Saturday, June 6, 2009
Club Bodywork Tools
About a dozen members attended this event where several club body work tools were demonstrated, as well as the club valve grinder. Those attending saw the new soda blaster in action, as well as the club MIG welder and the club spot welder. The club sand blaster and stud welder were also on hand. David Evans brought the club valve grinder and demonstrated its use to an interested group. Although most club members would probably not try to grind their own valves, it was very instructive to see process done firsthand. All club tools, including those mentioned above, can be checked out from the club tool “library” by contacting the club Toolmaster.
See pictures on inside back cover
-- Jim Evans
Secrets of Jo Daviess County Tour
June 13th –14th
Who said that rain can dampen one’s spirits? The Jo Daviess County tour was off to a wet start on Saturday morning as we headed south from Stockton to our first stop – the Massbach Ridge Winery. The light drizzle and high fog didn’t dampen the spirits of the 30 MG folks as they headed out in their MGB’s, MGA’s, Midgets and MG-TD’s. Looking in the rearview mirror I saw a number of rags wiping the moisture off of the inside windscreen as we made our way through the countryside. (Note to self: buy some anti-fog application for the windscreen.) By the time we sampled a few of the fabulous wines and prepared for our next stop, the sky was clearing and promised to be a nice day. Some were brave and went ‘top-down’ at this point.
The countryside got hilly as we entered the Galena Territories and was a good test of steerage and braking abilities. Many a golfer and local resident stopped what they were doing to see the long procession of MG cars – waving their hands or just open-jawed at what was happening this early Saturday morning. We took our much needed rest stop at the residence of Steve & Janisse Selan in ‘The Territories’. Steve’s bright yellow ’68 MGB was hard to miss in the driveway. Jan and a neighbor had prepared a bodacious spread of food and drink for the troupe. There was baked chicken (pieces big enough to be from a turkey!) various salads, fruit, chips, candy, cakes – and drinks of your choice. The coffee was a big seller and the pot was in a continuous brew. We enjoyed the food and the spacious accommodations nestled into the woods. Steve graciously accepted to join us in our trip – although he was concerned that his brakes have been acting up. He was going to travel with us until we crossed the Mississippi by ferry later in the day.
Continuing our journey through more beautiful diverse landscape we entered Wisconsin and reached our next stop outside of Dickyville – the Potosi Brewery. This recently renovated complex housed a museum of many early beer relics – bottles, cans, tops, coasters, trays, brewing tools - of a time gone by. In addition to a beer garden and a pub, there were gift shops and restaurant facilities. Sampling the brews on-tap was a necessity. After a group photo in front of the largest beer can,
we continued to the Cassville ferry landing to cross into Iowa.
The Cassville Car Ferry connects two National Scenic Byways; the Great River Road and the Iowa Great River Road. The ferry served the early settlement as far back as 1833 and it continues today, making the same trip back and forth across the mighty Mississippi. It is the oldest operating ferry service in the state of Wisconsin. We were only able to load 12 MG’s at a time so it took two trips to escort all the cars to Iowa. It was a short drive down the road to our hotels for the evening.
Dinner was at the Riverview Café alongside the river locks. We enjoyed the view through immense picture windows overlooking the river, the locks and waterfront boat traffic. Ralph Arata arrived sociably late in full dinner attire – white shirt sporting a MG logo on the pocket, cuff links, fashionable MG tie, cargo shorts and running shoes. (I couldn’t tell if Sue was embarrassed or not but she did keep her distance when they entered the dining area.) Our cars were lined up along the street in preferred parking in front of the café for viewing by the many folks walking in this quaint river town reminiscent of Huck Finn’s days.
Accommodations were unique to say the least. The main motel was a converted button factory and the overflow motel resided on a sheer bluff overlooking the river with breathtaking views. After a few hours on the rear veranda reminiscing the day’s events and a few beverages, most retired to their rooms looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure. It had gotten colder and condensation was forming on the windscreens and bonnet.
Sunday morning was a surprise! Early at sunrise the orange sun peeked over the Wisconsin hills to the East and immediately condensed the near dew point air into a dense fog. The river – much less the road – was nowhere in sight. Fog horns sounded and I was told the river barges don’t park and wait out the fog, but rather continue their slow route up the serpentine river. Amazing! Breakfast was at the local tavern – serving up the largest pancakes I’ve ever seen. I heard the sausage gravy ‘n biscuits were excellent. The place was quite busy – guess the Stadium Bar & Grill is the Sunday morning hot spot in town.
The sun was finally poking through the fog and it was going to be a hot day. Time to put the top down and fill up the fuel tank for the day. Barney noticed that his left-front tire had picked up a large screw in the tread. By the looks of it, it had been there for a while so decided to not pull it out and chance a leak. (Note to self: make sure jack and spare are ready.)