Jesus, I need to learn how to upload photos to this damned site. Not that I have any particularly phenomenal photos. Other than this one, of course. Here’s the link to the full album from this weekend. On the docket was MINIs on Top – a MINI Cooper rally up in New Hampshire. After doing a whole bunch of cool shite, we drove the 8-mile auto road to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in New England. And maybe more, but I don’t feel like checking right now.
It was a pretty awesome time. We didn’t see shit from the top of the mountain – the summit was covered in a cloud – but I hardly noticed, the company was that good.
I left work a bit early on Thursday and headed up to meet Brandy, Don and Alora at the Narragansett Cafe in Jamestown RI. We watched The Shiny Lapel Trio play some kick-ass swing and then headed back to crash at Brandy and Don’s house so that we could leave early to meet up with a bunch of other MINIs in Boston for the drive up to NH.
Friday was a travel day – smurf, every day was a travel day – and I’d love to give you the run-down of every single road we took and place at which we stopped, but I really wasn’t paying much attention to any of that. Alora was my navigator and Don was Brandy’s. Don did most of the heavy lifting navigation-wise via Brandy’s iPad and I just detached my brain and followed. It was awesome.
The roads up in NH were absolutely gorgeous – we were in the White Mountains and there were no cops around at all. Everywhere we went, there were other MINIs (over 200 were at the rally), so no matter where the road took us, we were almost always in a caravan-of-sorts. It was so much fun to play on those roads. Brandy is an excellent driver and at times I almost had trouble keeping up with her. It was wicked cool to have my A-game in full effect.
Friday night we did the trivia thing with the folks from the rally and our team (“The Candy Van”) came in third place. In second place was “The Beach-Goers” – the other foursome at our table, with whom we colluded heavily.
Saturday we all converged at some big ski-mountain parking lot and checked out each others’ MINIs. Then we had a few hours to kill, so we did one of the 80-something mile loops through the mountains. Afterward, we all met at the base of Mt. Washington for dinner, raffles, prizes and other stuff. Then we lined up and headed up the mountain.
This year’s weather was the worst it’s been in the 8 (or so) years of MOT. The auto road closes at 6:30, but it was kept open for our group. By the time we got to the top of the twisty-windy road, visibility was nil and the wind was blowing hard. We had hot chocolate in the summit building and headed back down – well after the rest of the group had already left. Brandy’s car was first, followed by mine, and finally Sam and Kylie’s – a couple from our table the prior night. One of the park rangers followed us down. We had to stay in first gear for almost the whole way down and even had to stop a couple of times to cool off our brakes, the road is that steep. Visibility was about 15 feet and Brandy did a kick-ass job of being lead dog on the way down.
The only p’diddle I got the whole weekend was my own car when I recognized that one of my headlamps was out (which I quickly remedied by slapping it at one of the brake-cooling stops). Other than that, Alora kicked my ass at that game. =/
We went straight from the mountain to the cocktail/hors d’oeuvres hour (nothing left but crumbs) and watched a couple of slide shows from prior years. We were all pretty exhausted (adrenaline was high for a good couple of hours on that drive), and soon headed back to bed. Sunday was a leisurely drive (the long way, of course) to Boston to drop Don off for his flight to Pensacola, and then Brandy, Alora and I had salads and dessert in Providence RI before we split up to head home.
I met up with Scott at the diner on the way back and flopped into bed with enough time to make it to work good and late on Monday.
And I’m well on my way to being 2/2 this week on the work/late thing, so I’ll stop here. I have plenty more to say, as I’m sure you can guess, but I’ll save it for future posts.
Thank you, Brandy, Don and Alora for a wonderful weekend. Brandy especially, for setting the whole thing up and just being fantabulous in general. =)