Over America - A Journal"
Once upon a time...a small lad in England chances on a photo of a car
driving through a redwood tree.
The image remains, and, grown to a man’s
estate, Jeremy Harrison determines to duplicate this feat in his Morgan.
So was born a monumental Morgan trek from the California coast to Niagara
Falls in the summer of 1990.
click to enlarge
“Does anyone want to drive through a redwood tree?” Jeremy advertises.
People who want to: his daughter Emma, fellow Brits Anita and Alyson
Veryard, Michael and Brenda Heatherington, Jim Robinson, Chris, Sue and
Andrew Godwin, Richard Jordan and Henry Kaye, Jeremy Kearns, Brian and
Ruth Hollingsworth. The Continent and Scandinavia sign up with Hans and
Fareda Vogler (Switzerland), Manfred Klinger and Barbara Altman (Germany),
Roy and Ulla-Brit Palm (Sweden), and heartthrobs Peter Meyer and Klaus
(Denmark) Other Morgan owners felt crossing the Pond to the East Coast
would satisfy their wanderlust, leading to the twain-shall-meet
concept of a West to East and East to East foray.
Rumours circulate in the States. Have you heard — the Brits and Europeans
are shipping their Morgans over to drive cross-country — in summer at
that. Really? Yes! Do they realize how BIG this country is? Morgan people
love a zany challenge — this is an act the Americans want to get in on.
Believers on the two Coasts get to work. In the East, Mark Braunstein
makes plans to trek to Niagara Falls, Ontario, and the Canadian Morgan
Club. In San Francisco, Steve Roake lines up a committee which meets for a
year to plan routes and jollifications from “The City’ to Morgan Town,
West Virginia, labelling this approximately 4,000 mile jaunt “The Western
Adventure” — how true, how true.
And so it comes to pass...from dream to reality, overseas adventurers
arrive in San Francisco. Morgans arrive in and near San Francisco. Now to
unite them, Bob Schmidt and Bart Grant do yeoman duty, transporting owners
to various ports of call where haranguing of customs agents and
sweet-talking of those in charge (union guys won’t know how to operate
these cars) sees the job done. Amazingly, there is also a quickie tour of
City highlights, including Bill Fink’s Isis Imports, followed by evening
commute traffic. May have seemed like a piece of cake to “the Panes” after
driving to the start via Canada, and Brian H. who
had already done 7,000 miles coming West, but still had the fortitude to
drive newly—arrived sister Ruth across the Golden Gate “so she could see
it,” never mind the jam.
By the Pacific Ocean at the start of MOA I in 1990
Opening evening...just as the locals despair of their special guests at
the kick-off barbeque, the Europeans pull in, Morgan after Morgan, cars
and drivers all looking spiffy and ready to party - especially the
“Luscious Lilac” Plus 8 with the unique “tootle” horn that will become the
trademark sound of the long-distance motorists.
A grey Friday the 13th of July finds a large and assorted contingent
firing up at the hotel in Burlingame, hot to head for Highway One along
the Pacific Coast. Clearing weather approaching Santa Cruz matches the
spirits of the crowd enjoying brunch at Greg Solow’s Engine Room -
everyone’s first good look at everyone else’s car, and the initial media
attention. Gradually, cars committed to carry on, nose out to run down to
Cambria and Mog West, with side trips to Carmel and a traditional lunch
at Nepenthe overlooking the blue waters of Big Sur.
