March Madness Drive

Cabin fever has caught hold in all our car clubs, and with the warming weather, more drives are happening. The first one of the season for the British Car Club had us meeting in west Asheville for a drive north. That’s our red MINI on the left. It counts as British for this club, and also for the two MINI clubs we are in.

It didn’t take very long for more friends to arrive and we had eight cars ready to roll.

A few minutes later and we were up to 12. Seems like a lot of us needed to get out and socialize a bit. We all wore our masks, most of us have been vaccinated too.

We set out on a road headed north. There were weeping cherries, forsythias and Japanese cherry trees in full bloom along the way. We also saw a number of tulip magnolias in bloom in deep pink.

Pastoral scenes on both sides of the road were a pleasure to see. On this one, the farmer was headed out somewhere on his tractor.

Gorgeous pear trees dotted the road in white next to old barns.

This forsythia was the largest I’ve ever seen. It must have been 20 feet tall. I almost didn’t get a photo of it, as it came into view as we went around a bend in the road.

Heading past more working farms, the road curved toward forested land.

We crossed over the French Broad river, swollen and overflowing its banks from the recent rains.

We followed alongside it for a while, noting many areas where the water was almost up to the road, covering walking paths and picnic areas.

Interesting rock formations were on the right side of the road. The sign notes a curvy section ahead, My Sweet Babboo likes those.

Soon we were headed up into a higher elevation.

Another working farm had concrete silos, not the usual.

After a short stop to make sure our group was together, we moved up in the line closer to the middle. We had a radio, and it was better for us to relay messages from the lead car to the sweep car. Lots of times the curvy roads make communication on the radios a challenge. More pear trees bloomed on this road too, reminding me of cupcakes with white frosting lined up on the road.

A pretty valley scene, with pear trees blooming, and mountains in the distance. I just wish we didn’t have so many power lines above ground here.

White blooms everywhere.

Coming back into town, I finally was able to get a photo with the lead car in it. The red one at the top of the hill was our leader, and had planned our drive route.

Every trip I try to get the cars behind us in the mirror. This one got them all, back to the big white SUV that was working sweep. The sweep car is there to be sure we all stay together, and help if anyone breaks down.

The grass is greening up here and there, even though many of the trees are still bare.

Coming back alongside the French Broad river, this small dam was overflowing. A hawk was circling overhead, looking for a meal. I hope he got a fish dinner.

One more cherry tree, another cupcake with light pink frosting, before we reached the restaurant for take out to outdoor tables.

It was a nice drive, and we made it home before it started raining again. It felt so good to put on a pretty sweater, see some friends, bump elbows, have a nice chat and some laughs in the parking lot before the drive began. I hope that soon we will be able to have a meal with long-not-seen friends outside, and maybe feel safe enough to have a meal inside a restaurant with other vaccinated friends. I feel like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, wings not fully dry, but soon will be flying free. We have something planned for every Saturday in April, so I think you’ll see more of our spring countryside in future posts.

Are you able to see friends again? Are the trees blooming (or changing color) in your part of the world? Are you ready to dry your wings and fly again?

34 thoughts on “March Madness Drive

  1. Mary Stori

    Your photos certainly captured the look of spring in the mountains and the fun members of car clubs can enjoy together.

  2. Thanks for the nice pics. It looks like you had a really nice outing. it’s always refreshing to see the trees in bloom after winter. We still aren’t getting out except for necessities. However, we have had some immediate family visit occasionally.

  3. Lesley Gilbert

    Loved seeing all the cars and the journey you all made through such pretty countryside. Your description of the *cupcake with white frosting* made me smile.
    I had my 2nd.jab yesterday 🙂

  4. Julie

    What a beautiful spring drive with all the flowering trees. Spring is teasing us right now. A string of warm and sunny (!) days have spoiled us; however sputtering winter reminders are forecasted for the upcoming week. I moved my Norfolk Island Pine out to the sun room, freeing up significant indoor space. As a homebody by nature I don’t get cabin fever but by the end of winter I do enjoy having a bit more wiggle room indoors. Crocuses popped up in unexpected places, courtesy of the resident chipmunks, & the daffies are about to bloom. Eagerly anticipating some of those ‘cherry cupcakes’ in my neighborhood.

