Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall Driving Tour

Every fall season, the LCC-LMR will host a weekend driving color tour to a predetermined destination where we can combine our love of driving and see the splendor of nature. This year I made a suggestion of our group motoring along rural roads to Starved Rock National Park along the Illinois River just outside Utica, IL. Our club treasurer Jim volunteered to coordinate the route while I was entrusted to secure a lunch reservation in the main dining room at the lodge.

We agreed on the date in mid-October and settled for Saturday the 18th. Bright and early that morning, Mario collected me and the Clenet from Ken's house for our two-hour drive from Three Oaks, MI to Channahon, IL where the group met for a quick breakfast of pastries and coffee prior to the color tour. The weather was perfect for the day with sunny skies and a daytime forecast in the mid-60's. Mario and I arrived at the morning meeting place with just a minute remaining of our anticipated two-hour ETA. Jim and Larry were already there with breakfast waiting. The group quickly assembled over the next forty-five minutes with about forty members joining.

Both Jim and I made a few announcements, talked about the scenic route along the historic I & M canal and handed out maps with areas of interest along our proposed three-hour driving tour. The group posed for a quick photo-op and then quickly settled into their places in our caravan as Mario and I lowered the top on the Clenet. We were positioned just about in the center of the caravan along the entire route snapping a few pics along the way.

As the group motored along, we passed through small towns bustling with Saturday morning activity and quaint rural areas that gave us the fall color we came to see. This tour gave me the opportunity to see these down-state Illinois towns that were grew from both shipping and farming. Our route took us past elaborate Victorian mansions as we motored through Morris and Ottawa, IL. The rural areas between these river towns were ablaze with stunning colors that only a Midwest fall season can produce.

We finally arrived at the State Park and enjoyed a wonderful meal. Afterwards, Mario and I joined a few car club friends for a scenic walk along the river and up along the cliffs. The driving tour concluded our car related adventures for the season and we are now going to concentrate on the repairs needed from the collision back in August.

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