Werks Reunion Amelia Island 2022 might have had the largest attendance yet by the Appalachian Region with 22 members sighted on the show field on Friday, March 4, 2022 at the Amelia River Golf Club.
The festivities started for 10 members in the Appalachian Region as they caravanned down to Amelia together through the backroads of South Carolina and Georgia.
Jim Moore with Dave White riding shotgun, led the tour in “Turbo Bear”, Jim’s 911 Turbo with Yohan Sookdeo on his tail in a matching but newer black 991 turbo. The other cars in the line included the Cayman of Doug and Liz Scheer and Kim and Paula LaRowe in the lone air-cooled representative Porsche, a 1980 911 Weissach Edition. Bob Disney drove “Blue” his sapphire blue 911 and was the co-navigator with the other accurate route on his Garmin. Dan Dazzo drove sweep in his yellow and black “Bumble Bee” GT4 with Don Therien holding down the passenger seat.
The day started ominously at the Starbuck’s meet-up point in Hendersonville when we found the Starbuck’s closed. It is hard to start a seven-hour journey without coffee or a bathroom. The Exxon across the street had to meet those needs.
At 8:30 a.m. sharp the caravan left on the journey with the goal of driving the “famous Woodpecker Trail” through South Carolina and Georgia. This route that originated in the 1920’s was so named because of the travel through all the forests of Georgia that were homes to Woodpeckers. The web site for the trail touted it as one the 50 best roads in the US.
As Bob Disney stated: “They apparently have never driven our roads in WNC. There are 50 roads better than the Woodpecker out our back doors in WNC.” More to come on this later.
The six-Porsche caravan sprinted down I-26 with eager anticipation of exiting at Clinton, South Carolina for a leisurely journey down the backroads of Southern America. The roads greeted us with political flags still flying from the last election and every barn holding the potential of that elusive “barn find” Porsche. We didn’t find a barn find or a woodpecker during the morning leg, but we had the anticipation of the afternoon leg offering both birds and cars.
After passing through the golf mecca of Augusta, we targeted our lunch stop at Taylor’s Barbeque in Waynesboro, Georgia. It was a stab in the dark as to what we would find, but we knew we didn’t want fast food and Yelp said this was the place to eat.
The house converted to restaurant façade had us all second guessing the decision as we approached the door, but were we surprised to open the door and see the line for food winding around the restaurant. We joined the line and soon realized the BBQ in Waynesboro was not the pulled pork sandwich we were used to. The offerings were fried, fried and fried; but oh, were they good. Fried chicken, fried pork chops, fried cat fish and sides of yams, potatoes, greens and beans. The most unique item was a cornbread pancake.
Each tray of food seemed to weigh five pounds and would have been sufficient for our lunch and dinner. There were few that finished their meal as the food was so plentiful, but all agreed that this was some of the best traditional southern food we all had experienced. It definitely was the highlight of the journey.
Dan and Yohan split off from the group at this point to take a shorter route to our hotel while the rest of us did not want to give up on the potential of Woodpeckers and beautiful roads.
The roads were nice, but as mentioned before, it is hard to match the roads that we are blessed with around Asheville. The sad site was that many of the forests were being clear cut on either side of the road. These were timber farms as opposed to national forests so we had to witness the necessary evil of all of our paper products; trees have to be cut down.
We never did see the beauty of the drive that was promised nor a Woodpecker, but we had a leisurely drive together and got to know each other a little more as we chatted over the walkie talkies and observed each other’s driving styles.
After the highlight of the lunch, I would have to say our radios provided our other memorable experience on the drive. We all had two-way radios in our cars so we could communicate along the way. From the beginning our radio had static and was constantly being keyed. It was so annoying. Dave and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. As it turned out this scenario was playing out in every Porsche. It was so annoying that in some of the cars people turned their radios off.
Then at one point, Alanis Morrisette started to stream across the air waves. Calls were going out: “Who’s listening to Alanis Morrisette? Turn off your radio!” We soon stopped for our first break with Don Therien bounding out of Dan’s car with the goal of identifying whose radio was providing such an annoyance. Without naming names it turns out one driver’s new radio was set up on VOX which transmits whenever it picks up noise so we all had the pleasure of one person’s choice in music, but more annoying, the constant interference on the radio channel.
The incidence ended up being the humor point of the trip with light-hearted ribbing through the meal at the end of the day.
We pulled into our hotel at 4:30 p.m. with a dinner reservation at 6:00 p.m. just down the road at Ship 2 Shore Seafood and Steak. Others from the region joined the tour drivers so we had 16 total for dinner. We groaned when we saw the menu because all the fish was fried! As good as the fried food was at lunch I don’t think any of us wanted to experience more fried food. Luckily upon inquiry we learned all the seafood entries could be had grilled, broiled, poached or fried.
We met up the next morning at 8:00 a.m. in the hotel parking lot to caravan to the show. A quick shine was required after the backroad drives.
We viewed over 700 Porsches with Dave White exclaiming: “This is the most Porsches I have ever seen in one place.” The parking corral just went on and on with one Porsche after another.
The trip ended with some of us heading back to Asheville while others stayed overnight for additional car sights and others were making a trip of it stopping on the way home in Savannah and Charleston.
See you all in Asheville!
Jim Moore – Appalachian Region President