  5. cathy vergo

    I enjoyed reading your column. Did you guys drive the blue ridge parkway? Can you share the name of the restaurant? I love trying new places. Spring is in the air and I for one am happy

  6. karenfae

    sounds like you had a very nice day even if it looked a little cloudy – so many pretty flowering trees. Lunch out sounds good too – I miss eating out and we do not have many in our area that have room set up for outside dining so we have passed on it – a couple weeks after we get our second vaccine we will start to eat out again and maybe just go a little early when it is not crowded

  7. What a fun day you had and what lovely photos. How lucky you are to have spring already! Here in Wisconsin today, it is 34 degrees and snowing! Last weekend was 60 degrees! Such is the roller coaster of weather in the northland in March and April.

  8. Raining here today. Your flowers were lovely to see; we have forsythia close to blooming but that’s about it so far. My daffs are 2″ out of the ground.
    We are close on the shots; hubby gets his 2nd this week, me next week. Our closest friends are already past the two weeks of the second shot so we are really ready to get together!

  9. Marilyn

    Thank you for such beautiful spring pictures on your ride. I love the mountains and miss the seasons terribly. I love all the flowering trees and have not seen a forsythia bush blooming in over 40 years. I finally planned a trip to Gatlinburg, hoping to see some of this, but I’m afraid I may have planned to late in the month of April. I’m still going to enjoy sitting on the back porch of that cabin and just staring at the mountainsides below. Looking forward to more of your group picture drives. You live in one of the most beautiful states in this great nation.

  10. Debbie B

    Thanks for taking us along for the ride. So glad you were able to get out and enjoy the day with friends. Beautiful pics along the way.

  11. Jo Anne Seccurra

    When I saw March Madness Drive, I was curious what you’d talk about today. We’ve got what I call gray and brown season here where the deciduous trees have not budded and the ground askew from snow plowing is muddy. So refreshing to see your photos of flowering trees, bushes and gorgeous countryside vistas! I hope the memories of your drive will keep your spirits buoyed up for some time to come! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Well what a wonderful drive that was. I so enjoyed the chance to come along with you 🙂 Your a great tour guide and picture taker too 🙂 Wings are still wet here in the northwest but all the trees are blooming and bulbs are up and gorgeous. Friends are all getting vaccinated and visits are being planned.

  13. Patricia Evans

    Thanks for virtually taking us along on your car outing. I’m always amazed in spring to see how many flowering trees there are. Around here the crocuses are almost done and the daffodils are just starting. You can see a tinge of green on many of the bushes and shrubs. It’s always such a pick me up to see splashes of color after a winter of either white or dull brown.

  14. Joan Sheppard

    Thanks for the ride! I feel refreshed just looking at the pictures! Absolutely love the rear view pictures. Thanks for inviting us along!

  15. Indeed….as Joan said….Loved the ride and seeing the flowering trees was such a treat! Yes, cabin fever is beginning, now that we have a few nice days in between the storms! Thanks again for the pep talk w/ photos !!!!

  16. That looks like it was a lot of fun, Carole, and you got some wonderful pictures! I love forsythia, and it grows here, but not that big! I’ve been feeling a little cabin fever recently, too – definitely ready to get out and go somewhere.

  17. Mary

    How exciting!! What a lovely Springtime day out with your motoring group. The countryside is so beautiful with the trees coming into bloom and everywhere so green. You must have loved having a chat with fellow enthusiasts. I really enjoyed reading about your day out. Thankyou. :))

  18. Rita C.

    Love your trip and the photos of all the foliage and the cars in both directions! We are loosening more and more in our circle of those vaccinated. The other night we had an HOA mtg, and everyone came in with masks. As soon as we confirmed all were vaccinated, we took them off! It was great.
    Our trees and bushes look very similar to those on your trip. Many forsythia and Bradford pears have gone from flower to leafing out. Dogwoods are starting to bloom. Beautiful spring!

  19. So nice to be able to have a drive with your car enthusiast friends, thanks for the lovely pics of the beautiful countryside. Dont all the flowering trees look wonderful.

  20. Lovely spring drive Carole, I enjoyed seeing those lovely trees flowering! We are just starting to see buds swelling, and a tinge of green here and there. It will be awhile, but today was a good start, with nearly 70 degrees!

  21. Love all the pics from your trip…. So nice you all for to go out for a drive…….
    Just a little weird with you on the wrong side of the road…… LoL

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