Like the idea of getting together for a few days with other Healey owners? If that gets essential fluids moving like a well-oiled roadster's, then you would have had a fantastic time at the Healey Rendezvous '05 in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Folks drove in from as far away as Texas. We drove the length of California - and will drive even further next year to go to Nelson, British Columbia for the Healey Rendezvous '06. From what we heard, so will most of those who rolled into the Shilo Inn on July 11th. The parking lot was filled with all the colors, makes and models from early BN1s through BJ8s.
It was warm by ten that morning. The mercury oozed up to 101 by late afternoon but nobody seemed to care. They were too busy purchasing snazzy regalia, renewing old friendships or making new. Good times continued right into the Ice Breaker Gathering in the lounge that evening. Healey folks know how to have fun.
Tuesday morning got people out of bed to drive their Healeys over to Moore Park for a Popular Choice Car Show. A pastoral venue! Almost seventy roadsters parked by model on rolling green grasses in the shade of ancient trees. The hungry got their fill at the afternoon Texas Style Bar-B-Q. Good grub! Mesquite smoked ribs 'n chicken - plenty of tasty sauce - L.B.'s baked beans, garden salad and sodas. This was the nicest car show venue I've attended. Here are the results of the voting:
BN1 & BN2
First Place: Doug & Karen Miller, WA
Second Place: George Keens, CA
Third Place: Jerome Cathey, WA
100-6 BN4 & BN6
First Place: Michael Robers/Annie Lubek, BC
Second Place: John Soderling, CA
Third Place: Cully Anderson, CA
Fourth Place: Tom & Cecilia Magnuson, WA
3000 MI BN7 & BT7
First Place: Bruce & Sue Jackson, WA
Second Place: Sheila Findlay, WA
Third Place: Tracy Drummond, CA
3000 MII BN7 & BT7 & BJ7
First Place: Lynn & Mary Martin, ID
Second Place: Bob & Dixie Jahnke, UT
Third Place: Udo & Gisela Putzke, CA
3000 MIII BJ8
First Place: Dennis & Jan Saxon, WA
Second Place: Kent & Judy Lambert, OR
Third Place: Steve & Laurie Day, WA
Fourth Place: Dan O'Mahoney,
Fifth Place: Gordon & Billie McLachlan,
Sixth Place: Allan & Mary Gross,
SPRITE: BUGEYE & SQUARE BODY
First Place: John & Judy Carter, OR
Second Place: Walt & Zoe Harrison, WA
Third Place: Bruce Marrs/Susan Motander, CA
First Place: Don Lenschow, TX
Each day had high points but for me Wednesday's was going to be tough to top as we drove scenic back roads. The wide mirror expanse of Klamath Lake.the tall cedars and pines.the endless green meadows sprinkled with wild flower blooms made it hard for me to keep my eyes on the road.
Wait. There's more. John Wilson was leading the Healey pack to one of the most beautiful places on earth, Oregon's Crater Lake, the deepest lake in America. I thought I knew blue until I saw that lake. I don't have the words, but that color is etched in my mind. Other than looking into mid-day heaven there will never be a bluer blue. There's a perfect color for a Healey.
There was a no-host pizza party after the Crater Lake tour that got people back together around food-laden tables. Does this sound like all we did was eat? Cruise ships got nothing on us. Thank you, Austin Healey Club of Oregon! You did a bang-up job of getting people together and happily fed.
We didn't do the 130-mile Observation Rally on Thursday, but those who did said they had eyefuls of fun. We met up with them at Train Mountain Railroad Museum about 25 miles north of Klamath Lake. Read all about it at http://www.trainmountain.org Most of us got rides on 1/8-scale model trains that wound their way though spectacular Ponderosa pines, past miniaturized villages, old cabooses and railroad memorabilia. There are over
thirteen miles of track! How about food? We didn't go hungry. They fed us like we were a bunch of rail workers who'd just laid a couple-a miles-a track.
Instead of doing the train thing, some people took a scenic drive down the west side of Upper Klamath Lake, a route through miles of forested Cascade foothills and spectacular vistas, such a beautiful part of Oregon.
Back at the inn folks were getting ready for the no-host cocktails, auction and the Popular Choice Award for the best Healey. Hard to pick one from the winners at the Moore Park event. Wasn't easy, but Doug Miller's tasty BN2 Silver over Gray got the votes. Well deserved!
Maybe Club President Don Lenschow drove his Jensen Healey in from Texas just to make us laugh. He did. That man can tell stories. Then Bill Emerson, Curator of the Healey Museum being built at Virginia International Raceway, brought us up to date on the 20,000 square foot project which opens in 2007.
Well, the party lasted late into the evening. I'm sure many went home with prized parts and cherished memorabilia. Thanks again, AHCO for being such swell hosts!
Most folks packed up and left the next morning. We drove home via highway 3 from Yreka to Eureka. If you want roads made for Healeys, you gotta take that route. Unbelievable! Up over 4,000 foot passes - tires clinging precariously to sometimes less than one lane roads above cliffs over the north fork of the Salmon River - we drove for three hours without seeing another car. Good thing. If you try it, make sure your car is in order. There are no towns or services for many, many miles and not much room to
pull over to make repairs.
The rest of the drive home down California Highway 1 is one of our favorites; the Pacific pounding against cliffs below - the tight curves and spectacular vistas, though sky-scratching Redwood forests, across rolling California headlands - this is a drive not to be missed. To avoid 100-degree inland heat, those in the know, including Tracy Drummond and Lou Galper, took this coastal route back home too.
Here we are already planning the route for the Nelson Healey Rendezvous '06. Will we see you there? Sure hope so. It aught-a be a hum-dinger!
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