The Wild Willy Run 2014 kicked off on Saturday June 21st under beautiful summer conditions. Warm but with a light breeze. Five triumphs came out to play. TR6 of Dave Kurtzman with co-pilot Stephanie Puleo. Gary and Lois Wilmerding in their TR6. Roy and Laura Oppedisano in their Spitfire, Martin and Kay Wilson in their TR6, and Tony and Gail Graham in ‘The Stag’.
Departing approximately at 1:30 we left for a ride with Willy. Who is Willy? Willy is a fictional character who narrates the route via provided maps. Think about the mailman from Funny Farm if you are familiar with the movie.There are two elements to the drive. First, you definitely will go places you’ve never been before and second, you can make choices during the drive as to what route you may take. Given that we had a lot of newcomers on this drive we took a vote and everyone decided on doing it ‘follow the leader’ style. So I led the group in the Stag.
The driving conditions were great for 99% of the trip. The backroads saw limited traffic particularly once getting north of Alpharetta. The weather stayed mild and at speed was perfect motoring. Gary Wilmerding mentioned that he had replaced the coil in his TR6 as it had been running poorly for some time and the car was completely transformed and was running flawlessly through to our first stopping point. A bit of disappointment at our first stop as the proprietor informed us that his ‘facilities’ were out of order. That precipitated a bit of a conundrum as to our route choice. If we wanted to do the ‘long route’ we would now have to backtrack to the restroom and back again. I had opted for this particular gas station due to its ‘mom and pop’ rural feel but its location now had put us in a bind so I put it to a vote and while most wanted to do the long route, I chose to take us on the short one which worked somewhat to our advantage. You see there was a storm brewing in Pickens and Dawson counties and as we departed the second gas station off Steve Tate and were heading north, the skies in the distance started to darken and get a bit ominous. It appeared that we could possibly skirt the worst of it and I think we did but it wasn’t long after that the wind started violently gusting and the heavens opened up. At speed it wasn’t a problem but eventually we came across cars that couldn’t seem to drive faster than 35 so we pulled over and put our tops up. Slightly damp, but undaunted we plunged on. Fortunately we were near the end of the drive and there were some spectacular views of the rain from the mountain overlook on Hwy 53. rolling into Jasper we checked into our rooms around 4:45, toweled off and verified our reservations for 6:00. I received a call from Earl Ferguson who was coming to Jasper to join us for dinner even though he was unable to participate in the drive. Once checked into my room I invited everyone up for after drive refreshments and conversation until dinner.
The food was good as we have come to expect from the Woodbridge. Our service was slightly off for who knows what reason. Our waitress was inexperienced with large groups, but as a result we did all receive complimentary deserts or wine. All in all, it was a great experience and I am pleased that so many of our new members are getting together with our longtime members and really getting these cars out on the roads doing the things we love to do. Drive, eat and enjoy life.