|Abingdon Trials Endurance Rally
August 2-3, 2001
by Roger and Shirley Goebbert
Bath, Brooklyn, Elizabeth, and Grafton, Illinois; Hannibal and Louisiana, Missouri; Donnellson, Solon, and Bellevue, Iowa. What about these towns? Jim and Thad Coursino of Montagque Michigan, this year’s rally masters, chose these as some of the twelve check points of the Endurance Rally. Proof of visiting these towns required either a question to be answered or a receipt from a local business.
Six teams set out in their MG’s early Thursday morning from Jumer’s in Galesburg. Following the Coursino’s, we drove a 50-mile stretch as a mileage check, west to the Mississippi. We were given twelve towns to visit within the next two days using the shortest mileage. It was our choice whether to stay over or drive continuously. The rally is aimed to be less than 1,000 miles and less than 24 hours of driving time. This year’s rally was approximately 900 miles.
We chose to head west to two locations in Iowa, then south into Missouri. We drove some wonderful roads, especially those close to the Mississippi River. We crossed the Mississippi back into Illinois to visit Grafton (just north of the St. Louis area) then straight up north to two towns on either side of the Illinois River. Typical of those days during the heat spell, it was 97 degrees in Missouri mid-Thursday afternoon. Later we were cooled off by a torrential rain storm and then made our last stops just before dark. Jumers was one of the twelve stops, so we opted to spend the night there. Friday morning we headed north from Jumer’s in fog which took several hours to lift. We only had 5 stops to make that day, and so we arrived back to join in the festivities at the hotel as people were arriving and registering for the weekend.
This rally is fun, relaxing for the navigator, and gives the driver the opportunity to motor along great stretches of straight country roads, sweeping curves and twisting scenic areas. If you’d like to drive some interesting roads, visit some new towns, challenge your car, get to know your team mate, (read a book), this rally is a definite must for your MG calendar next year!!