for several hours afterwards just in case.

For whatever the reason, there were more Miatas than there were insects splatted tonight, which made judging difficult. I only found 2 cars with actual bug remains and neither was very large, but by using my calibrated eyeballs, I determined that the larger of the two resided on the front bumper of the Boltz’s dark blue NC. Kay was really excited to be the winner until she saw the trophy… Because nobody had anything any where near the dot, the bottle of Bullseye BBQ was awarded to the Tarrants. A pair of insect repellent bracelets were given to the Nesbitts for having the most bugs and a packet of insect stickers was given to the Bozzarellos for having the fewest bugs.

I may have mixed up what those last two prizes were for and who won them, and for that I apologize, my ice cream was melting.

2015 Bug Splat

Dead Bugs

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2015
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: Greg’s Gas Plus
Attending: Brian & Donna Bogardus, Larry & Rita Garner, Jill & Alan Johnson, Trudy & Hal Scott, Karol & Dennis Mason and guest Jamie S___________i.

Less than half of last year’s total of 13 cars showed up for this years edition of the Bug Splat run. And it would have been even less if not for the fact we had a Miata owner up this way on a business trip who happened to check the web site. Was the number of participants low because of the past few years lack of actual bugs or the slightly later start time. I’m betting it was really the fact that there wasn’t a meal preceding the drive. The larger turn outs previously were because some people have come just for the eating part and only joined me on the drive so as to not appear impolite all the while hoping against hope not to win the so ugly it’s beautiful ginormous trophy….

This years later start time and more rural, easier to run loop did produce more bugs, but only slightly more. There were still thousands of little white puff marks of really small insects covering the fronts of the cars, but this time there were a few interesting splats and a few actual recognizable bug remains.

Taking home the BBT (Biggest Bug Trophy) were the Masons with what appeared to be a 1/2 long bug of some kind neatly caught in the seam between of the bottom of the nose of the their car and the Garage Vary Front Lip Spoiler.1 I awarded myself and Donna the most bugs (probably helped I was in front of the caravan), Hal & Trudy snagged the cleanest car award, while closest to the dot went to our guest from the Tampa area, Jamie S___________i.2

As to not lower the self esteem of anyone who didn’t win a “real” prize, I handed out a 2″ to 3″ plastic replica of an insect of no known actual species, lovingly hand decorated in a far eastern country using lead based paint to everyone who came out, so no one went home without something. I even gave one out to each of the two folks who showed up at the end, just to eat ice cream. John & Jackie Nichols got one and so too did ex-member Ernie Bloom, who of all the Sonics in all the towns in the CSRA, stopped at this one.

1. There was some grumbling by the un-lip spoilered that that might have given the Masons an advantage. Judges disallowed the protest under Rule #34b: Any permanently attached body modification, that has been specifically designed for a Miata, is deemed acceptable in the counting of bugs and the spats of their demise.
2. I asked Jamie his last name at both the beginning and end of the event. At the Sonic, not sure if I heard right, I asked for a spelling and he just shrugged and said don’t worry about. His vague story of work in the area seemed suspicious too. A couple people asked him about it and got the same answer: “The company I work for sent me up here to help a company in Edgefield do some testing. Whatever your story, thanks for coming and I hope you enjoyed the little plastic, safe for ages 8 and up, dart board. I also hope you remember to remove the green Avery dot from the front of your car.