A Fairly Cool Tour

A Fairly Cool Tour

The chilly morning temperatures did little to curb the enthusiasm of the MINI Cooper faithful from Eastern Iowa MINIs and the Central Iowa MINI Club as our numbers climbed to 30 MINIs and over 50 participants for the 12th Annual MINICooperIowa Fall Tour on Saturday, October 4th. Our route kicked off with the morning rendezvous in La Porte City and passed by much Iowa fall scenery on the way to lunch in Anamosa and a superb buffet supper at the historic Decker Hotel 1875 Restaurant in Maquoketa, with fun stops along the way at Pleasant Creek State Park, the National Motorcycle Museum, cave exploring at Maquoketa Caves State Park, and the Hurstville Interpretive Center.

We enjoyed an added bonus upon our arrival in downtown Maquoketa, as our MINIs were extended an ad hoc invitation to join the “Muscle on Main” Car Show. We were enthusiastically ushered from our discrete parking spots near the restaurant to prominent show-off spots right along Main Street!

It was great to see lots of familiar faces, to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while, and to meet and greet a bunch of new MINI friends. Sincere thanks to all who came out and joined us!

A few photos from the day are available in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly by using the following link:

Photos from the 12th Annual MINICooperIowa Fall Tour, La Porte City to Maquoketa, 10-4-14

Happy motoring!

Swamp Fox MINIs

Swamp Fox MINIs

Eastern Iowa MINIs would like to extend our sincerest thanks to long time EIMers Larry and Pam H. for their support and generosity in hosting our MINIs again this year at the 2014 Swamp Fox Festival Parade in Marion on September 6th. Our parade participants enjoyed what was probably the most perfect weather day of the year, which contributed to record crowds along the parade route. As usual, our MINIs were one of the parade highlights. The delicious soups, pies, and other food and drink at our hosts’ home after the parade were absolutely fantastic and deeply appreciated.

We enjoyed the pre-parade car wash and the staging area, where we found ourselves lined up adjacent to the local Corvette club (and you wouldn’t hear it from them, but our MINIs won the race to the reviewing stand!). It was also a pleasure meeting new EIMer Rod H. and his rare Solid Gold Metallic MINI Cooper. It was fun seeing the Chili Red MINIs awarded driveway privileges too!

Photos from the parade are available in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly by using the following link:

Photos from the 2014 Swamp Fox Festival Parade, Marion, 9-6-14

See you at the Fall Tour…

Iowa MINI Yoopers

Yooper. (noun) A nickname for a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, derived from the initials “U.P.” And oh by the way, it happens to rhyme with “Cooper.”

And that’s what we were, during our recent, four-day adventure north for the inaugural Keweenaw MINI Rendezvous. This event was hosted from 14-17 August the Keweenaw Peninsula between the picturesque towns of Houghton and Copper Harbor, Michigan. It was yet another fantastically fun time with great MINI friends, both from EIM and new folks that we met along the way. We explored a lot of wonderful new territory, motored on some great stretches of challenging twisties, and visited many interesting and fun stops along the way. Enjoyed some spectacular weather and the view of Portage Lake and Mont Ripley from the backyard of our hotel. Had some mighty fine meals together, including some real homemade pasties. Partied in downtown Houghton with all of the MINI folk in town. Waded in Lake Superior (well, at least the ladies did). Gazed at the huge snowfall thermometer near Calumet. Heard our names and home towns on the radio station during our police escort out of Houghton on Day #1. Made the front page of the local paper — both print and web editions. By most accounts, had the best barbeque brisket ever at the group picnic on Friday. Marveled at the views in all directions from Brockway Mountain Drive. Picked and ate wild thimbleberries (with no adverse reactions). Visited shops, lighthouses, beaches, waterfalls, historic bridges, Art in the Park, a bakery run by monks, a copper mine, and the one and only “Gay Bar.” Enjoyed the superb scenery of the peninsula wherever we motored. Met some great new MINI friends. Oh, and Mike got a lump of coal as a gift (you’ll have to ask him). All in all, a most enjoyable and memorable MINI experience!

