Grand Lake Tour
August 12-13, 2004 - by John M Schroeder
Wade Keene and I just finished the Grand Lake Tour Endurance Rally. It was a beautiful, challenging, and exciting drive through the country. The weather generally cooperated was nice and cool, with some clouds. There was a brief shower or two and Wade and I decided to put the top up around five o’clock. However, every time we saw Reinout and Gene, they were traveling top down although I hear they finally put the top up early in the morning.
There were 17 cars running the full rally and one doing the mini. There were less than seventy miles difference between first and the last car. That was over a one thousand mile run. Wade and I finished twenty eight miles out of first in eighth place.
We had thirty hours (we did it in twenty-eight) to complete the rally as we traveled though the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan and part of Wisconsin. We saw (in the dark) Lake Superior and lots of the Lake Michigan shoreline (including sunrise). The check points ranged from local taverns to picturesque post offices, to a giant Pickle Barrel in Grand Marais, MI. One of the check points was the Mackinac Bridge which we crossed twice.
There was also abundant wildlife; deer, skunks, deer, foxes, and, oh, did I mention deer. The stars at night near Lake Superior are just beyond description. We would travel for miles in parts of the UP without seeing any signs of civilization beyond the road. Speaking of roads, the ones we traveled were made for MG’s, a little mud and gravel in places, but the turns and hills were great fun to drive. I know my car has never been as dirty as it was when we got back to Grand Rapids. I must confess that I was developing saddle sores after twenty eight hours. We arrived at the Hilton Hotel in Grand Rapids and enjoyed the University Motors Summer Party for awhile before heading back to Chicago. Work was waiting for us on Saturday. A special thanks to Rick Verhey and Rick Ingram for putting together an excellent rally.
These cars really were made to be driven. I have put over 8,000 miles on my B since we got it running in February. That includes the Missouri Endurance Rally, Parsippany (MG 2004), the Grand Lake Tour, and many pleasant miles around Illinois and Wisconsin. I am convinced the car runs better and stronger with each passing mile. I had forgotten how much fun driving can be.
If you want to have a great time, a real challenge, and enjoy some spectacular scenery, I invite you to join me and the other drivers in Columbus, Indiana, for the Abingdon Trials on the 9th and 10th of October. I understand Kim Tonry and Bill Hedrick have a great trip planned.
John Schroeder - email@example.com
More photos and notes at: www.chicagolandmgclub.com/photos/laketour04