I thought that the club might like an update on the 2012 edition of Backroads to Bavaria as I was the only CRMC member in attendance. I managed to convince my long suffering wife, Jeanette, to travel with me provided I was on best behavior with no high G cornering or multiple car overtaking.
We left Calgary midday Thursday and made it to Sandpoint Idaho at 6 pm. Highway 22 was dressed in its finest autumn colours and the traffic was light so we had an easy and reasonably quick cruise. The border crossing only took 15 minutes so we made Sandpoint without incident.
We stayed at the Best Western on the lake front, reassemble price, great location with passable onsite dining room but the smallest bathrooms even by cruise ship standards.
We drove highway 2 to Leavenworth arriving about 3.30 pm on Friday. We stayed at the Best Western Icicle Inn that is a bit more upscale than the Enzian but the trip downtown is twice as long. They offered a free shuttle but it was quite disorganized so we ended up driving. This year we decided to go to the Oktoberfest enclosure, well organized with lots of interesting acts, particularly the four dancers direct from Munich
This year the Backroads event was much less structured with a welcome dessert at 8 pm Friday and all the events on Saturday wrapping up with a farewell breakfast on Sunday. Attendance was down to 60+ cars with a few cars from Edmonton, Kelowna and BC coast, in all about 10 cars. The demographics of the attendees were somewhat older and for the first time I felt that Miatas were a car aimed at the Senior citizen crowd. Makes me wonder who is going to purchase the new ND if and when Mazda builds it.
Saturday started off with a drive up highway 2 west of Leavenworth for about 10 miles, then along a paved twisty scenic back road back to town. Instead of the traditional show and shine, participants were encouraged to present their car one at a time, modifications and history. It worked quite well except some folks rambled on too long about their drives with less info on the cars. This could be an interesting event for us to organize locally next summer.
The weather was fantastic in the mid 20’s, perfect for top down motoring, the only negative being the smoke from the forest fires even though none were close by. The Backroads team provided a tasty box lunch and led us on a drive through the orchards for a picnic lunch at Ohme Gardens. This place was quite interesting and is worth a visit if you wish a couple hours of quiet time. Webpage: http://www.ohmegardens.com/.
This concluded the formal events but several drives were outlined that groups did on their own before returning to Leavenworth. There was no group photo arranged that several people commented that they missed.
On Sunday we departed for Coeur d’ Alene after a shopping expedition Spokane. We lucked into staying at the new Hamptons Inn. It is situated in a new development with shops, restaurants and Movie Theater. We goy a junior suite with balcony for $129! The sports bar next-door “ Bardenay” was attractively situated on a small lake with good reasonable priced eats, I would recommend both.
Today was a seven hour drive back to Calgary, true to form the weather got progressively worse with even a bit of light snow in the Crowsnest pass. All in all a pleasant four day weekend with no hassle at Canadian customs as the duty free allowance is now up to $800 for a 48 hour stay and there is no way to get $1600 shopping plus luggage into the trunk of a Miata! However it would have been even better if we could have organized a CRMC convoy.