[Spridgets] British Car Week - A Lap of Virginia

Miniac7 at aol.com Miniac7 at aol.com
Fri Jun 10 16:51:12 MDT 2011

As British  Car Week drew to a close last weekend, a small but enthusiastic
group  of four from Mid Atlantic Minis participated in a fantastic  two day
classic Mini scenic drive through the Virginia countryside.  Mileages and
driving times varied as we all started out from different  locations, but I
was able to enjoy the longest drive of the group, at 20 hours  including
short rest stops, and 711 miles door to door.
Starting out  at 6am Saturday from Virginia Beach, which is in the
southeastern corner of  the state, I rendezvoused en route with another Mini
as we ran up to  northern Virginia, where we then met up with two additional
Mini drivers before  turning west and running out to Front Royal, which is
in the northern central  part of the state. From there we picked up the
northernmost entry  point of the breathtakingly scenic Skyline Drive, and
south  through Shenandoah National Park. As the park officially ends in the
 Charlottesville area, the road crosses over I-64 and continues southward
as the  Blue Ridge Parkway. During the drive along both of these scenic
mountain  top roads we were able to occasionally stop at some of the higher
elevation  overlooks in order to take in the scenery while stretching our legs
and chatting  with the many onlookers. We ended our first day of driving at
the Peaks  of Otter Lodge. This is an extremely laid back lodge which is
situated right  along the Parkway. The guest rooms have no TV, no phones, no
internet and not even a clock radio. There's also no cell service  anywhere in
the vicinity. I was there 27 years ago, and nothing at all has  changed
since then. The place was perfect. Upon our arrival at 6pm we were  able to
enjoy a very relaxing early evening parking lot tire kicking session  while
enjoying plenty of cold libations, followed by a leisurely dinner, and  then
more parking lot socializing before turning in for the night.
On the  second day we continued south and exited the Parkway near Roanoke.
>From there we traveled back eastward along many of the areas rolling and
sometimes twisty two lane roads. It was at this point in the drive that we
started to break off and head home in different directions. The route
throughout  the two days was comprised primarily of two and four lane
secondary and
 rural roads, and Virginia Scenic Byways, with the exception of some of the
 busier roads as I returned closer to home. With the exception of a brief
overnight shower, the weather was mostly mid to upper 80bs with clear blue
skies  the entire weekend.
This was by  far, the most enjoyable drive Ibve experienced in this car in
17 years of  ownership. If any of you ever get the inkling to embark on a
scenic drive in  Virginia, and would like to take in Skyline Drive and/or the
Blue Ridge Parkway,  make sure you let me know, as I will go again in a
flash. In fact, Ibm am  currently in the early planning stages of a similar
day mountain top drive  for Spridgets, around this time next year. To that
end, Ibd like to hear from  anyone in the general vicinity who like to
consider joining me for a such a  Spridget run during British Car Week 2012.

Howard Collins
Virginia Beach, VA.
'60 AH Bugeye Sprite
'68 Austin Mini

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