Springtime Indiana

——————

“Here across the miles we ramble…” intones singer/songwriter Sandra McCracken in the first verse of her 2001 ballad Springtime Indiana, a fitting recapitulation of another superb EIM multi-day excursion (now a traditional mid-May outing) to French Lick, Indiana for the EIM Hoosier Hoodang. This was the first ever trip for our MINI group to this region and it produced another great series of fun and memorable experiences.

There is always a bit of risk in planning routes that include roads not pre-driven and known only by the descriptions made available by second-hand observations and online biker resources. It’s always a pleasure when those routes end up exceeding the most hopeful expectations. That was certainly the case throughout the Hoosier National Forest area comprising most of our motoring. There were lots of great twisties (and gravity defying roller coaster humps too), good quality road surfaces, and not too much traffic save the seemingly omnipresent red pickup trucks. In particular, IN-62 from Corydon to Saint Meinrad, IN-450 from Shoals to Bedford, and IN-66 from Sulphur to Cannelton were highlights and worth filing away for future reference. Even US-150 between Paoli and Shoals was a delight during the multiple times we used it. The backroad discovered by Jeff & Sue N. between Paoli and French Lick was pretty cool too. About the only thing we didn’t anticipate in advance was the prevalence of Eastern Box Turtles trying to “get to the other side.” It is our firm belief they all made it safely, even the one given a bit of a thump by Cindy C. 😉 We dealt with a few nusance showers/storms during our two days in the area but they always passed quickly and the roads seemed to dry out in good order.

In addition to all of the fun motoring, other fun stops included a tour in Marengo Cave National Landmark, the French Lick Resort and Casino, the West Baden Springs Resort, the Branch of Lick Creek Covered Bridge (thanks to Juli B.‘s cajoling), the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, the Jasper City Mill, the Providence Home Geode Grotto, the Schnitz Brewery & Pub, and the indoor karting track in French Lick where Jeff N.‘s autocross experience put the rest of us would-be racers in our proper place (i.e., not in 1st). Eating stops of note included the Ohana Hawaiian Grill & Bar in French Lick, the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth with it’s fantastic view of the Ohio River, the Power Plant at the French Lick Resort, Porky’s Barbecue in Paoli, an ice cream stop at the Sonic in Cannelton, and our last night’s pizza party (seemingly becoming another tradition) at the Comfort Suites, our group hotel near French Lick. Special thanks to Steve & Juli B. for allowing us to rendezvous at their home prior to the trip. It was a fun-filled adventure from start to finish with a super group of MINI friends.

Photos from the Hoodang are posted in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Hoosier Hoodang, French Lick, IN, 5-18-17 to 5-21-17

Hope to see many of you next month in Iowa City at Jimmy Jacks!

Southern Skirmish

Southern Skirmish

What a fantastic day for our first motoring event of 2017!

Thanks to everyone who joined us last Saturday for the 10th EIM Border Skirmish Drive, an event that has evolved into an annual April tradition and our first organized drive of the calendar year. This year’s drive emphasized our borders to the south (MO) and east (IL) with much of the route on the Iowa Historic Hills Scenic Byway. Our rendezvous in Wildwood Park in Ottumwa was followed by fun stops at the Air Power Museum in Blakesburg, the American Gothic House in Eldon, a trip through twisty Lacey-Keosauqua State Park, another stop in quaint Bentonsport, and to a fabulous lunch at the Bonaparte Retreat. After lunch we headed east to the Mississippi River and a stop at quirky Dave’s Meat Market in Montrose, south along the river to Rand Park in Keokuk, then across the bridge and back north along the Illinois Great River Road. There was another stop along the river at the Hoot Owl Rest Stop, giving EIMer Derek P. the chance to drive a golf ball completely across the Mississippi (well, maybe 275 yards of it anyway). Then it was on north to the Joseph Smith Visitors Center in Nauvoo, back across the river at Ft. Madison (where we experienced the drawbridge first-hand), and finally to Burlington where we capped off the drive with a photo opportunity on famous Snake Alley.

EIM survives on the volunteer spirit of our EIMers, and in this case we are indebted to our motoring mate Jeff N. for all of his efforts in planning, organizing, and executing such a fun drive. He also gets kudos for organizing the Friday spirited pre-drive and for the Snake Alley drone video now featured on the home page. Many thanks Jeff! Thanks also to Steve B. for the companion Snake Alley GoPro video.