Arriving at Cambria, Mog West festivities get rolling. Central on the
Central California Coast, which is to say about half-way
between LA and SF, this little tourist village serves as the annual
North/South get-together of the California clubs, graced this year by a
goodly representation from the Northwest and Canada to meet “the
Europeans.” After socializing and darts on Friday, the agenda moves into
high gear with 107 Morgans crowded into the concours area (lilac must
have been the judges’ favourite colour - Jeremy walked off with Best of
Show), then traversing local highways and byways on a controversial rally
(what was that quaint British phrase Michael H. exclaimed on a very
confusing section?) that generated
much discussion at the barbeque on the lawn. Musical selections by
Southern California talent and a tape of “The Industrial Detective”
studying The Factory (pirated by a British Columbia member) raised the
hilarity level a notch or two. In the usual manner, Sunday is a chance to
put on a helmet and slalom around little trees, light poles, and orange
cones. Just prior to primping for the Awards Banquet, Steve assembles
Morgans Over America starters for a very democratic meeting. Outcome is
yes, we will try to caravan, and 6:00 a.m. (beat
the heat) versus 8:00 a.m. departure choices are made, with extra sleep
time weighed against record temperatures predicted for the Valley.
July 16, 1990, Morgans Over America: 23 cars surge off the grid to take
the chequered flag at the start of the Western Adventure I The long
caravan meanders through the morning-cool hills of the San Joaquin Valley.
By the first stop at Cholome and the James Dean Memorial (looks like a
grave; not a grave), the air is growing quite warm — maybe the dozen or so
early leavers did it right? In Fresno the caravan theory falls apart, but
sharp-eyed kiddies help most participants gather out of the 100-degree
plus heat in air-conditioned comfort at the
Silver Dollar Hofbrau. Back to the furnace—like road, with Moggies looking
gape-mouthed as many had grilles strapped behind to enhance cooling up
front. Sierra Foothills at last, and bodies revive at a pit stop in
Coarsegold with cold (soft) drinks and the opportunity to mill around an
ailing car. Just as the decision is made that Keith Cox must, alas,
reverse to Fresno to deal with his appalling engine noises, more Morgans
pull in. Who can they be? Ah-hah, the 6:00 a.m. lot! Should be hours
ahead, but are hours behind due to: Heatheringtons’ ballast
resistor (a bit of a two there?), Cummings’
clutch, and Bob Murray’s personal body. Opening day and all these “major”
breakdowns are taken as a good sign - it will get better from here. It
did, really, certainly heat—wise.
Off goes the melded caravan to Yosemite, the day’s major destination.
Thirstiest car is the Wilburns’ Plus-4-Plus,
representing the LA area, helped on its way by Park waterfalls. Initiates
and repeaters alike admire the grandeur of Yosemite - starting with a tram
truck excursion through the Mariposa Giant Sequoias, though Anita Veryard
stays in the parking lot to recuperate from heat fatigue despite the
Arab-style headgear she and Alyson wore. The “Tunnel Tree” was, oh no, DNF
since an uproot in 1969. Scorning the train, Janet Koupal and son Bob
coerce Ulla-Brit into hiking it, learning some Swedish on the
arduous path. The overwhelming views at Glacier Point are worth the drive
and walk - Dick Scardamaglia reminisces about the old-time firefalls, no
longer environmentally correct. Evening coming on, but who can pass up
cocktails on the terrace of the exclusive Ahwahnee Hotel? Still have to
bunk down, so on to El Portal where the first motel stop is fortunately
not the real one, causing Steve to circle back and herd the gaggle to the
more desirable Cedar Lodge. What a beginning - “the longest day,” with a
closing scene the advent of the Palms’ 1951 Plus-4 and its failed water
pump on a beautifully-lighted flatbed carrier.
Gassing up at a limited capacity station in the AM allows the first of
many drivers’ meetings - Steve saw himself as a mentor,
not a leader — hah, hah, forget that, Steve. A departure tour of Yosemite
heading for Tioga Pass exit — hurrah, a redwood tree you can drive
through! The long line of Morgans inches up and, yes, navigates Jeremy’s
A highpoint, not a finale...MOA presses East through the Old West.
