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                              2015 WPC Northwest Regional Meet  

                                  Hosted by the WPC Club, Pacific Wonderland Region,    July 23-25, 2015    The Dalles, Oregon              

My take on the meet,  by Ian Smale,  president, WPC Vancouver Island Region                                     


Shannon and I left Victoria on the 6:10 AM Port Angeles Ferry, on Wed., Aug 22nd, and from there took the highway down the east side of Puget Sound, then took another ferry across Puget Sound to Edmonds. From there we took i-90 over Snoqualmie Pass, and continued down to Oregon through Ellensburg to Yakima and onwards. The route from Ellensburg south was a much more pleasant drive than barreling down i-5 all the way. I must say however that i-90 has the worst road surface of any freeway I’ve driven on. It’s a concrete surface, and the surface has worn down to the point where it’s like you’re driving over a cobblestone road at high speed. It literally vibrated the dashboard in the Saratoga!. We arrived in The Dalles around 4:30 that afternoon and checked in at the Shiloh Inn, after a lunch stop in Ellensburg and a gasoline stop in Yakima. Since we were a day ahead of time for the meet we spent the next morning (Thursday) at Fred Meyer picking up bargains! Our meet hosts – Chesnutts, Benedicts and the others arrived about noon and we checked in with them for our registration package etc. A relaxing afternoon was spent catching up on the news with old friends. That evening after dinner in the hotel restaurant, was the “Slow Drags” and Ice Cream Social, which was held near the local Chrysler Dealer’s downtown. After several attempts myself I was able to come close to the stop point, but the eventual winners were Jon Carson in his 1961 Chrysler T&C wagon along with Harold Shew in his Valiant wagon. Friday morning there was a choice of 2 tours – the “Fruit Loop” Tour or the Maryhill Museum of Art. We chose the scenic Fruit Loop tour which took us on a leisurely drive up to a scenic ridge (Rowena Crest) overlooking the Columbia Gorge, and then on to a Glass Blowing Artisan factory and gallery with a lot of beautiful glass art and even gorgeous bathroom sinks, and from there to a lunch stop at the “Gorge White House” which also featured orchards and a wine-tasting venue. After a leisurely lunch and chats with friends we headed back to the Shiloh Inn for the afternoon. As to the other tour to the Maryhill Museum, I heard that it was fantastic as well, and we would like to see it at some point whenever we may be back in the area. The Maryhill Museum was once a mansion constructed in concrete and steel around 100 years ago by a man named Sam Hill, a Quaker. He eventually turned it into a museum and it houses many priceless antiques and objet’s d’art. A replica of Stonehenge that he had constructed sits on the grounds.
Friday evening was dinner on your own, but we managed to get together with Jon and Patty Carson, Paul and Marja, and Paul and Emmy Knight at a great place called “Cousins” in downtown Dalles. After that it was back to the hotel for an evening of the guys - and some gals, tire kicking, chatting and washing cars back at the hotel parking lot.

Weather through this time was pleasant and not overly hot at all. Saturday morning dawned with cloudy skies – but no forecast of rain- as we headed back west about a half hour to the car show at the WAAM Air Museum. About 40 cars were arranged on the field by 10 AM. Awards were given out around 2:30 and we managed to win first in our class! (Chrysler). The WAAM Air Museum is a fantastic venue and a must see with a large number of vintage air planes and cars on site. Our lunch was catered there inside one of the hangers as well.  At 6:00 PM Saturday evening was the cocktail hour and 7:00 PM the banquet began. The one award that was not given out at the show, “Best of Show” was presented after the meal, and given out for a 1927 Chrysler Roadster. We were treated after dinner to listen to Katherine Benedict and her sister (The Bumperettes!) performing Karaoke to the tune of “Rolling up the River” with the words changed to reflect our regional meet, much like what the PentaStars do. Speaking of the PentaStars, we performed three songs after the Bumperettes, “”I’ll Make You Shine”, “How Much is that Mopar in the Window” and the ever iconic “Hemis and Fins” . That was one song each, written by myself, Gene Kahn and Jon Carson. A fun time was had by all.  Sunday morning came , and some of us had breakfast together in the hotel restaurant and then said farewells out in the parking lot as people packed up to leave for home. We caravanned up again on i-97 along with Gene and Donna Kahn, Rick and Laurel Berry, Kit Carson, and the Benjaminsons

The weather on the east side of the Cascades is always better than the west side, and it held out until we got close to the top of the pass on i-90 when we ran into a few rain squalls, which came and went through the afternoon as we drove down and turned over to and north on i-5. We decided to take the Tsawassen ferry back home. As we got close to the Blaine Border crossing, the sun was out again, but not hot out, and then we spied the border sign that said “50 minute wait”. Oh no, I thought that’s all we need – and it turned into a full one hour wait. Sitting there with the car idling for an hour was not pleasant as the old girl still has a generator, not an alternator, and generators do NOT charge at idle. Adding to that was the fact that the engine temperature steadily rose upwards – but not to overheat - as I had the A/C turned off and put the heater on to take the heat away from the engine. After we finally got through Customs and started driving again, the charging system was still on discharge for about 8 minutes until the temperature under the hood went down to normal, then it began to charge again. Apparently the voltage regulator and/or the generator do not like to run in high temperatures! By this time it was nearing 4:30 PM and we were hoping to get on the 6 PM Ferry, but as we neared the terminal the signs said “Possible One Sailing Wait”. And as you can guess, we didn’t get on until the 7 PM ferry, which was late as well. We also had to sit idling and crawling forward outside the ferry terminal in a long line as they loaded the ferry. At that point I got out of the car and popped the hood open about a foot to try and keep it cooler! We got home around 9:15 and unpacked the car after a long 12 hour day. And that day didn’t even include a lunch stop, just snacks in the car. I’ve had shorter days with further distances that didn’t include a long border or ferry wait, the likes of which added over 2 hours to the time!  We wish to thank president David Duthie and the members of the Pacific Wonderland Region who organized and hosted another enjoyable Regional Northwest Meet.





Driving to The Dalles - down 97 through Washington into Oregon




Above,  right,  and below  Friday Morning Tour












Lunch Stop on Friday's Tour



Below:    Saturday Car Show on the grounds of the WAAM  Air Museum





































Three Regional Presidents from left:   David Duthie- Pacific Wonderland WPC,  Jon Carson- Puget Sound WPC,  and Ian Smale- Vancouver Island WPC





Spectacular Scenery around the Columbia River Gorge  

Below:  Inside the WAAM  Air Museum  where the show was hosted.






Below:   Saturday Evening Banquet at the host hotel 








Below:  The Evening culminated with the MoPar PentaStars performing a few spoof songs.
                                              L-R  Jon Carson,  David Duthie, Ian Smale, Gene Kahn










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