Photos from this event may be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the 10th EIM Border Skirmish Drive, Ottumwa to Burlington, 4-22-17

Looking forward to next month’s Hoodang!

MINI Zeppelins

MINI Zeppelins

Thanks to all of the EIM faithful who joined us last Saturday in Cedar Rapids for the Zig-Zag to Zeppelins, our traditional Rite of Spring Meet-n-Eat held this year for the first time at Zeppelins Bar and Grill. The biting northwesterly winds curtailed our outdoor loitering just a bit, but the dry roads and eventual sunshine were welcome relief from the earlier dead-of-winter events. The restaurant turned out to be an almost perfect venue for our group, with great food and drink to boot.

We extend our deepest and most sincere thanks to Phil & Louanne N. and Chris & Sarah G. for their planning and organizing of this gathering, not to mention the awesome raffle prizes and high-quality goodie bags for everyone. Their generosity was greatly appreciated by all of our MINI folk! Thanks once again to Jeff N. for his drone expertise and resulting video.

We enjoyed meeting new EIMers Karen & Bruce W. and Riley & Grayson B. Thanks for joining us, and please come back again soon!

Photos from this event may be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Zig-Zag to Zeppelins Meet-n-Eat, Cedar Rapids, 3-18-17

Next month…we motor! Stay tuned for forthcoming details regarding the 10th EIM Border Skirmish Drive on April 22!

Road Salt, Gator Toes, and a Cadillac 500

Road Salt, Gator Toes, and a Cadillac 500

A fine and fun-loving group of area MINIacs gathered together in Davenport yesterday for our 2017 instantiation of the EIM Quad Cities Meet-n-Eat. Even the most punctilious detailers among us (thinking of you, Larry H.!) sucked it up and accepted the reality of winter road grime in order come together for great food and even better MINI fellowship. Although our local area weather quality has waxed and waned of late, the recent smattering of warm, sunny days hints at the promise of the upcoming EIM motoring season — our tenth year together!

We can’t thank Sandy & Denny B. enough for yet another February of hosting our group for this gathering, especially on the heels of several weeks of out-of-area travel. Their generosity and graciousness are unsurpassed and greatly appreciated! Thanks to all of the MINI folk in attendance for your participation and for bringing such a variety of unique and tasty goodies to share. Thanks also to Chris G. for his creative documentation of the event (see the photo link below), to Jeff N. (of gator toes fame) for the drone operation, and to Steve B. for giving us a peek at his boss Chevy truck (and its Cadillac 500 power plant).

Photos from this event may be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Quad Cities Meet-n-Eat, Davenport, 2-25-17

Next up is our March gathering in Cedar Rapids and our first visit to Zeppelins Bar and Grill on Saturday the 18th, thanks to the creativity and planning of Phil & Louanne N. and Chris & Sarah G. Get it on your calendar!

Flying Tomato Under the Union Jack

Flying Tomato Under the Union Jack

Thanks to everyone who braved a somewhat drizzly (but relatively warm) Saturday in January in order to join us at our first meet-up for 2017 — the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Wig and Pen Pub hosted in Iowa City on 1/21. Loved catching up with good MINI friends, enjoying good eats, and laying out some of our adventures for the upcoming motoring year. It was a treat to be part of the very first MINI event for little Darla…thanks to Jay and Kristin for introducing her to our MINI family!

If you missed the EIM Calendar Photo Quiz, all is not lost. Here you go — see how many of the EIM events and geographic locations you can identify for each of these photos: EIM Calendar Photo Quiz. Yep, these pics are all from past EIM Calendars and taken from past events. Lots of good times remembered.

There are a few photos from this event in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly using this link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Wig and Pen Pub, Iowa City, 1-21-17

Hope to see you at our next meet-up in Davenport on 2/25. Details coming soon.

Happy Holidays!

——————

Eastern Iowa MINIs extends its sincerest wishes to all of our friends and families for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Motoring Year!

See you in 2017!

——————

Award-Winning EIMers

Award-Winning EIMers

The Year 2016 certainly had its share of ups and downs, but without question EIM enjoyed another great year of MINI motoring adventures and fun. We took a moment to reflect on those good times and to share our memories and laughs during our last official event of the year — the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Country Junction held in Dyersville this past Saturday. It was great to gather together with old friends and new faces and reminisce on all of MINI goodness during this past motoring season.

We took time to recognize some of our noteworthy peers, both in gratitude and in jest, with the awarding of our annual recognition awards. You had to be there to see the “prizes” awarded 😉 but you can view the associated award certificates using this link: 2016 EIM Recognition Awards.