From the Pass (highest of the trip at 9,945 feet) to lunch in Lee Vining
across from Mono Lake’s weird formations, then off to Reno through
changeable weather - some get rain, some get hail - preceded by a pause in
the old silver bonanza centre of Virginia City: genuine boardwalks; the
Europeans discover American ice cream; everyone congregates at the Bucket
of Blood Saloon; a visit to “Boo Ill” (Thank you, Dick Jordan) finds no
famous desperadoes, just poignant reminders of the hard life in pioneer
days. Nevada heralds the start of occasional halts for road construction -
Morganeers can deal with these - get out and stretch, visit, check the
oil, etc. Next stop the Biggest Little City of Reno. Parading down the
main drag, Morgans barely make a stir in this surreal blot on the map. A
Catch-22 check-in/parking is eclipsed by the total sensory assault of the
Circus-Circus Hotel’s in-house casino. Since a large segment of the
California drivers will turn back here, there is a bye-bye dinner in a
separate area, astonishing the Europeans by the cheap, all-you-can-eat
July 18th stuff...the diminished Harrah’s auto collection has a plus in
the Morgan wings in the display of marque emblems; Lynn Gurley takes Emma
in tow to watch the highstakes gambling; Ruth loses/retrieves her Morgan
jacket; the laundromat frivolities begin. Also - repair tales: Keith is
back after Bay Area mechanic Steve Weiss cannibalized wife Tracy’s car for
a water pump and soldiered on to Casa de Fruta (Cal) to deliver it to a
kindly Fresno mechanic who also gave Keith shelter for the night; after
popping $750 for the Morgan’s ride to Reno, Roy Palm locates John’s
British Cars where John lets Roy machine
a water pump for free, replaces the McNaughton’s motor mount, and does
something to Manfred’s coil! Shoe store personnel helped too, when Janet
and Bob impressed them with the need for a bonnet strap.
All fixed-up and forward to the Stockmans Hotel in Elko, Nevada. Leaving
late afternoon to avoid a fry on the high desert was good thinking
rendered needless by cloud cover. Impending storm clouds trail the
caravan; compelling mountain shapes and shades rise from the desert floor
but keep receding - will the convoy ever arrive anywhere? Pushing on,
there are diversions. The Koupals’ car quits dead from a broken coil wire
- Jeremy to the rescue with a bit of wire found on the roadside. The rest
stop proves to be only a wide spot in the highway. The first speed ticket
is awarded to the Blue and White (Peter gets stuck
but Klaus was driving). Jim Robinson has handed over his mount to rightful
owner, Jeremy Kearns, who puts pedal to metal with the quad Webers,
encouraging Manfred to unleash his Plus-8, both a blur as they throttle
past leader of the pack Roake, who was doing 80 mph. Jordan’s bumper falls
off. In the Elko parking lot, real life cowboys admire Morgans and vice
versa. John Burks rejoins the tour at the Stockmans’ busy bar. Yes, we are
Establishing a vague regimen, it’s late to bed and up early to engage
starter motors about 8:00 a.m. Today is a border crossing into state
number three, Idaho, with a regroup at the Nevada line in Jackpot. Last
chance to play the slots and time to change time - Mountain Standard -
prompting Manfred to hand round cold beers to mark the transition. In Twin
Falls the caravan encounters the far-ranging, ever-changing Snake River at
Shoshone Falls, where drought has the water level down but the vertical
drop is longer than Niagara and the gorge is spanned by the graceful
Perrine Bridge. Evel Knievel missed a jump
here, but Burks is spotted driving across while the group takes it all in
from the viewing lot. Returning to town, hungry Morganeers descend on a
hapless restaurant requesting a table for 30, separate checks, please.
Pocatello and the Holiday Inn means time for volleyball in the pool. Burks
rejoins the tour for dinner. A high decibel band in the motel bar leads to
a regrouping in the pool area, where high decibel chatter leads to a
further move outside at management request. The warm Idaho night is
perfect for a long getting-to-know-you session, though missed by Keith as
Bob Schaffer totes him off to Emergency Room - these stiff-riding vehicles
can have strange effects. This is also where the Europeans demonstrate
their devotion to cleanliness on the road - Luscious Lilac even gets the
wheels-off treatment - which really makes good sense over such a long run.
