On October 18th the GTA held its first ever Homecoming and Fall Festival drive. Coinciding with the 5th Annual Harvest Balloon Festival at Sterling on the Lake in Flowery Branch. The day was simply stunning with crisp morning temps rising to pleasant upper 70’s. Approximately 12 members made it to the event from 11-2 at Jones Bridge Park in Norcross with about 8 Triumph’s showing. Two founding members of the club were in attendance Bob Ragan and Terry Allen. Bob and Terry shared their perspectives on the club from its humble origins to its mighty reign to its more modest present day status. Like most things, Bob and Terry shared that there are ebbs and flows with everything in life. We did meet several people at our event that are interested in acquiring Triumphs of their own and I have since turned one gentleman on to a couple of Triumph Stags in need of a new home. Another gentleman already owned a TR6 and was wanting more club information. It always amazes me the number of closet Triumph owners in the Atlanta area.

After dining on burgers, brats and dogs prepared by our own Mike Hurst, we started on our way to Sterling on the Lake for the Harvest Balloon Festival with a drive planned by me winding up through the best suburban back roads I could conjure up.

Along the way at a stop light we had an issue. Mike’s Stag had rather suddenly given up the ghost. After getting our cars to the side of the road, a task force of GTA members descended onto Mike’s car to assess and repair. What looked like a dodgy electric fuel pump turned out to be the work of the evil prince of darkness, Lord Lucas. Yes an electrical gremlin had rendered Sue powerless to move down the road. She was quite pleased about it as you can tell.

While sitting along the side of the road, our cars indeed made a terrific roadside showing, a future GTA member, Robin Thomson appeared seemingly out of nowhere on the side of the road with us. It seems Robin just happened to be in the area and saw some familiar faces and cars on the side of the road. Robin was generous to invite us to his place in Flowery Branch to stop off and see his progress on his TR4 since we were going to be in his neck of the woods. We accepted his hospitality and added it as a stop on our route.We spent about and hour and a half at Robin’s, you know once you get GTA members around a disassembled Triumph there’s no shutting us up, so while the ladies sat board to tears, we all poked, prodded and assessed like a bunch of med students.

Bidding Robin well wishes with his car, and thanking him for allowing us into his home we departed for our destination, the Harvest Balloon Festival at Sterling on the Lake.

Unfortunately the balloon festival was a bust. The afternoon saw a blustery cool wind out of the northwest and as a result the balloons could not be inflated. So while there were no balloons, there was a great deal of other things to do and things to eat. A people watchers paradise. So as with all best laid plans, we hung out, took in the sights, watched an attempt to fill a balloon…watch it go south real fast and get deflated with about the same speed. Ate some tasty BBQ and called it a day. Next time I hope to see some balloons, and at least we know what to expect out of this event. We wondered, Could BCD be held here?