The 2007 DMA Fall Foliage Tour was yet again another huge hit with a total 38 members and 19 DeLoreans in attendance!
The Fall Foliage Tour is one of the events that our members always look forward to and each year it gets more difficult to try and out-do ourselves.
This year with "Evil" Dan at the helm to coordinate the event, it was decided that we would head further south in a continuing effort to move events around the region. Dan planned an excellent weekend drive that would tour us through Maryland and Delaware.
Not quite sure why we call Friday night "unofficial" anymore at our events... they are quickly becoming just as well attended as the rest of the event's agenda!
Early arrivals started off with a small caravan Friday evening to Cecil County Dragway to run some DeLoreans on the quarter mile track. It turned out to be a bit on the chilly side, but those who attended endured and enjoyed! Excitement came each time one of the DeLoreans rolled up to the starting line.
Red, Yellow, Yellow, GREEN! How did the cars fair against the rest? We'll let the owners tell their own stories.
After the drag way, we headed back the hotel and hung out for the rest of the evening as more owners continued to arrive.
We awoke Saturday morning, enjoyed the free continental breakfast, and got ready to get on the road. "Evil" Dan gave everyone a brief rundown of the weekend agenda and we handed out the Goody Bags which were loaded with gifts, directions, treats, and drinks.
Some of us had to take a quick break to tighten up some coolant hose clamps that leaked a bit overnight due to the sudden and drastic weather changes, but with the help of Marc Levy, Bill Robertson, and Rob Grady we were quickly able to get everyone patched up, on the road, and running for the first leg of our driving tour!
Saturday's first stop was at the Massey Air Museum in Maryland. We planned to spend a short period of time at the museum taking tours, eating lunch, and possibly getting rides in an old bi-plane.
Apparently everyone had such a good time at the museum, that we modified our agenda for the day and stayed there almost twice as long as we originally planned!
The owners of the museum were happy to have us and really rolled out the red carpet to make us feel welcome. They conducted tours of all the of the aircraft that they had on site and were extremely happy to answer all of our questions.
After the tours were completed, we had a bbq lunch for the members to help keep everyone's bellies full and happy. Shortly after we ran a DMA raffle and gave away another huge selection of great prizes that included DMA logo wear, P.J. Grady gift certificates, and DeLorean Car Show subscriptions.
Members were invited to roam the rest of the airfield and look at all the planes, or simply relax and enjoy each other's company.
The DMA officers were watching the weather conditions closely and checking in with the airport owners throughout the day. Rain? Nope! We were not worried about rain! Wind speeds were the issue of concern. Why? Because if the cross winds were not too bad, members could go for a flight!
Retired USAF Colonel Don Sloan was present at the airport to give people rides in a 1941 Boeing Stearman PT-17 Open cockpit Biplane! Truly a unique experience, Don was only charging the price of gas to take members for a 10-15 minute flight in the plane. It was a real deal for such a unique experience.
We were shocked at how many members wanted to take the flight and experience first hand what it must have been like to be in a WWII dogfight with the Red Baron!
Colonel Sloan said he DOES do loops in the plane, but it was not an option that day. However, Mathew McMullan somehow managed to have the privilege of flying upside down in a loop-de-loop! WAY TO GO MATT!
Sadly, we had to leave the airport after several hours of fun. It was getting late into the afternoon, and we still had to drive to dinner at The Narrows restaurant in Grasonville, MD. We thanked the airport owners, gathered our belongings and got back on the road for some more scenic driving.
If you have not already noticed, we always encourage people to bring two-way radios for our tours. The reason why? We have a ton of fun talking and busting each other's chops while we drive. There was PLENTY of that on this tour to keep us all laughing as we drove along our way.
Along the route we drove to get to the restaurant for dinner, we mapped out a stop at a scenic overlook on the waterway. It proved to be a perfect location to hop out and enjoy the view, take some photos, and... take a "potty break". Truly a breathtaking scene we could not help but to watch the boats on the waterway and enjoy the fresh air. It wasn't long before we were back in our cars and finishing up our drive to dinner.
We arrived shortly before sunset at "The Narrows" restaurant on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. To our surprise, the owners of the establishment were so excited to have our group, that they sectioned off an area of their parking lot that was designated as "DeLorean Parking Only".
Everyone was treated to a great selection of food for an amazing price per person. We are not sure how "Evil" Dan negotiates and is able to get the prices he does for our events, but some things are better left untold (mostly because any theories we have about it just flat out scare us).
After dinner was wrapped up, we completed the last leg of our driving tour for Saturday evening and got under way to the hotel.
Once we all got checked in to our rooms it was time to swim, relax in the hot tub, or hang out in the hotel lounge. Some of the members decided to retire to bed early, some decided to stay up late and chat, some tried to do the latter, but wound up falling asleep on the couch.
After a couple of hours, we decided that it was best to get some rest since we still had another day of activities planned out for the final leg of the trip.
Sunday morning started off with another complementary breakfast at the hotel followed up packing up our stuff. Some members in attendance who had a long drive home and optioned not to go on the lunch cruise on Sunday wished the rest of us well as we parted ways.
The remainder of the group headed out to Fisherman's Wharf in Lewes, Delaware for our scheduled lunch cruise on an eighty foot wedding class yacht! The weather was looking excellent and it was going to be a perfect day to go sailing and see the sights.
As we boarded the yacht for our three hour tour, we were ready to sail the high seas and take in some fresh air and sights.
Just as promised, the DMA had now officially delivered on a Fall Foliage Tour first: We hit Land, Sea and Air for this event!
The yacht pulled out of the dock and headed out into the bay. Once we were under way, a huge hot lunch buffet was promptly served to us that consisted of some really delicious food. We had the yacht to ourselves and were invited to roam just about anywhere on the ship that we pleased. Some people stayed inside, while others went up on deck, or even sat on the bridge of the ship with the captain!
With the tour of the harbor and our lunch completed, the captain brought us up through the local waterways in the bay to give us a better look at some of the wildlife in the area.
Small cape houses dotted the landscape along with sand dunes, trees, and various ducks, birds, seagulls, and other wildlife. Even if you were not an avid birdwatcher, it was great to sit on the upper deck and take it all in.
The weather continued to be perfect for us while the sun bathed us in its warm midday glow and kept us nice and warm on a typically chilly time of year.
With the conclusion of the lunch cruise, we all said our goodbyes and hit the road for home.
Several owners coming from the north decided to stop in northern Delaware at the Sonic Drive-In on the way home for some burgers and milkshakes. Sonic is a favorite of several of the DMA officers, and with all hype, talk, and anticipation about going there discussed throughout the weekend, several members who had never been to a Sonic establishment decided to join them to experience it for themselves.
Everyone was delightfully pleased with their final treat of the tour, and we all look forward to the upcoming Holiday Party and 2008 Spring Social!