Heading on to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone in Wyoming — Keith now
functioning well - the high desert gives way to gentle farmland. Ken has
hooked up with Steve as passenger in charge of video, adventuring into the
In Soda Springs, a halt at a generic Foster Freeze coincides with the
arrival of a tour bus. Morgans become a tourist attraction, never mind the
sudden shower, and drivers hone their interviewee skills. Forging further
into Wyoming, about half the cavalcade arrives at a visitors’ centre to
daily with the live buffaloes as the other half (inadvertently?) takes the
alternate scenic route. Betty’s Cafe and Coffee Shop serves generous food
and neon caps as once again the Moggies line up almost all together.
Touring ahead to Jackson, Dick and Henry in the Red Plus-8 are just
pottering along, enjoying the scenery, what? At the Virginian Lodge,
Jordan says not so and Burke greasily diagnoses a cooked rear bearing
(yes, those things do have fittings). Brian H. pitches in to fetch the
necessary all the way from an Idaho Falls farm implement parts
house:standard John Deere items!
Meanwhile...a “shoot—out” is re-enacted in downtown Jackson (hokey)
followed by an interlude at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar where you can
sling your leg over a saddle at the long, long bar (semi-hokey but great
fun). Turns out the Mangy Moose restaurant, etc., a ways out of town, is
owned by a Morgan enthusiast who provides up—front parking and a free
cocktail — the food was good too. Purchases in Jackson include stuffed
mascots to lash to the cars (Robinson already had one) and a handsome
pair of cowboy boots for Manfred.
Up and at ‘em to visit nearby Grand Teton National Park, aptly described
as mountains without foothills. These babies just soar up craggily and
majestically from the meadows, giving one of the most awesome vistas on
the agenda. The Heatheringtons are entranced, and they have seen a lot of
scenery. This is the jumping off spot for Dave Gard from Calgary, Marj
Naughton from the Bay Area, and the McNaughtons from Rolling Hills. Phil
and Elaine Fisher are thinking their planned “last day” in Cody may not be
enough, as they gaze out the picture windows over lunch at Jackson Lake
Lodge. Evening amusement is an
authentic rodeo, so authentic that when a bronco rider bites the dust and
is kicked by the bronco it takes forever for the ambulance, and the sound
system perversely plays a song called “The Dying Cowboy”.
Crossing the Continental Divide (something to do with river flows changing
direction) the caravan enters Yellowstone National Park, still suffering
from that devastating fire. Old Faithful geyser obligingly performs. An
excursion to the Black Sands and Fire Hole Falls, all very interesting, is
eclipsed by the excitement (?) of piloting a herd of Morgans through a
herd of buffalo. These beasts are way larger than the cars and everyone
drives slowly and carefully, no revving, please. (Wonder how the Godwins
rated this with the Disneyland rides.)
Jeremy likes his beef steak big.
click to enlarge
Cody, Wyoming...what could be more “West” than bedding down in Buffalo
Bill Village’s little log cabins? This is virgin territory for both
Europeans and most of the remaining Californians, who are surprised at the
excellent quality of the Buffalo Bill, Plains Indians, Colt Arms, and
Western Art Museums, and even enjoy the “Guns and Gifts” Shop and Hotel
Irma (named for Buffalo Bill’s wife). Dinner in Cody is another table for
thirty please affair - Anita had trouble with the potatoes but Phil
pronounced the buffalo steak tasty. Cody really is good-bye for John
Burks; however, the Fishers decide to hang in at least to Gilette while
they negotiate with employers. En route, Brian’s turn to be nailed for
speeding - lucky he has travellers checks to cover the whopping $85
cash-or-jail ticket ($5 discount for wearing seat belts). Somewhere in
Manfred suffers a similar fate and promises to back off the accelerator
for the remainder - promises, promises. Ailing Moggies in Gilette: Roy
finds yet another shop to use his machining skills, on the starter this
time; Hans is still nursing his capricious alternator; Keith picks up a
back-up clutch forwarded somehow by Steve Miller back in California. At
dinner, Ruth and Brian are relegated to a different table - decibels
again? On the way in through the Big Horn Mountains, Jeremy H. manages to
shoot some moose — trophies will be photos only.