Congratulations to all of the award winners, and a special nod to Steve & Bobbi M., our EIM Motorists of the Year for 2016.

A few photos from the luncheon can be found in our Photo Gallery, and are directly accessible via the following link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Country Junction, Dyersville, 11-19-16

Sincere thanks to all of the folks who help make EIM such a fun group. See you at the Wig and Pen Pub in Iowa City in January!

EIM Returns to the Ozark Mountains

——————

EIM enjoyed another fantastic trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas and the surrounding Ozark Mountain region during our group’s participation in the annual 2016 MINIs in the Ozarks event from 20-23 October.

Our motorists were blessed with absolutely perfect weather from start to finish. EIM essentially took over all of the cabins at the Brackenridge Lodge in Eureka Springs and turned the place into our own little MINI-themed resort and base of operations. The perfect weather even includes the fog bank we found on the White River as we crossed over the Beaver Suspension Bridge, making for a unique and somewhat mysterious passage. Friday’s day of motoring also included some great twisties in southern Missouri around and across Table Rock Lake followed by the MITO 2016 group photo and massive MINI parade through the downtown streets. Saturday was a full motoring day as we headed south on the famous Pig Trail and continued south to spectacular views from Magazine Mountain, followed by a run north that included several of our favorite roads and stops in the vicinity of the town of Jasper, AR. We enjoyed some great meal stops, the most notable being our unplanned stop at the Smokin’ Taters Barb-e-que in Paris, AR where our MINIs made quite an impression on the locals and we made some new friends in the process. Saturday evening was the cherry on top as we partied around the fire pit during a great take-out pizza feast, enjoying a variety of libations and listening to the Cubs win the pennant. It was a fabulous four days with an amazing group of great MINI friends. As seems to be usual for our distant motoring adventures, the time to head home again came all too soon.

We extend our thanks to Scott & Jenny Johnson at the Brackenridge Lodge for all of their hospitality and for enduring our four-day MINI invasion. We enjoyed our stay!

Photos from our trip to MITO 2016 may be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using using the following link:

Photos from EIM at MITO 2016, Eureka Springs, AR, 10-20-16 to 10-23-16

November includes our final Meet-n-Eat of the 2016 season. Don’t forget to sign up if you’re coming. Thanks!

Tour de Bluffs & Bends

——————

The morning mist last Saturday did not deter a record total of 33 MINIs and over 50 motorists from Eastern Iowa MINIs and from the Central Iowa MINI Club from joining up for a great autumn drive through the bluff country of northeastern Iowa as part of the 14th Annual MINI Cooper Iowa Fall Tour.

Our route for the day began in Nashua at the Little Brown Church in the Vale and finished in Dyersville. The route in between took advantage of the winding roads and great scenery along the Turkey River Valley and included stops at the Fort Atkinson State Preserve in Fort Atkinson; the Montauk Governor’s Mansion in Clermont; lunch at Dotzy’s Restaurant and Saloon located in Elgin; and the Mississippi Scenic Overlook just south of Guttenberg. Despite the large size of the group, we somehow managed to stay together for the entire drive without losing anyone along the way. Great job to all of our motorists!

Thanks to everyone from both clubs for the great showing. Special recognition goes to Greg B. from CIMC who has not missed a single Iowa Fall Tour since its inception. A true MINI enthusiast!

Photos from the day’s activities are now in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly using the following link:

Photos from the 14th Annual MINI Cooper Iowa Fall Tour, 10-1-16

See you next year for the 15th Tour!

Apple-licious

Apple-licious

EIM enjoyed a fun run up to Gays Mills, Wisconsin the past weekend as part of our Gays Mills Apple Run ’16 event. The roads heading north out of Dubuque are always a treat, as are the orchard visits, the views, the apple cider doughnuts (yum!) and apple pizza a la mode (yum x2!). We ended up making our return via twisty WI-171 out to the Mighty Mo and down through the river towns of Prairie Du Chien and Cassville to an ad hoc, early afternoon lunch stop at the Potosi Brewing Company in Potosi. We consumed more yummy stuff there. 😉

Check out photos from our drive in our Photo Gallery via the following link:

Photos from the 2016 Gays Mills Apple Run, Gays Mills, 9-10-16

Thanks to all who joined us for this thoroughly enjoyable day of MINI motoring. Hope to see you at the Fall Tour in three weeks!

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: MMO Games | Thanks to Browser Games, VPS Hosting and Shared Hosting