Eagerly anticipating our first Appalachian Adventure, on a sunny Thursday we loaded the Cayman, stuffing every available space, and set out for Blowing Rock. We took the back roads, enjoying a leisurely drive along Hwy 70 and 221, cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoying the scenery.
After checking into our lodge room, we arrived at the Meadowbrook Inn for our shift working registration. As newer members of the club, we have found that doing some volunteer shifts helps us to meet members and put faces to names. It was a steady stream of folks picking up their registration packets and goodie bags, and we had some fun meeting and greeting.
At the welcome reception, the food was beyond fabulous, with shrimp and grits perfectly cooked and served in champagne glasses, barbecue sliders, chicken and waffles, and fried green tomatoes served with pimento cheese garnish. Oh, my, we thought, if this was just the welcome, the rest of the weekend will be beyond belief!
Friday morning came early, as we had to get breakfast and be ready to roll at 9:00. We went early, and helped again with registration as we enjoyed our morning coffee. It was cool and foggy as we made our way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed north, serving as sweep for our drive.
Stopping at our first planned overlook, it was completely fogged in, which made for some interesting photos. We stopped at the Northwest Trading Post, then on to lunch at the Bluffs, which was surprisingly good for a diner on the parkway. Coming back, we stopped at the same overlook to find the fog had lifted and the views were spectacular. Friday evening was a buffet dinner with a German theme meal.Saturday was a rainy day, but the Concours went on as planned as it alternated between drizzling and pouring.
The Concours volunteers donned rain gear and put us in the right classes, staging the cars at the hotel then sending us over in groups to the church parking area. Because of the rain, we didn’t get the spectators, but our members voted on our choices. A box lunch inside the church was a welcome respite to the chill, enjoyed in the company of new acquaintances.
The afternoon trip to Chip Perry’s Car Barn was amazing. Pristine cars were displayed in an amazing setting of elegance and opulence, accompanied by Frank Sinatra on the sound system, and luscious dessert treats with an open bar for our pleasure. We enjoyed meeting Mr. Perry, his friend and mechanic Pat Collins, and Pat’s wife. Haggerty Insurance executives, Spencer Gates and Cameron Jacques gave an informative talk on classic car values, with gifts to the participants.The weekend wrapped up with another fabulous meal at the Meadowbrook featuring grilled salmon and flank steak with feta and fried onions, along with a fresh salad, tricolor potatoes and steamed vegetables. Fire roasted peach cobbler for dessert completed the meal.
Awards were given for the top vote getters in the Concours, and the winner of the technical history quiz. Then Rhett Blanchard the new General Manager of Flow Asheville the dealer for Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen, spoke about the challenges of selling cars in the current environment along with the future of electric cars. For Porsche owners, the commitment of the company to sell locally and at MSRP was astonishing and well received.This kind of event, with all of its challenges, seemed to go off without a hitch. We know this is because of the massive amount of planning and organization over the past year to make it happen. We applaud Appalachian Adventure Chair Bill Price and his committee chairs Bob Herrmann, David Butler, John Goetzman, Don Lowcavage and Bob Disney that made it possible. We had a great time, and look forward to next year!
See the slide show below for more.