It has been a fun few days with our car club at a multi-day event called Appalachian Adventure, running around the higher mountains of Ashe county. Settle in for a long and picture heavy post today! We’ve been enjoying time with new friends on planned drives, having some great food at several dinners, a concours show in Blowing Rock, and more activities in our beautiful part of the world. There are some lovely pastoral scenes along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and on the back roads to get up to Blowing Rock. These old barns are dotted around the countryside. Lots of grazing cows were nearby, but I couldn’t spot them in time to get a photo.
Arriving early, we checked into our room, did a quick drop off of suitcases, then went down to work registration. After our shift, it was happy hour, with heavy hors d’oeuvres. I was really impressed with these shrimp and grits, served in champagne saucer glasses. They were delicious, with perfectly cooked shrimp and flavorful creamy grits.
Oh, so good!
Then there were fried green tomatoes with a garnish of pimento cheese.
And if that wasn’t enough, there was a huge crudite tray, and barbecue sliders. I almost missed the chicken and waffle bites! After I found them, I had several, LOL. You all know how much I love fried chicken. Newer readers, see my post on Fried Chicken I wrote a few years ago for National Fried Chicken Day.
Friday started out foggy, as we worked sweep on our planned drive. That means we are the last car in line, and radio the lead as everyone makes a turn, or gets through a light. As we went higher in elevation, the clouds came down upon us. We stopped at our planned overlook, but we couldn’t see the whole line of 9 cars, much less the mountains!
But the day cleared as it went on, and soon we were seeing prettier scenes of lush green forest and majestic mountains. I was able to get a few shots of us on the road.
Then, it was my turn to drive the next leg, and My Sweet Babboo got this shot while I drove. He can spot a barn quilt almost as quickly as I can.
On the way back to the host hotel after lunch, we went back to the same overlook, and found the fog had lifted. It has a beautiful view of our mountains.
Stopping at a second overlook, it is easy to see why it is called the Blue Ridge.
I did manage to get My Sweet Babboo to slow down here and there on the return trip back to the hotel, especially when I spotted another barn quilt.
Saturday it rained, but that didn’t stop our concours car show. We assembled by class in the parking lot of a church. It was a show advertised to the public, but the rain kept the spectators away.
We braved the rain as it was lighter to do our voting. Participants voted for Best in Class, and sometimes that was really hard. When you have a row of cars that are all essentially the same, it is that something extra that makes the difference. It might be a license plate that supports the Blue Ridge wildlife, or an unusual color.
With that in mind, I took a couple of things along to set inside the dash, just to capture attention. My little dragon has a picnic basket. I thought he was cute, and we often take him along on MINI events.
Unfortunately, the rain on the windshield made him hard to notice. But you all know, I had to point him out to a few of our friends.
So we did our voting, then enjoyed our box lunches inside the church hall.
After the concours, we were treated to a tour of what is called the Car Barn (link to an article in Our State magazine). This incredible facility is a private collection of more than two dozen pristine cars, still regularly driven, in a luxury building with faux wood floors and chandeliers.
Truly, the pictures do not do it justice! It isn’t open to the public, but the owner, Chip Perry, offers it to groups like ours for private events. He hosted this as a party, with an open bar, desserts, and classic music like Frank Sinatra. I said several times that we should have been in tuxedos and evening gowns, it was that elegant.
He also likes Volkswagens, and this black one on the end is special. The 1946 matte black beetle is only one of 30 left in the world. I was amazed to discover that the creator of the Beetle design was Ferdinand Porsche.
Mr Perry loves Porsche because of that connection, and has at least a dozen of various rare models. Every car is in running condition.
Down the center of the immense space, a table was full of treats for us. These huge strawberries were topped with marscapone and chocolate drizzle. There was an orange marmalade layer cake, two kinds of cookies, carrot cake and more.
I had two of these decadent chocolate truffle brownies. We enjoyed the treats while looking at all the pristine cars.
There were over two dozen cars on display, including some British marques.
Back to the hotel to freshen up, then it was off to the cocktail hour and the final awards banquet with a guest speaker. We were excited that My Sweet Babboo won second place in his car class for the concours. I think my little dragon and his picnic basket helped, but he believes that the officers may have pushed the balance in our favor in appreciation for our volunteering. Either way, it is fun to have the trophy for our shelf.
It was an amazing trip, and we are headed home this morning, so our chat time will come a bit later in the day than usual. One last photo of our views for the drive home.
When we get home, I’ll be in football mode the rest of the day. It is truly fall when football season starts!