June 25 – 29, 2008
Valley Forge, PA
Seven travelers met at the Lincoln Oasis on June 24th, near the Illinois-Indiana border to begin the journey to Valley Forge, PA for the annual NAMGBR convention. We were on the road a little ahead of schedule with a first day destination of DuBois, PA. The trip across the turnpikes was pretty uneventful. We followed I-80 into Pennsylvania traveling through the western Appalachian Mountains. We checked into our hotel and asked the desk clerk to suggest a restaurant. We chose a very nice Italian restaurant within walking distance of the hotel and enjoyed an excellent dinner. Then we walked back to our hotel and called it a day.
The next day, Wednesday, we followed US 322 from DuBois to Harrisburg. We drove through mountains and valleys and finished following the Susquehanna River. Just north of town we got back on the interstate for the short drive to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and followed it into King of Prussia. The drive through the Appalachians was beautiful. We quickly found our hotel, checked in and unpacked. Then we checked in at the MG 2008 registration room. We had dinner at the Fox and Hound Pub near the King of Prussia Mall. Then we shopped through a small part of this very large mall. We drove back to the hotel and met old friends and new at the first night’s hospitality suite.
Thursday morning, we went to Valley Forge. We went to the visitor center, watched a movie about the winter during the revolution. Then we drove through the park stopping to view some of the exhibits, Washington’s headquarters and the George Washington Memorial Chapel. There was a snack bar at the chapel and we had our lunch there. We made it back to the hotel in time to join the tour to the Simeon Auto Museum. It had just opened two weeks before we arrived and the founder took us on a guided tour. One of the many highlights of the tour was a 1934 MG K3. One of the staff members fired it up and drove several laps around the large parking area behind the building. All of the cars in this unique museum were winning race cars. Every car was restored mechanically and cleaned, but appears as it was when it left the track. All the cars run and are driven on a regular basis. The hospitality suite was before dinner. Then we caravanned out to the Mermaid Barn. We had a delicious BBQ dinner complete with entertainment. I was really glad I had our GPS as we left long after dark. We managed to stay together back to the hotel. It is really hard to keep a group of cars together after dark. Fortunately, MG’s have a distinctive front.
Friday, we took a covered bridge tour around Chester County, PA. We were joined by two TR6’s who followed through the drive and across seven of the old covered bridges. We enjoyed lunch, drove back to the hotel and spent most of the afternoon around the pool. Friday evening was Philly Cheese Steak dinner. They weren’t quite as good as the ones in the historic area of Philly, but we had a most enjoyable dinner. The entertainment was a showing of Sherman’s Way, a movie
about a young man restoring an MGB. The other entertainment was me trying to soak up an inch of water from the passenger side of the car. It had rained while we were having dinner. I had my trusty tonneau cover on so was not concerned. The car was on a hill and I think the rain that fell on the driver’s side ran downhill, through the zipper, and filled the back corner of the passenger floor.
The Saturday car show was about forty minutes away from the hotel at Green Lane Park. The local Triumph club helped with the drive out by manning every turn and pointing the way. The park was beautiful place for a car show. There were well over three hundred MG’s on the show field. It started as a beautiful day. Around noon, the hosts announced an approaching rain storm. Those of us with roadsters put our tops up and headed back to the hotel. That evening was the awards banquet. I must mention we eat very, very well at these conventions. The last hospitality suite was held and we all said our goodbyes. Ann and I were going on to visit family in New York and visit Watkins Glen. The rest of the group headed home on the PA Turnpike.
Ann and I made it to New York, visited our family, and drove across west to Watkins Glen. We drove the old race course around the Glen which I recommend to anyone who has their car in the area. Then we headed home on beautiful roads through the mountains. We spent the night of July 2nd near Clarion. On the morning of the third, we started toward Dayton, OH for our goddaughter’s wedding. Just east of Warren, OH we spun the number one rod bearing when the oil pressure gauge line split and sprayed all the engine oil on top of the starter. We rented a car and drove on to Dayton, leaving our B at a shop in Chagrin Falls, OH. Many thanks to Jack Feldman for helping me return the rental to Chagrin. I am pleased to say the B has finally finished the journey under its own power and is safely home.
Next year, we are off to Breckenridge, CO for MG 2009. We are looking for some adventurous souls who would like to join us.
John and Ann Schroeder