Date check...July 24th and motoring to Rapid City in state number five,
South Dakota, past volcanic forms at Devils Tower (movie reference: “Close
Encounters”), through Deadwood (yes, it is), and hesitating at the
gigantic sculptures of Mt. Rushmore, thereafter referred to as “The Four
Apostles, (consensus - it looks better in National Geo specials). In
transit, a little friendly interaction with Harley Davidsons assembling
for the stupendous Sturgis meet. The Heatheringtons take one of their
frequent side jaunts on the “Wildlife Loop” and see nary a bird, but
engage a bunch of bison which Brenda fends off with her hairbrush.
Eating well in Rapid City...perhaps the primo meal of the trip at The
Firehouse. Other town features are drive-through liquor
stores (don’t find them in California) and an actual British car shop
where Peter has a U-joint replaced and Hans tries
again to cure the obstinate alternator, all interspersed with
thundershowers. The Fishers have hung on, and with leaves granted, it is
now not their last, last day but their first day for the rest of the
journey. A hard core travelling Morgan band is forged.
Listed as a 350-mile stint to cross South Dakota, July 25th finds the band
prepared to motor on and on and on, Columbus-like. Not to worry, really a
lot to see and do: an optional stop at a
fountainhead of American enterprise Walls’ Drug Store, or just push on to
the sinister sounding Badlands - not bad at all - and daredevils Emma,
Jim, and both Jeremys abandon their Morgans for a helicopter flight. The
small town of Murdo houses a collection of 250 mostly U.S. vehicles -
“three restored”. Don’t miss the famous, per numerous billboards, “Corn
Palace”. Second time switch to Central Standard and congrats on reaching
the Missouri River. Tom Politiski brings out his 4/4 from Fargo to
accompany the adventurers for a day.
Sioux Falls and the night of the vibrating beds - Hans is surprised on
several counts as Fareda is spirited away for a night on the town.
Looming ahead, a new state - Minnesota may be the Midwest to some, but
coming from California it counts as “The East”. Keith is razzed for
erecting his hood - did he have inside information? Setting out through
the invigorating scents of meat packing plants, the feckless Morgan
caravan is soon awash in four inches of rain and high winds over a rough
road. More hoods go up, some repairs are made in the downpour, and
everyone gets wet, wetter, wettest.
“Minnesoaka” describes the state now, all but the night’s lodging at the
Hampton Inn, which was far too dry (alas, no bar). All tours have their
little flaws. Steve’s competition Moggie expresses an opinion by letting
go a large chunk of paint - just peeled right off! Austin, Minnesota is
awash with timid mechanics frightened by even a near approach of a Morgan,
except for the sophisticate who “works on VW’s”. Oh well.
Eastering along towards Illinois, the Wisconsin Dells redeem the state
with a delightful road suitable for Morgan cruising, and the Amish
population adds a time-warp effect. Persistence is required to locate the
repro Duesenberg factory. An excellent lunch at the Gasthaus and an exit
through flying feathers from turkey trucks in the lead signal a real
change - the last umpteen miles were “country”, urban coming up in the
form of Chicago, a dubious trade for the Morgan marathon.
Not all alters...Barbara Altman maintains her fashionable persona by
shipping outfits home to Munich and picking up new ensembles along the
way; Jeremy H. gets each day off to a jolly start by bussing (not a form
of public transportation) the females.
