2023 Completed Events

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This page contains posts and pictures from Tours and Events completed so far this year.  Additional details are available in the newsletters.

AWD  Matteo’s                                                                                 9/12

Hosts:  Mike & Lois Kerklo and Doug & Carol Leavens

The AWD on Sept 12th was held at Mattteo’s Italian Restaurant in Olmsted Falls.   Dinner was attended by a lively group of 28. We were so busy socializing that we had a hard time getting everyone to sit down to place orders.  Matteo’s did a superb job with the dinners. Dinner was served by couple and table.  The choice of wines was also very good. Even our own wine expert Tim G. was impressed. Many asked at the end when can we do it again.
Thanks to all you who attended and made it a great evening.

Mike and Lois Kerklo and Doug and Carol Leavens
Drive and Ice Cream                                                                         6/21

Tour Leaders:  Doug Leavens & Bill Titley
We had a great tour this past Wednesday.   Nine cars met up in Media for a nice drive down back roads to Mt. Eaton and then on Rt. 212 to Bolivar where we had a gourmet lunch at Mickey D’s.   Bill Titley and 2 others met us there.   We took off on back roads (with Bill leading) to Deersville where we stopped for ice cream at Deersville General Store.   Ice Cream was super and made from an old WW2 navy recipe.
We continued on different roads back to Bolivar. Total travel time was 1.5 hours to lunch and 2 hours to ice cream and back to Bolivar. Just a great tour and great weather. Tops down all day.

Sortie to Smithville                                                                               6/17

Tour Leaders Mike & Lo Kirklo
The weather ” gods ” blessed us with excellent weather for our sortie to the quaint village of Smithville. Eleven Miatas meandered on an hour drive over quiet country roads. After parking the cars at a local church, everyone wandered into the Pioneer Village to take in the sights it had to offer. Log cabins, pottery shop, blacksmith shop, tinsmith shop, barns and train depot each had a knowledgeable person to explain the history and function of each building. We walked up to the Mishler Weaving Mill that is still making hand-loomed items over one hundred years later. The Civil War camps were set up there also, as well as the Model T museum.
At noon the memorial service began with the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton introducing President Abraham Lincoln who recited his brilliant and inspiring Gettysburg Address. Awesome! The Civil War soldiers then fired off a volley of deafening shots, followed by a symbolic stacking of their black powder rifles to mark a final peace between the North and South. As a last call, a duo of trumpeters played taps in a haunting echo effect.
Back to the Miatas and a quick trip down to the Barn for lunch – we were all starved! Thanks to all who attended
Thanks so much,
Mike & Lo
Tour to Presque Isle State Park                                                   5/31

Tour Leader: Bill Heffern
We had 9 cars for our tour to Presque Isle State Park, in Erie, PA. The weather was perfect for our drive as the sky was blue and the sun was hot.

Our first stop was at the ASM International Headquarters where we took some photos of our cars in front of the geodesic dome. We then took a break for snacks and water in Conneaut Lake, Pa before driving on to the restaurant in Erie, where we dined in private. Our next stop was at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, just outside the park. After driving through the park, with a short stop at the P.I. lighthouse, we proceeded back towards Cleveland with a stop at the White Turkey in Conneaut, OH for ice cream.

It was a very long day, but I want to thank everyone who attended!

Bill Heffern
New Members Drive                                                         5/20
Tour Leaders:  Greg & Judy Selby
The first new member drive of the 2023 season started in Aurora on a picture-perfect day, but not top-down yet. Three new members joined us, David & Julianne Reed from Hartville, Sam & Carol Randazzo from Columbus, and Geri Smith from Lyndhurst. We were honored to have Bob Hasley and Sandy Stowers join the group and also our sweeps, Tony Oriti & Jackie Molina.
The caravan left at 12:30 promptly with the navigators having the driving directions in hand. When Greg and I preran the roads on Friday we encountered a road closed sign halfway through the drive. Not a real problem when you know the area.
We successfully got back on track and continued the run, arriving at the Red Hawk Grill in time for the reservation. This restaurant always gives good service and good food to finish off a great time with our Miatas.
Looking Down the Road
Greg & Judy Selby
Spring Miatas at the Gap                                     5/14 – 20

This 23rd Annual Spring Miatas at the Gap was again organized by Bill Titley with help from Steve and Pat Beam.  This year there were 15 cars with 24 avid Miata enthusiasts from OH (Cleveland & Toledo clubs), FL & MD enjoying a different drive every day on the fantastic Smoky Mountain roads including the Foothills Parkway, Chasing the Dragon Hill Climb, and the Cherahola Skyway.  Also, the Wayah Road which Bill calls “the ultimate Miata Road” over a mountain with lots of twisties and switchbacks.  The Tail of the Dragon is always a highlight of the trip, with several runs over 11 challenging miles with 318 curves.  These roads in Tennessee/North Carolina and our Miatas are truly made for each other and the good weather and little traffic meant there were some excellent drives, and Carol Leaven’s cookies at rest breaks.

