As the 2018 year comes to an end I, as we all do, find myself reflecting on the year’s activities. Now after 4 years as an SCCA member I consider myself a veteran to the autocross hobby. Still having so much more to learn about auto crossing my personal interest was focused on driving and hopefully improving my skills.
But I wanted to be an active member of the Susquehanna region not limiting myself to participation only. When Kristen Poole, Regional Executive shouted out for someone to work on a Road Rally start-up I thought this would be a good opportunity for contributing to the region’s expansion in activities, at the same time learning about Road Rally.
I quickly came to learn that there were many classes and many levels requiring some real expertise. SCCA National has plenty of information on the web site which outlines the various classes and styles. Most of my schooling however came from the Washington region; special thanks to Dennis Blevins, Eric Saminem and Steve Gaddy. I first met this team at the MG 2018 event held in June at Gettysburg. I got lucky they were conducting a Road Rally school followed by a learning Road Rally. I received an invite to attend, so gladly accepted. Nothing like hearing the rules and regulations followed with actual application. The crew put me in an MG with a navigator and I got to experience a road rally based on time and accurate distance. This was so valuable, and the team was very supportive and helpful. Eric even attended the Susquehanna SCCA 2018 Barn Tour rally providing on-site support.
Good fortune all around for a first-time event. We were teaming with The Frontier Barn Quilt Trail of Fulton County, PA. Lisa Johnson and her team of volunteers were wonderful to work with. Plus, there were plenty of routes to choose from for our official road rally. In addition, all roads provided a beautiful country drive combined with some in town driving and best of all a scavenger hunt for barn quilts.
While the Susquehanna region had managed and conducted road rallies in the past it had been many years since the last one was held. Luckily Henry Brillinger still an active Susquehanna member was available for advice and guidance. Even though there was ample support we chose to do an easy GTA Rally “Game, Tour and Adventure”. We wanted this to be a fun activity, with no stress. It was a social event scheduled for October 6th. We were not requiring timing and exact mileage checks. Instead we wanted participants to take in the sites, spot the quilts, and enjoy time together with their team member(s).
Route Instructions and driving directions were circulated and the participants were on their way. A beautiful country route filled with quilt to find and funny questions to answer about things seen along the route. Seventeen teams with driver and navigator went on a 60-mile rally. An ample three-hour time frame was allowed for completing. This rally was intended to allow plenty of time to find the quilts, answer the questions and required NO speeding. Some brought their parents, other teams were husband and wife, friends with friends and some had teen navigators. Classes were pre-established based on experience of both the driver and navigator. Prizes for top finishers were provided by The Barn Quilt Trail and their sponsors.
Kristen Poole and her mother took first place over all scoring 117 points. A total of 132 points were possible 14 of those points were about sites seen along the way. Remainder of points were based on the 37 quilts that could be found on the route and description of those quilts needed to be provided to verify that they were spotted. An interesting range of vehicles were driven as shown in the photos below. Participants ranged in ages from teens to 62 + and everyone had a good time. Smiles were worn by all.
The Frontier Barn Quilt Trail has over 200 quilts displayed through the country side. Various roads leading North, East, South and West from the McConnellsburg area all waiting to be driven. We plan to team up again in 2019 to create another GTA rally, PLENTY of options to take participants on a brand-new route. Offering more of the beautiful quilts to be seen. A review of the SCCA calendar and Barn Quilt Trail activities will be reviewed and a date will be set. Please stay tuned for dates and details for 2019.