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
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
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.
Go to the Next page: Sunday.