New this year was a visit to the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum with over 300 rare motorcycles, memorabilia, and unique “one-off” automobiles.  Getting there was a relaxed drive through Smokey Mountains National Park and on the Blue Ridge Parkway (and also the most traffic).  It was fun to enjoy the beautiful scenery and see spotted warblers, migrating birds, a bear cub, and an elk along the drive.

The schedule was:
Mon – Ducktown/Copper Hill, lunch at Copper Grill, dinner at Peaceful Side Social Brewery
Tue- Dragon Hill Climb, lunch at Lynn’s Place, dinner at Riverstone
Wed-Bald River Falls, Cherohala Skyway, lunch at Tellicafe, dinner at Good Vibes
Thu – Smokey Mountains Park, Maggie Valley, Wheels Through Time, lunch at Maggie Valley sandwich shop, dinner at BurgerMaster (ice cream instead of “dinner”).
Fri – Fontana Dam, Wayah Road. Lunch at Rivers End Restaurant, dinner at Elvira’s.

The group did have two cars that experienced tire/wheel issues, so a “shout out” to Five Oaks Tire and Service in Sevierville, TN. They took good care of both cars, above and beyond what we expected. So if you are ever in that area and need help, they are the ones to call!

For those whose idea of fun is spending all day briskly driving curvy roads, eating way too much food, and laughing with fellow Miata enthusiasts, this was an excellent adventure.

Thanks to Terri Wilkins of the Toledo Club for the write-up!
Designed to Drive #2                                                  5/9

Host: The Ottes and The Selbys

It was a beautiful day, not top-down, but sunny and a nice start to the 2023 Miata season. The group of 21 members met at the “End of the Commons” store in Mesopotamia to meander in Ohio’s oldest operating general store. Some of the favorites were the penny candies and Necco wafers along with the fry pies.
We left the parking lot and headed East on Rt 87 to make a right onto Rt 45 all the way to the Packard Museum. Not much chance of someone getting lost making a wrong turn.
The group meandered through the museum looking at the beautiful Packards and reading about the history of many of them. Also on display were antique motorcycles. Ron Otte has been on the bike show committee for the Packard Museum for the past 22 years and on the board of the Packard Museum for the past 3 years. Ron appreciates the support the Miata members has shown with their attendance.
The group gathered up about 1:30 to head out to the Wayside Restaurant a couple of miles away where stories were swapped and good food was enjoyed.

Greg & Judy Selby
Freeze Your Butt Off Tour                                                         4/22

The annual FYBO tour began cold, dreary and rainy, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of 76 members in 36 soggy Miatas. We left Bueler’s parking lot in four separate groups, heading south to Amish country. The route was slightly altered from previous years and we enjoyed some new scenery. The last curves of rt 515 brought us directly to the Der Dutchman restaurant in Walnut Creek. The banquet room and staff was organized and waiting for our arrival. Everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner and visiting with old and new friends.
Mike and I would like to gratefully thank our group leaders for this year, John & Donna Garsteck, Dale & Cathy Hutton, John & Jeanne Embree and our trusty sweeps, Chuck & Judy Wolf, Bob Haseley & Sandi Stowers, Wayne & Marsha Baker, and Dave & Karen Baker. Great job guys! Looking forward to next year and hopefully better weather!!!
Mike & Lo

Think Spring Wine Tasting Party                                            4/1/23

Our annual Spring Party was held on April 1st with great weather (no snow). We set attendance at 40 Miata friends but somehow it reached 49. We were not crowded at all. Everyone brought a great dish to go along with Carol’s meatballs and mini hot dogs. We also had the opportunity to sample a wide selection of wines. There were a few pool sharks knocking the balls around. It was a great time had by all with the last couple leaving about 10.30.

Doug Leavens