Fall Tour – 2011

wp_IMG_8046Oct 15-16, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night…. um..…actually, it was pretty nice night, that Friday night before the Fall Tour to the Poconos that Adam and Eva had planned for us, but unfortunately I wasn’t ready. No time to prep the TD … gas up, check oil level and tire pressure, mechanical checks… the usual things.  So at 8 Saturday morning Lee and I were on our way to the meeting place in Ottsville, hoping for the best. Luckily we had enough gas to arrive on time, 9 am, so we could fill up and be on our way with the group of 12 couples, all of us happy to be on the road again. The group included: Pat & Patty Cawthorne (MGB), Paul & Evonna Phillips MGB-GT), Dave & Gloria Schwab (MGTD), Dick & Sandy Suffredini (MGTD), Tom & Jaimee Rippert (MGTD), Chuck & Judy Goelz (MGA) Lew Phillips & Rita Mandik (Subaru), Bill & Linda Boorse (MGB), Jim & Diane Sanders (MGTD), Mike & Karen Kerns (MGTC) our hosts Adam & Eva Ilnecki (MGB), and yours truly, Jerry & Lee Keller (MGTD…Top Down).

After an exciting morning’s top-down drive that included a Keystone Kops follow-the-leader routine through beautiful downtown Easton and a nice lunch at the I-Forget-the-Name-of-the-Diner in Lake Ariel, PA, we finally arrived mid-afternoon at the King’s Barn in Thomson, PA where we were booked for the night with bedrooms assigned by the luck of the draw.  Yep, it was a real barn, but all restored and reconditioned and outfitted inside with 12 bedrooms plus a HUGE dining and lounge area with a complete kitchen off to one side. No chickens or cows or horses, but the working fireplace had plenty of wood available for convenient misappropriation, and the pool table was nicely furbished with Russian-made felt and invisible chalk.  Oh, well, the atmosphere was typically DVC, warm and friendly and fun, and who needs to play pool when you have a bunch of friendly DVC folks and plenty of food and drink? Relaxation was universal and complete, as usual, and I quickly learned about the wonderful Polish cherry liqueur brought by Adam & Eva. For this, I was definitely ready. It was a great way to bide the time until the arrival of our excellent catered dinner, and it was a wonderful addition to the dessert menu as well. Even if I can’t remember what it was called.

Sunday morning was a bit chilly but quickly warmed up sufficiently to warrant leaving the TD’s top down again and we were soon packed up and under way to our breakfast spot, the Flying J in New Milford.  I quickly discovered that the TD’s top wasn’t the only thing “down”…. the brakes were down also, nearly to the floor.  Fluid reservoir full, no apparent leaks, so we’ll keep on keepin’ on.  Brake by downshifting as much as possible, and use sparingly what little stopping power we have until we can get the chance to re-adjust the brakes at the wheels.  After breakfast, Adam led us onto a dirt track strewn with rocks and other obstacles that were no doubt put there as a test of car conditioning and character, as well as driver/passenger intrepidity and intestinal fortitude.  I’m happy to report that all concerned passed these Rugged Tests with Flying Colors. In fact, the few whispered comments of “Are we really going down THERE?” and “Where the hell ARE we, anyhow?” were easily drowned out by the many loud shouts of “Good show!”, “We MADE it!”, and “Jolly fine MG road!”.

Reaching our destination at the Lackawanna Coal Mine in Scranton without further incident, most of us chose to take the two-hour tour deep underground, but Lee and I were not among them. Good thing too, as it started to rain and we decided to hit the turnpike for a quick return home to a dry garage.  The brakes held out nicely, and of course we found out later that Murphy stopped the rain soon after we left.

I’m sure everyone on the tour joins me in thanking Adam & Eva for arranging a fine tour, and leading us on a truly excellent and memorable drive on real MG roads through some beautiful Pennsylvania Fall scenery.

Jerry Keller

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