Monday, August 2, 2010

Maryhill ’09 Postscript


Once again, your Humble Scribe has let another story become trapped in the N.F.W.H. (No Fenders WormHole) a variation of my I.U.T. (“Inglefart” Unit ‘O Time, Oh Never Mind!) And thus, just having completed another highly entertaining Roadtrip with Mary Ellen, Alex ‘N The ‘Bitches... I thought it was high time (or was that Millertime?) to getting around to posting this long lost story of mine...

Therefore, as previously mentioned in Ghost Rider, (September, 2009) I recently attended my very first Hill Climb event at MaryHill in Eastern Washington, as the sanctioning body SOVREN states the event takes place in Goldendale, Washington on the MaryHill Loops Road.

Maryhill HillClimb
(At Goldendale Washington)

”The crisp and warm September weather is perfect for a Hillclimb on the Columbia River when SOVREN holds one of the finest vintage hillclimb events of the nation at Goldendale, WA. This event, the Maryhill Loops Hillclimb, is an annual event with approximately 40 pre-1970 racecars that have been restored to mint condition. This race is highlighted as it is one of the few genuine hillclimbs on one of the world’s most spectacular hills on the first paved highway constructed in Washington state almost a century ago. This course is featured in many car commercials and offers countless scenic viewing spots. Spectators will have the chance to view a variety of rare cars from the past including Porsches, Lotuses, Alfa Romeos, Corvettes, Austin Healeys and many more.
A concours car show is on the grounds of the Maryhill Museum on Saturday, and a special highlight occurs at noon when the race cars drive in to the car show in a thundering arrival. Racing will take place from 8:30a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday on the historic Maryhill Loops Road 4 miles west of the Maryhill Museum and near the Stone Henge replica . The car show on Saturday is free for spectators and tickets for the Hill Climb on Sunday may be purchased at the gate.”
(Source: SOVREN.com)

And thus armed with this information along with an info Packet sent to me by the fine folks at SOVREN, we set off for our weekend adventure at Maryhill, departing mid-Friday morning to begin the arduous task of driving over the hilltops, Err Mountains and thru the Woods to the much warmer (and drier) climes of Eastern Washington.

Crossing over Chinook Pass, we settled down for our first nights slumber *camping) somewhere east of the Pass on the downhill slope nestled in the woods along with a few other campers in an RV, where I was assigned the dubious task of holding our ferocious “Attack Dawgs” (Bitches) at bay on their respective leads As these little Doggies just love barking at anything that moves, including leafs…

After packing up camp, we headed off for Maryhill, via Sadist Pass, where it suddenly became very hot outside, coincidence? Then passing Toppenish, we entered the “Wind blast Zone,” as the wind speeds increased dramatically, as cleverly enough the corresponding hillsides were dotted with the arms of giant wind turbines, which we even stopped momentarily roadside in order for No Fenders “Cub Photographer” Alex to snap a pic or three… Before continuing thru a desolate looking Yakima Valley, as there seemed to be nothing besides wheat fields ‘N dust; as although we were planning to arrive “Casually Late” to the Car Show around 1PM, our journey took a little bit longer, before finally arriving around 2PM.

Having parked, Mary Ellen told Alex & I to get a move-on, while she took care of her three Doggies, which made for somewhat cozy seating positions in the Pickup’s cab.


Car Show
Situated nearby the Maryhill Chateau Museum, this was my favourite type of Car Show, being extremely low key, (and FREE) with a plethora of not so usual Automobiles on display, as the vehicles were simply lined-up in two opposing double file rows, somewhat shaded by a small clump of trees which thankfully not only provided shade but calmed the winds velocity down.

The very first vehicle that caught Alex’s eye was a vintage 1950’s(?) blazing yellow Chevy Pick-up truck as we attempted to stroll about the vehicles which were of all makes, models, and sizes ‘N shapes. There were Pick-up trucks, two vintage Police Cars, which I guessed one (actually both) must have been a Dodge due to its incrediblely long Land yachtish size, as its opened trunk boasted a display of various weapons…

Yet, for some reason I was drawn to the minnowesce red SAAB Sonnet, which is a “cute” car, although my favourite of the show was a deep blue 1960’s Jaguar XKE(?) while Alex decided the second “Copper” car was his, along with another vehicle with Flames on it, as there was even a vehicle with a corresponding “mini” trailer attached to it.

Yet I think Alex was most impressed by the vegetable races they were conducting as we passed thru the multitude of vehicles… Yeah that’s right, “Veggie” races, as you had to pound something which then propelled the various shaped veggie-cars on a track with times being recorded for longest run, before we decided to head back to the truck and check-in.

As we strolled back thru an overly intense wind, as after all we were right next to the Columbia River in the famous Gorge area, the Wind Surfer’s mecca, as I fought a losing battle to keep my hat firmly affixed!

As we headed back, suddenly there was a loud barking of noise, in what turned out to be the Hill Climb racecar’s preparing to return to wherever they’d come from and suddenly we were cut off by the line-up of vintage race cars preparing to leave, which reminded me of the Mollie Stone’s Historics in Sonoma, CA, where the racers invade the sleepy ‘lil town square On Friday prior to the race weekend in order to create the proper “Buzz.”

And speaking of “Buzz,” Mary Ellen said don’t you wanna go listen to the race cars as we returned? So off Alex & I went once again, although having missed all of the rolling thunder, I was able to listen to them roaring off on the main Highway back to their rendezvous, while Alex & I then perused the double file row of cars we’d previously skipped as it soon approached Awards time. (5PM – I think?) I was impressed to hear the first two winners were from Poulsbo, WA, which was an even further haul then we’d made, with another being from Culver City, CA, which was possibly the ’64 VW “Squareback” Beetle? While the SAAB class went to somebody out of Albany, OR, before they called out a class we’d never even gotten to – the Italian class. (Oh Whale, eh?)

Then the three of us took a stroll to the Chateau Museum, of which I’m still wondering why that exact spot, albeit - it does look directly onto the mighty Columbia River, as it’s a fairly massive building built out of Concrete and in a Castle motif, snapping a few pics before it was time for me to due my newest duty, pick-up one of the ‘Hoonds and stick her in the truck… Before we set off in search of our nights campsite, a most enjoyable secluded spot near the Klickitat River, as I’d briefly asked where are we gonna stay in all of this darn wind, eh? Although not that intuitive, it would have been a “Nightmare” (Larry) in the screaming winds of the Gorge!
To continue reading, see: Maryhill '09 Postscript (Con't)

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