April 29 – Another year, another rainy Spring Tour. Oh well, still a splendid time for all. By my count there were 12 BMWs and 22 BMW enthusiasts; for some reason, the majority of the cars were black in color, so it looked a bit like a funeral procession. At least it was a very sporty funeral procession!
After meeting for introductions, goody bags, and fueling-up in Mineral Point, we mounted our steeds and hit the open road. There were a couple convertible drivers that tempted the weather with open tops, but that didn’t last long. A quick stop at the Riverside Park in Cassville allowed us to stretch our legs for a bit while we are introduced to our travelling companion: the Mississippi River. We then paraded to Wyalusing State Park for pre-lunch views of our state’s natural beauty while getting to know the other cars and fellow enthusiasts better.
A short jaunt to Prairie du Chien and we were ready for lunch. More friendships were made over a delightful meal. It was then time to cross over into Iowa for the downstream half of the tour. More scenic driving brought us to the historic town of Guttenberg where we gathered at the Lock and Dam #10 to witness a 600ft long group of grain barges (corn and soybeans!) transit the lock. After marveling at the exacting driving abilities of the tugboat captain, we gathered at a pub just below the dam for the necessity of a warming beverage and more conversation. More driving along the majestic waterway and bluffs landed us at our terminus of East Dubuque, Illinois, making our tour a proper tri-state affair. We enjoyed our final cocktail and meal together at Timmerman’s Supper Club before parting ways.
I would like to express the gratitude of myself and the tour participants to: Peter Wright for handling the formalities of getting the tour organized; David and Tiffany Helmke for their work defining the route and stops of the tour; Steve & Georgia Pate and Mary O’Brien for their wonderful pictures; and my wife, Linda, for her encouragement and assistance in my efforts to grease the wheels of companionship amongst the club members. It was my pleasure to be of assistance on another successful driving tour. Let’s hope that the next Spring Driving Tour allows for the proper use of the convertibles!