Spring Chicken Rally - May 2, 2004
Cruisin' Along the Canal
by Don Anderson
I call it rally they call it rallye. Whatever. It's over. But it was pretty enjoyable. Only 10 cars braved the blustery day. And most of them MG's. Most even had their tops up believe it or not. It was a real last-minute decision, but we left home with the top down and as we approached the starting point in Channahon along the I & M Canal it looked pretty sunny so Sharon and I took off our hoods, hats, and earmuffs. You see I was afraid they'd mistake me for the Unibomber and Sharon for an Eskimo squaw. But right after we parked, and registered Roger and Shirley drove up all wrapped in furs and blankets from their trek from way up in Algonquin. Shivver me timbers! It was also nice to see Larry Czachor and Heidi Horst again. I've been looking for them to present their 2003 Annual Rallying awards. I had them with me. Task completed. Belated congrats to Larry and Heidi.
After a nice little drivers meeting and question & answer period, each car headed out in one minute intervals. Included in the instructions were random photos of scenes to identify we'd encounter along the way, which was an extra chore in addition to the route instructions and observation questions. I think it added to the fun. The route we took was very straight-forward and scenic along the I & M canal's northern shore as we drove nothing but paved roads westward through Morris, Seneca, Ottawa and surrounding countryside. It took two and a half hours or more for sure. The weather turned from sunny to cloudy to downright threatening. We by-passed Utica but did observe some tornado damage along the road (like a folded lawn chair smack in the middle of our lane!) and finally went right into the Starved Rock Park to answer the last few gimmick questions. Then it started to rain. A nasty cold sleety rain. We had gotten our top up back in Ottawa so we were ready for it. But not the Goebberts, nor the Mehaffeys. Russ and Amy christened their MGA with a rally before the installed their top. So they had to park at the restaurant with just the tonneau cover for protection. Roger and Shirley put up the "hood" in the parking lot before dining. I bet they ordered Brandy when they got inside.
The best part of the rally was all ten cars that entered finished. And even more at the end! Diana and Oscar Gonzales came all the way out to Utica to join us for dinner. What a treat. O.K. now for the results. For those of you keeping track. . As Sharon and I look at it we were first losers. That was our goal. And we succeeded.
Everyone thanked the rally organizers and writers Bill Hedrick and John Schroeder for a faultless event. Sharon and I also wish to thank those helping us get our car started to go home too. Bill, I owe you a rotor.
First: David and Michaela Lieb
Second: Don and Sharon Anderson
Third: Russ Fitch and Mary Warren
Fourth: Roger and Shirley Goebbert
Fifth: Bud Yeager and Pam Seyller
Sixth: Larry Czachor and Heidi Horst
Seventh: Barney and Elliot Gaylord
Eighth: Kim and Diane Tonry
Ninth: Amy and Russ Mehaffey
Tenth: Stephen and Andre LaFond
More Photos and notes at: www.chicagolandmgclub.com/photos/sprally04