East meets west and Upstate rejoices in the first drive of the season
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It was a cold March morning in Eastern NY. How cold? Around 20 degrees (thats Fahrenheit) when most of us rolled out for the drive, our Western members starting as early as 5:45 AM to make it to the kickoff for the driving season. Temps were an ambient 23 degrees and reached a day time high of 40 degrees. Was it fun? You betcha. Are we crazy? Car crazy for sure. 😛
11 S2000’s, a BMW 128i (S was hibernating), and a Civic Si (camera car) showed up at the rendezvous point at the McDonalds in Clifton Park, NY. This being the first drive of the season we had members driving from all parts of the state (East meets West) to be there and kick off Upstate’s first warm weather (if you can call 23 degrees that) group drive of the decade.
The drive kicked off a little after 10:30 AM as we warmed up and headed out on a northern route following the Mohawk River, headed to the Saratoga Auto Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY. At the museum we were given a great tour and got to check out the current exhibit – The Corvette Collection owned by Jack Gillette.
The museum also had some vintage race cars including a vintage Ferrari and simulated racing machines. Also on exhibit, were cars built in the State of New York.
After the Museum and a quick cookie break (courtesy of S2KI member Headchef), the group headed over to the Olde Saratoga Brewery, a historic brewery located in Saratoga Springs. After sampling several of their beers (tasting is free 😀 ) fresh from the tap, we headed over to the first of two new wineries in the area. Saratoga Winery opened last year and has become rather well known for their wine. After a wine tasting the group lined up to get a group picture. We then headed over to Johnston’s Winery, yet another wine maker in the area. We sampled some free wine here and then set off for Coopers Cave Ale Company another micro brewery in Glens Falls, NY via Great Sacandaga Lake.
This section of our trip was designed for thrills with a lot of sharp corners and a steep downhill descent into Glens Falls, on some very curvy roads. We encountered our fair share of mad soccer moms in Subaru Forester’s and Ford Explorers. There was also a lady in an old Subaru Outback ahead of us as we were going around the section on Great Sacandaga Lake and she was doing her best to keep us behind her. We could only applaud her driving skills, seeing how she braked, carried speed into the corner and exited at full throttle.
The drive ended 105 miles from the starting point, at Coopers Cave Ale Company where we dug in for a well-deserved late lunch / early dinner. Soon it was time to bid adieu to friends and fellow enthusiasts and wishing them well for the trip back. It was 7:00 PM by the time everyone left and we headed back reliving the memories of a wonderful drive. I’m looking forward with eager anticipation to the next one. What about you? Do you have a group drive planned yet? 🙂
For anyone visiting Upstate New York and wanting to do the drive, here is a link to the route taken.
Images and video courtesy of Brian DeFrees a friend of S2kI (www.briandefrees.com). Roger Rabbit’s AP0 (Playboy) image courtesy of S2KNFR.
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