Getting there, 9-28/29-2001.

I'm heading east to participate in yet another vintage car adventure with my father. We had been scheduled to re-run the Cannonball Classic this year, but unfortunately it was cancelled... not due to the events of 9/11, but due to a lack of entrants! Needless to say Dad and I were pretty bummed when we heard the bad news last July. Dad had purchased a car specifically for the Cannonball, a '74 Mercedes-Benz 450sl. After the Jaguar rattled itself apart as it wound it's way across the country we were looking forward to a more luxurious and reliable ride. The car was already waiting on the east coast for a Cannonball run, so Dad started looking for an alternative... and found one with now old friends Rich & Jean Taylor of Vintage Rallies. They were planning what looks like a great rally, the Forza Mille, the same week, in Maine and Nova Scotia, Canada. Mercedes-Benz is a sponsor of the Mille, and he graciously allowed Dad & I to enter after some begging. =)

As usual I'll be toting along the infamous green powerbook 2400c and hope to upload the day to day telling of this story as it unfolds... provided I have the time and can get a connection to an ISP.

So I find myself now in a red-eye flight to Manchester, New Hampshire, via Newark, New Jersey. I had expected the flight to consist of three Air Marshals and me, but instead it is packed to the gills, with a 6 foot 2, 400 pound woman in the seat next to me! Dad is going to meet me in Manchester and drive us to Maine for the Rally start. Hopefully I can get some sleep in the car because I'm not getting much sleep next to Amazon Lady here!. =(

Morning comes way too early... I think I slept in 5 minute bits... Amazon Lady switched seats with her husband so somewhere over the midwest the person next to me was less wide, but not by much. I change planes in Newark. I'm really hungry, but no facilities are open. I climb on a plane to find a college age kid in my row, who has just boarded from another red-eye, this one from L.A. He is going to school in San Luis Obispo at Cal Poly, but it turns out he is from Woodinville right next to my office! Small world... he is headed for Boston for a wedding. I lean back in my seat and instantly pass out. Only the plane hitting the runway in Manchester NH 45 minutes later wakes me up.

Dad is there in the airport and we hop in the Merc. He drives for a while as I am in no condition to drive... drifting in and out of sleep. We get off the freeway at Kennebunk, head out to Kennebunkport for some seafood lunch (breakfast for me) at Mabel's Lobster Claw restaurant. A few detours are required as a crush of tourist traffic and a multi-car accident push us on an unknown route to Mabel's. Thankfully I whip out the GPS and the laptop and navigate Dad in. No Bush's are in evidence, but the seafood is excellent as always. Dad has Lobster, I have clams.

I drive the next leg up to the Haraseeket Inn located in the ancestral home of the Outlet Store, Freeport Maine. Rather than being the quaint home of LL Bean, Freeport is actually the center of the strip mall, factory outlet store universe. If Freeport were an accurate barometer of Consumer Confidence, we'd all be thinking it was still 1998. The place was packed wall to wall with shoppers. Thankfully we are not staying long.

Dad & the 450sl at the Haraseeket Inn.

My first impressions of the 450sl: Very very modern car... like the 300sl, it was a machine ahead of it's time. It feels like a car from today, not the 1970s. Very comfortable and stable at high speed... a cruise missile of a car. The ultimate machine for a Cannonball run. I *really* hope they have enough entrants next year... I want to fly this thing down US 50 in Utah and Nevada. =)

Just about everyone is there at the Haraseeket. We check in, grab our Rally Swag, chat with a few folks. I take a few pictures. Then I pass out in the car for a quick 'combat nap' before we head out.

Left: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

We leave the Inn and head south to Portland to catch the Scotia Prince ferry to Yarmouth. There is a big delay with both US & Canada Customs officials doing a pretty thorough look over all the cars loading. The boat leaves well over an hour late. We enjoy a nice dinner on board and crash in our bunks snug in our tiny cabin for the overnight trip to Nova Scotia.




Below: Sherman Wolf's 33 Packard.

Above: The hood ornament from the other Packard.

Below: "What color would you like your red Ferrari sir?"

Above: From the route book. Those Mountie's have no sense of humor!

Below: Loading the Scotia Prince.













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