We extend our sincere thanks to Houghton locals Keith Riley and Mike Rose for their fantastic planning, organization, coordination with local businesses, media, and law enforcement, and outright leadership in putting on this event. Not one detail was overlooked. The bigger events need to pick these guys’ brains so they can learn how to do it right.

Pictures from our adventure to the Keweenaw have been added to our Photo Gallery and can be accessed directly by using the following link:

EIM at the Keweenaw MINI Rendezvous, Houghton, MI, 8-14-14 to 8-17-14

Thanks to the participating EIMers for making this trip so much fun!

Looking Back on MTTS 2014

Another successful MINI Takes the States is in the books. We want to recognize our fellow EIM folk who were able to participate in all or portions of this 5,200 mile, two-week event — including Denny and Sandy B., Peter N., Jerry and Chris S., Cindy D., Jay T., Mike and Di E., “Thelma and Louise,” and any others who we might have missed. Special kudos and salutations to Bill and Alyce S. who successfully completed the entire coast-to-coast event (and were still smiling at the end). Thanks for carrying the EIM flag for us! A quick nod to our friend Greg B. from CIMC who also made the full trip.

We’ve assembled a collection of photos from our participants in the Photo Gallery for your reminiscing and viewing enjoyment. They’re directly accessible using the following link:

EIM Photos from MINI Takes the States 2014, 7-26-14 to 8-9-14

It’s not too early to start thinking about MTTS 2016!

A MINI Hit Parade

A MINI Hit Parade

We had the pleasure of a big group of MINIs and MINI enthusiasts and nearly perfect weather at this year’s Holy Cross Festival and Parade, held this past Saturday in Holy Cross. It was great to have such a large presence in the parade this year. The assortment of food and drink after the parade was amazing, with the broasted chicken seemingly exceeding its past lofty standards. A new twist was the slot car competition, great fun despite the fact that Steve B. managed to thoroughly kick our butts on the track. A most enjoyable day from start to finish.

We just can’t thank Linda and Tom R. enough for their generosity and hospitality in hosting our group in their home after the parade. They go above and beyond expectations every year and make the event extra special for us all. You folks are the best. Once again, thanks!

It was great meeting new MINIs and new folks too: Duane and Barbara G., Dave and Angel S., and Jeff N.’s buddy Jon from Ottumwa. Glad you all could join us!

Feel free to check out a few photos from this event in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly by using the following link:

Photos from the Holy Cross Festival and Parade, Holy Cross, 8-9-14

Ready for the Keweenaw Rendezvous!

Pulled Park

Pulled Park

We had a great showing of EIMers and MINIs for our impromptu EIM Lunch at Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack this past Saturday in Iowa City. The combination of good barbeque and good weather seems to be a great motivator!

It was a treat to have the chance to see the new MINI Cooper S Roadster of Mike and Laura R. up close for the first time. In fact, the rag tops comprised nearly half of the MINIs in attendance (see above comment regarding great weather). We also enjoyed the chance to meet new EIMer Bev W. and her Chili Red Cabrio ROXIE. It was a great day for celebrating the start of MTTS ’14 and wishing the best for our friends making the trek.

Photos from this event can be found in our Photo Gallery. The pics are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Lunch at Jimmy Jack’s, 7-26-14

See you in Holy Cross on 8/9…

EIM “Mini-MINI Meet” Recap


The early July weather in the Milwaukee area couldn’t have been better for our very own EIM “Mini-MINI Meet” that was held on 3-5 July in conjunction with the quinquennial Mini Meet East Meets West, this year conducted on the grounds of Mt. Mary University. The final tally was about 120 Minis and MINIs, about evenly split between the classics and the “new” models.

It was great fun meeting up with our Iowa MINI mates and meeting some new friends. Our Friday morning drive took us through portions of the scenic Kettle Moraine State Forest. On the way we stopped at Holy Hill and climbed almost 200 ft up the dizzying steel steps to the top of the Basilica’s Scenic Tower for the breathtaking view. We enjoyed the car show on Friday afternoon and managed to crash and squeeze into the group photo later that afternoon. Several of us managed to visit Spectacular Sculptures for some nifty photo ops with our MINIs. The Saturday morning highlight had to be watching Jeff and Sue N. competing in the Funkana! It was a great three days of MINI motoring fun!

