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Steve Dierks took our members on a memorable drive through the fall colors of southern Colorado on the first weekend in October. Actually, he took us on 2 memorable drives – one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
The Saturday drive found 12 star cars and their owners lined up to explore the highways (the byways were reserved for Sunday) from Florence, Wetmore, the Wet Mountains, to Colorado City. The colors were just beginning to change and we got some fabulous pictures along the way. We waved to the bikers at Bishop’s Castle as we drove past, had lunch at the I-25 rest stop in Colorado City, then found our way back along the same route. Amazingly, it looked completely different on the return trip. It was a long day, but well worth it to see the changing quakies.
Then Sunday, we met to do it all over again. This time it was for SUVs and trucks because we were going to get down and get dirty. We traveled back roads, dirt roads, and corduroy roads, mostly at the same time. We got to see the colors around Beulah and the Old Ophir Pass Road. They were awesome. We ended up in Westcliffe at a local dive for burgers before heading home. It was a very satisfying and eye-opening day for all.
For those of you who are interested in off-road driving, here's an old marketing film introducing the UNIMOG. Enjoy!
On Saturday, 19 September, the Pikes Peak Section happily turned out en masse for a Weekend of Happiness – something we all need just about now! We gathered at the Academy Hotel bright and early, got our driving directions, and headed out for the quaint little ski town of Nederland, CO, home of the “frozen dead guy,” with the SLs leading the way. After a scenic drive, we arrived at our destination just in time for lunch and a whirl on the carousel.
The carousel is a true work of art, as well as a labor of love for its creator, Scott Harrison. He completely restored the 1910 Looff carousel, including the 1913 Wurlitzer band organ, and painstakingly created the 56 carousel figures, carving most of them by hand. Talk about a blast from the past! After that serving of nostalgia, we just had to visit Augustina’s winery, right next door, where we sampled wine flights and picked our favorites. Then it was on to shopping and seeing the sights, like the Caribou Ghost Town.
The famous Pikes Peak hospitality operation lived up to expectations once again with more wine tasting and light snacks. Our attendees provided the wine, we provided the cheese and crackers, and the Beaver Creek Lodge provided the space. And a great time was had by all. We timed it just right so that we could walk across the covered bridge for dinner at Busey’s Brewpub. We had the top floor to ourselves with some overflow to the patio. The beer and the food were excellent, as was the company.
By then, of course, we were too pooped to pop so we headed back to the hotel to hit the rack. Up bright and early Sunday morning, we breakfasted at Ned’s and hit the road for another scenic drive, ending up in Boulder at the iconic Dushanbe Tea House. It was the perfect ending to our happy weekend. Karen Absher put together another gob-smacking event for us and showed everyone how it should be done! Our hats are off to her and Clark.
Last month, we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get insight into a uniquely Colorado Springs event, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Chris Lennon was our guest speaker. He’s a multiple Hill Climb winner and best-selling author of The Peak of Racing, a how-to guide for would-be Hill climb racers, as well as race aficionados.
He walked us through the history of the race, including funny anecdotes about some of the more famous drivers, including Mario Andretti and Bobby Unser. He’s met just about everyone involved with the race, so his presentation was awesome.
After a delicious repast of chicken fingers and fixin’s, we headed to the parking lot to get up close and personal with Chris’ ride, a P-class aka Porsche. Chris is in the process of converting his Hill Climb car to all-electric and hopes to crack the 10-minute barrier in the race to the top. He patiently answered all of our questions and explained all the inner workings of his new ride.
Our thanks to Mercedes-Benz of Colorado Springs for hosting us in their showroom and parking lot and major kudos to Marla Wiseman for landing the presentation of the year. She also does a great job of organizing and setting up.
On Saturday, 15 August, 12 die-hard rally-ers showed up for Prez Andrew’s annual President’s Rally. The Flu, Flew, and Flue theme kicked off appropriately from the Airplane Restaurant before the rally clues hied us off into the hinterlands of eastern Colorado. We learned a lot from the clues, such as that WWI pilots flew without parachutes, Ray Brennan died of Legionnaire’s Disease, the Heinkel 178 was the first turbo jet aircraft, Eagles Nest Ranch gives you an aerie feeling, the Owl’s Nest loves painters, and kids were innoculated against polio in Pittsburgh. Whew! Our brains were full and our phones got a workout, as did our heads as our necks were on a constant swivel to look for answers. We saw some beautiful countryside – Falcon, Elbert, Elizabeth, Franktown, and Castle Rock – as our route took us to out-of-the-way places. Lunch at the Wild Blue Yonder was excellent as we sat on the patio and sampled the brews and menu items. It was a great day and we were all winners. Judy and Charlie and Tom and Joyce tied for first and took away whiskey and wine. Gene and Linda came in third – good for the novices! And Henry and Sylvia came in fourth with a great gift card. Many thanks to Prez Andrew for another innovative, imaginative, and inventive rally. Can’t wait for the next one!
On Saturday, 18 July, our Colorado bucket list got a little shorter. Twenty-nine Pikes Peak Section members and friends made the scenic drive to the small town of Bailey, CO, home to the funky, quirky Sasquatch Outpost. Listed as one of the top 10 wackiest places to visit in Colorado, it was well worth the 2-hour drive. We separated into 2 manageable groups and Jim Myers, researcher and owner of the Outpost, was our guide as he led us through the various displays. He patiently answered questions and explained his findings, garnered over the years. If we weren’t believers in “the big guy” before, some of us sure are now…or at least willing to consider the possibility!
After touring the museum and gift shop, we adjourned to the nearby Aspen Peak Winery, where owner Marcel Flukiger seated us outdoors right next to the river. It was a beautiful setting, and when we added wine flights and gourmet food options, it was the perfect lunch stop. We thoroughly enjoyed this unexpected culinary treasure and will be sure to visit again. Overall, it was a beautiful day and another great Pikes Peak Section outing.
Karen and Clark Absher sure know how to put on a good party. They’ve proved that fact over and over again and this latest installment raised their reputations to new levels.
They led us to Monte Vista, CO for the Drive-In Movie retro weekend. We stopped for lunch in Colorado City where they handed out box lunches and drinks. Then folks were on their own to find a picnic spot. Some chose to stop at Fort Garland. Some went to the Sand Dunes (where there was a 2-hour wait to get in). And others headed straight for the motel, the Best Western Movie Manor. The motel manager, Roy, was awesome. He insisted we move our hospitality operation into his meeting space when a sandstorm tried to kick sand in our faces.
When it was time for dinner, we changed into our '50's garb and went off to Quincy’s for awesome prime rib. Then it was back to the motel for the movie – Thunder Road with Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman. We handed out popcorn and movie candy and folks had the option to watch in their rooms or take their cars to the drive-in. It was totally retro and totally awesome.
It was a short stay because we drove home on Sunday, But it was also a fabulous trip and another tour de force for the Abshers!
We had a record turnout for our June 5th@5. We held it in the downstairs showroom of Mercedes-Benz of Colorado Springs, where there was sufficient room to socially distance and be socially responsible. The section provided pizza, dessert, chips, salsa, and adult beverages as well as water and soda to our attendees.
We really appreciated this much-delayed opportunity to leave the house and get together with friends. An added bonus was that we could do so safely.
Our sincere thanks to Glenn Hammill and Mercedes-Benz of Colorado Springs for their hospitality – the best partners any car club ever had! And kudos for Henry and Sylvia Russell for putting together a great evening.