13th Annual MINICooperIowa Fall Tour – 10-11 Oct

13th Annual MINICooperIowa Fall Tour - 10-11 Oct

This year’s MINICooperIowa Fall Tour happens on 10-11 October in the Loess Hills region of western Iowa. It is being hosted by our good friends in the Central Iowa MINI Club. Plans include an overnight stop in Sioux City. The drive departs from MINI of Des Moines at 11:00 am on Saturday.

Details on the drive and sign-up instructions have been sent out to all EIMers via email. If you did not received the email and are interested in participating, please send an email request to info@easterniowaminis.org and we will reply to you ASAP with the details.

The fall colors and motoring roads of western Iowa await!

Countdown to the “Big Adventure 2″

Website updates may be delayed until early October…the webmaster is off having fun.

Soon we’ll be gathering together again in our MINIs to commence the transit east to Sevierville, TN and a fun-filled week of Appalachian Mountain motoring, sightseeing, shopping, dining, exploring, enjoying each others’ company, and making lifetime MINI memories at the EIM “Big Adventure Part Deux” to the Great Smoky Mountains!

EIMers, please keep an eye on our NAM Discussion Thread (<-link) for this event for late-breaking news and planning information…and get those camera batteries charged up! —

Gays Mills Apple Run — Sept 20th

Gays Mills Apple Run -- Sept 20th

In addition to having a great time at Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tap this weekend, the EIM gang decided that we needed one more local September drive and opportunity for fun prior to the big trip east…and hatched the idea for the Gays Mills Apple Run.

The plan is to meet on in Dubuque on Sunday, September 20th at 9:00 am at our traditional meet-up spot — between the Wendy’s and BP station on East 16th Street, just prior to crossing over the US-151 bridge into Wisconsin. Take the Kerper Blvd exit to the right from northbound US-151. There is a location map link below (click on the “Read More” button from the home page).

There will be a stop at Carr Valley Cheese in Fennimore, WI for some fresh curds and other goodies on the way up to Gays Mills. This will be the weekend prior to the big festival so the apple supply at the orchards should be plentiful and the traffic light.

This area of southwest Wisconsin is famous for its amazing scenery and wonderful motoring roads. The maple and locust trees are starting to turn up that way and are absolutely glorious. Get ready for more great MINI motoring and good times!

EIM Meet-n-Eat at Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tap and Rolling Smoke BBQ, Rock Island – Sept 12th

EIM Meet-n-Eat at Kavanaugh's Hilltop Tap and Rolling Smoke BBQ, Rock Island - Sept 12th

Nothing fancy…the EIM Meet-n-Eat at Kavanaugh’s Hilltop – Rolling Smoke BBQ located in Rock Island, IL is just an opportunity to get together, enjoy good food and drink, and show off our MINIs.

We plan to meet at Kavanaugh’s ~10:30 am with lunch at 11:00 am.  We will be in the covered patio out back.  FYI, Saturday specials include a $2 discount on the BBQ Rib Dinner and $3 Bent River brews.  As an aside, note that the Cars and Coffee LeClaire group is having their monthly gathering at 9:00 am this day on the LeClaire waterfront.  You might want to consider making a morning appearance here, then head over to Kavanaugh’s for lunch.

We should be done in plenty of time for folks to make it home or to their favorite spot for watching the Iowa-ISU football game.

Anyone with a MINI and an interest is welcome. Detailed location information and sign-up instructions are provided below (click on the **Read More** button from the home page).

See you there!

Holy Cross Festival Recap

Holy Cross Festival Recap

As in past years, the cooperative weather combined with the good food, drink, and the companionship of MINI friends for a great day at the Holy Cross Festival and Parade, held this past Saturday in Holy Cross. We had a small but mighty turnout of MINIs including a sequential triple-team of red Roadsters. The broasted chicken, fresh out of the roaster, has never been better in all the years of our attendance; the drink varieties seemed endless, with the local “home brew” an unexpected and delightful treat. In summary, good times…as always!

Once again, mere words can’t express the depth of our gratitude to Linda & Tom R. for their generosity and hospitality in hosting our group in their home after the parade (especially since they’re in the process of showing their house to prospective buyers). They go above and beyond expectations every year and make the event extra special for all of us. Just can’t thank them enough!

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

Photos from the Holy Cross Festival and Parade, Holy Cross, 8-8-15

Hope to see you in Rock Island on 9/12!

We’re Back from “The Mack”

1,319 MINIs on the Mack!

Although short of the 1,451 needed to set a world record for the largest parade of MINIs, our sizable contingent in the EIM at MINI on the Mack 2015 made an important contribution to the largest-ever gathering of MINI Coopers on U.S. soil in history…and that’s not too shabby folks!

Most importantly, we had a great time together transiting up to St. Ignace, MI and once there, participating in the event with MINIs from all across the country, re-connecting with MINI acquaintances made at past events, enjoying the lakefront lodging and the beautiful views of the Great Lakes, Mackinac Island, and the surrounding Upper Peninsula; and of course enjoying the company of good MINI friends. The weather on Friday, and especially on Saturday for the big rendezvous, bridge crossing, and after-party at Little Bear Arena in St. Ignace was superb and maximized the enjoyment factor (we understand that dodging thunderstorms was the order of the day for anyone returning to Iowa later on Sunday). And even with 2,000+ people at Little Bear, parking was quick and efficient, and no long lines for lunch this time! Several of our EIMers were able to tack on additional vacation days on either side of the event and had fun doing some additional motoring and sightseeing. It was great to have so many of our EIM friends as part of this historic event.

With almost 500 more MINIs than in 2013, and having come up only 132 MINIs short of the record, you can bet that MINI of Grand Rapids and MINI USA will give this another “go” in 2017. Might as well block out the time on your calendar now!