Photos from this event can be found in our Photo Gallery. They are accessible directly by using the following link:

Photos from the EIM “Mini-MINI Meet” at Mini Meet East Meets West, Milwaukee, WI, 7-3-14 to 7-5-14

Lots coming up in the next six weeks…stay tuned!

Buggies, Quilts, Starships, Ice Cream, and MINIs

Buggies, Quilts, Starships, Ice Cream, and MINIs

Thanks to everyone who came out and joined us for the Wilton Candy Kitchen Ice Cream Drive that was held on Saturday, June 28th in partnership with our motoring mates from the Central Iowa MINI Club. What a great showing of Iowa MINIs!

We thank Linda and Tom R. for getting un-lost in superb fashion and leading the EIM caravan from the Sugar Bottom Recreation Area near the Coralville Reservoir to the lunch rendezvous in Kalona. It was good to see the horses on those Amish buggies firmly attached to their harnesses (isn’t that right Steve and Bobbie?). We now also know that Miata owners are secretly envious of MINI owners, and we’re glad that the Trekkies didn’t fire any phasers at us as the MINIs passed through Kalona. It was fun meeting Phil and Louanne N. and their sweet Spice Orange Roadster for the first time, and we’re very appreciative of their jumper cables too (isn’t that right Denny and Sandy?).

We extend our thanks to Roger S. from CIMC for making the arrangements at the Tuscan Moon Grill in Kalona and at the Wilton Candy Kitchen in Wilton. We’re glad that George and Thelma didn’t forget us! Thanks also to Laura R. for pitching in with her ice cream serving skills.

Photos from this event can be found in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly using this link:

Photos from the Wilton Candy Kitchen Ice Cream Drive, 6-28-14

Thanks again to all!

Where the Deer and the Antelope (and our MINIs) Played…


We enjoyed another superb springtime MINI adventure this year as we headed out west to the Badlands and Black Hills region of South Dakota for our EIM Elk, Buffalo, and MINI Stampede held from 8-11 May. The marginal weather during our Thursday transit gave way and gifted us with two back-to-back days of beautiful high country motoring and sightseeing. Highlights included Mt. Rushmore, the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop, the Badlands Loop, stops in Hill City, Custer City, Lead, Sturgis, Rapid City, and Wall; local restaurants and winery visits; plenty of wildlife…and oh by the way, what MINI trip to the area would be complete without some spirited motoring on the Iron Mountain Road, Needles Highway, through Spearfish Canyon, and the twisty back roads around Nemo? Great fun!

The K-Bar-S Lodge in Keystone turned out to be an absolute gem. Great accommodations and a breathtaking setting in the pine-forested mountains with awesome views of Mt. Rushmore, and a great place to congregate and plan our next move. The local staff even set up a dedicated car wash station, complete with all the supplies, just for us — a gesture that was deeply appreciated by the obsessive compulsive MINI owners among us! We thank them for their hospitality and highly recommend you consider them if you’re in the area.

Thanks to all of the EIMers who participated in this event and made it such a fun and memorable experience!

This event is well documented in photos that are available in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Elk, Buffalo, and MINI Stampede to Keystone, SD, 5-8-14 to 5-11-14

See you at our next event!

EIM Border Patrol


After a winter that would seemingly never end, it was great to get out and motor again with our MINI mates at the 5th EIM Border Skirmish Drive, which was conducted on Saturday, April 12th. Our drive traversed many of the superb and twisty roads in the bluff country of northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin, and southeast Minnesota; as well as lunch at Hackberry’s Bistro in La Crosse and wrapping up with treats at Cooper’s Pub in Decorah. Despite a couple of bouts with rain showers, there were amply dry roads to be found during the drive and plenty of opportunities to put our MINIs through their best go-kart handling paces.

We enjoyed meeting and motoring with Brad and Carol B. from Des Moines and Ed and Camille V. from Rochester as first time participants. We’re glad you were able to join us!

There are a few photos from this event in our Photo Gallery. These can be accessed directly using the following link:

Photos from the 5th EIM Border Skirmish Drive, 4-12-14

Next month we stampede!

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