GoF West 2006

July 3-7, 2006, Welches, Oregon

Page Two ~ The Gathering of the Faithful

The 2006 GoF started out with the “newcomer’s display” which included an MGA with the cleanest engine bay I’ve ever seen! It was a beautiful car but I hope it gets to see some driving time in the future. The day ended with a beautiful sunset over the pine-covered hills of Welches.

Day two was the big car show. I lost count but there appeared to be around 140 vintage M.G.s on the field. Some unusual examples included a Y-Type Tourer, a 4-seater PA and some beautiful MMM cars. Having caught a cold, I decided to sleep in so Linda took our TC to the car show and polished it up. Later in the day I told her she missed a spot so I could sneak a photo of her hard at work!

Later that day we joined a tour to Timberline Lodge at the base of Mount Hood. There was still skiing in July but it looked like there was barely enough to keep from grinding your skis on the rocks. The drive was very nice and the turnout was so big that they had to split the scheduled tours of the lodge into multiple groups.

The next morning we participated in an amusing funkhana. Later, after some routine maintenance we took a short drive through the local hills along the Salmon River. The road was beautiful, so when it turned to dirt we couldn’t resist continuing on up the canyon to the road’s end. It is times like these that make me glad to not own a trailer queen.

The event organizers had put together various self-guided tours but we felt adventurous so on day four we headed out on our own, armed with a really bad map that for some reason showed state highways in the same color as dirt roads. We started out on main roads, taking a counter-clockwise tour around Mount Hood. The weather at the hotel was cold and drizzly, and we ascended right into the clouds. This was the first time we had ever used the side screens but it was really cold and wet. Soon we broke out of the bad weather into beautiful blue skies which was quite welcome.

There were some great small towns along the way and no lack of spectacular scenery. We took a small detour to Lost Lake before heading for the hotel. The road down the mountain was one of the most incredible roads I’ve ever driven, as if it were tailored for this car. It was very narrow and mildly twisty, surrounded by lush forest and incredible views of the surrounding mountains. We enjoyed it immensely as one of the highlights of our trip and vowed to drive it again some day.

It was then that we were surprised by the end of the pavement. We had 30 minutes to get to the awards banquet and there was 15 miles to go on increasingly bad dirt roads. The TC took a beating (the front end got airborne once!) but it performed quite well as we traveled through the middle of the wilderness. I decided to wait to inform my wife that I had failed to put a jack in the car before we left.

During the awards ceremony we were surprised to place 3rd in TC class in the car show, and 2nd in the Funkana! If we had entered the rally we would have won the high point award but we missed that event. There was no room in the car for that huge trophy anyway! The last morning was breakfast and the winner’s circle. We enjoyed some friendly company before getting on the road, headed for home.

On to page three…