Photos from several contributors are available for viewing in our Photo Gallery. You can go to this set directly by clicking on the following link (the last photo from the air is particularly impressive):

Photos of EIM at MINI on the Mack 2015, 7-31-15 to 8-1-15

Holy Cross Festival tomorrow!

EIMers on the Mack 2015 Update

EIMers on the Mack 2015 Update

MINI on the Mack 2015 is just around the corner! Many of you have registered and will be attending. Whether or not the world record is achieved, it’s already being billed as the single largest gathering of MINIs on U.S. soil in history.

(If you’re going but haven’t registered you may be left out of the official Guiness Book count, so please lend your support to the event and complete your registration if you haven’t yet done so at https://www.minionthemack.com/#).

Several of our Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota EIM mates will be transiting up to the area independently, but there will also be a convoy of our MINIs traveling up together on Friday, July 31st departing early enough to arrive in St. Ignace in time to check-in, spruce up, etc. The initial group meet-up is at 6:30 am in Dubuque. Details are contained in a previous email to the EIM distribution list; if you didn’t receive it and are interested in joining the EIM convoy please contact us at info@easterniowaminis.org for more information.

See you on the Mack!

Coralville Meet-n-Eat Recap

Coralville Meet-n-Eat Recap

Thanks to everyone who braved the morning rain in order to join up with us at our EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Backpocket Brewing Company hosted in Coralville this past Saturday. As it turned out, the adjacent parking ramp was a superb spot to gather and mingle prior to heading into the restaurant. The wide open ramp was also the perfect place for Jeff N. to demonstrate the capabilities of his radio controlled MINI. It was amazingly speedy and seemed to handle… …well, just like a MINI!

The food, brew, and good company was thoroughly enjoyable, as was the ad hoc walk afterward through the antique car museum and then after that (thanks for the great idea Cindy and Rebecca!) a short stroll over to the gourmet cupcake store. Yum!

It was a pleasure meeting Kevin D. from Middletown and his beautiful, rare Laurel Edition Cabrio. We were also delighted to welcome Jay & Kristin T. again, particularly when they unexpectedly rolled up in their newly acquired MCS JCW! It was good to see all of our MINI friends from near and far.

Check out the photos from our event in our Photo Gallery. They’re directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Backpocket Brewing Company, Coralville, 7-11-15

Next up is MINI on the Mack 2015 (7/31 – 8/2) followed by the always popular Holy Cross Festival and Parade (8/8). Looking forward to setting records and seeing many MINI friends at both!

Across the Border and Back Again

The EIM Border Re-Skirmish Drive, re-scheduled from its original April date due to weather, finally came to fruition this past Saturday. A good-sized and spirited group of EIMers departed from Bellevue enroute Dubuque via some great Illinois backroads, Mississippi Palisades State Park, and the towns of Sabula, IA; and once in IL Savanna (twice), Mt. Carroll, Elizabeth, Hanover (twice), and Galena. We managed to skirt the worst of the rain for most of the day, although our MINIs received a thorough washing by Mother Nature at the tail end of our extended stop in Galena. Even the rain had a silver lining, because a seat-of-the-pants diversion due to a road blockage on our way out of town led to the discovery of another fun stretch of motoring road.

Thanks to everyone who came out and motored with us, and a special nod to the first-timers. As expected, we were able to check out the sparkling new Volcanic Orange F56 of recently joined EIMer Kerry M.— but to our surprise and delight, Steve and Bobbie M. showed up in their own brand new Volcanic Orange F56! These two F56 MINIs — “Yellow Hornet” and “Lil Chedda” — grace this post in the photo above.

It was particularly great to have Mike R. and Pam H. join us again, after recovering from their own personal “modifications” over the past few months. So glad to have them back with us!

Feel free to browse the photos from this event in our Photo Gallery — you can skip to this set of pictures directly by using the following link:

Photos of the EIM Border Re-Skirmish Drive, 6-20-15

Keep your calendars open for a Iowa City area Meet-n-Eat on Saturday, July 11th (details coming soon). After that, it’s world record time at the Mack!

We’re Roads Scholars

We're Roads Scholars

At least, that’s what the event organizers tell us! Several of our EIM mates made the trip to Verona, WI this past Sunday to test ourselves at the SCCA Roads Scholar Road Rally, which included first-time sponsorship by MINI of Madison. This event was a time-distance rally, with the goal of following a predetermined course and arriving at precisely the proper time at each checkpoint based on a set of written instructions (which often included a few “traps” that, if followed, made you early or late at the next checkpoint). The rally was tailored for first time participants — just like us — and wound its way through the beautiful bluffs and valleys of southwest Wisconsin, culminating in a nice meal and awards ceremony at Gray’s Tied House in Verona.

What did we learn in our first try at a time-distance rally?
(1) to arrive at each checkpoint on time takes a lot more work than it might seem, requiring concentration and constant attention and communication;
(2) the folks who are serious about these types of events are really, really good at it (rarely more than a fraction of a second off);
(3) our EIM ladies can hold their own in the twisties with the best of ’em; and
(4) it takes planning, preparation, lots of special equipment, and a bunch of volunteers to put these events on. We thank the organizers for inviting us and putting on such a first class rally.

In the end, our MINIs managed to take the top two spots among the MINIs that were entered, including the award for Best MINI!

Special recognition to Jeff and Sue N. who celebrated their 30th Anniversary on the day of the rally and brought along Sue’s new Clubman (one of three MINIs in their family). Congratulations!

We’ve posted a few photos from this event over in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly by using the following link:

Photos from the SCCA Roads Scholar Road Rally, Verona, WI, 6-7-15

Hope to see many of you at the Re-Skirmish on the 20th!

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