So here is Chicago, Illinois, beginning with Embassy Suites in nearby
Deerfield, where A.P. wire service photos take Morgans Over America
national and three cars from Texas (yea) enter the madness, proving
temporarily too much for Bill Boyle’s +4+. Bob treats an entire birthday
party of kiddies to tours of the parking lot. Now the sequence of parties
and more parties gets underway, engineered by local Morgan aficionados.
Chicago Morgans welcome the band with a big dinner and an even bigger
outpouring of “Tootsie Toys” to stash in luggage compartments.
All out for le grand loop de Chicago proper - wha happen? Caravan my car
rod! Leaders disappear. Small clutches of Morgans vanish. Will they ever
meet again? From his command post Rolls, a tour operator alerts his buses
(a form of semi-public transportation) to round up anything resembling an
old M.G. and point them to the Picasso sculpture. One way, or often
another, most of the band finally assembles. Right, or possibly left, on
to Dearborn and a fresh state, Michigan. States get real close in this
part of the U.S.
Calendar check...end July 1990. Lodgings check...the Dearborn Inn is
beautiful, also very reasonable by California standards. Used to be the
FOMOCO guest house - those were the days. The party pace intensifies when
the Great Lakes Morgan Club do their barbeque thing at the Plafchans,
lining up the cars on the lawn and later the grimy adventurers in the hot
tub, leaving a residue of the American West in Detroit.
Henry Ford’s museum and Greenfield Village entertain the band on their way
to Toledo (remember to adjust watches to Eastern Time) and the Granville
Inn, Columbus, Ohio, where the Ohio Morgan Club keeps things moving
party-wise at the Halls: Emma outdoes herself guessing numbers and an
alleged Morgan groupie is found and lost while Jeremy tries to translate
(do you do the what??). Also noteworthy - giant cream puffs, fireflies
putting on a sunset show, Keith re-charging his battery and explaining
that the Inn folk confessed to an incorrect map, so don’t blame him.
Michael adds a quaint American phrase to his vocabulary at a next-day
lunch rest in Coolsville, on the road to MORGAN TOWN, West Virginia.
Zipping along, Steve and the Koupals escape a local constable who nabs the
remainder. No tickets or cash outlays thanks to Jeremy’s bodacious display
and sheer numbers — Morgans do rather look all alike to the unpractised
eye. Morgan Town marks the end of the Western Adventure as Steve shucks
his uneasy leader’s mantle in favour of the East/East organizers. The
switchover is replete with reporters, new arrivals, cocktails and a late
dinner - a heavy day followed by a
very late drivers’ meeting, so perhaps Uncle Al is not offended when Brian
falls asleep and off his chair and Phil gets an ovation as he takes his
leave. No matter, the band revives to “locomote” the night away and dance
Ruthie around in her chair.
The pink sheet rules now, urging a July 31st arrival in the nation’s
capital. Wright devotees manage a side trip to the inimitable architect’s
“Falling Waters” house while the main group ambles along great back roads
and ferries across the Potomac. A barbeque at stately Carderock Park is
succeeded by stately parking at the Hyatt in Bethesda, Maryland, and a
riotous celebration by the stalwart band that has survived all the way
from San Francisco to the East Coast - a sea to shining sea accomplishment
I Clearly a group portrait is needed: 29 people on the bed - who started
that bouncing anyway?
Washington, D.C....a whole two days in the same spot - seems abnormal.
Janet Koupal subs in son Ken for son Bob as principal driver. All tour
feverishly, the White House is off limits due to a summit or something.
Many seek R & R for their flogged Moggies at the London Auto Service in
Falls Church - check ‘em out and check ‘em over — yeah another hero
mechanic. Everyone is raring to go again at the Braunstein’s luau - paper
leis are bestowed and the high count in the hot tub is 15. This is au
revoir for Koupals and Fishers; hate to leave. Janet and Ken are reversing
through Canada and will do it at a fast clip and have a brief re-union
with Dave Gard across a freeway barrier!
Take-off for Luray, Virginia is recorded by a local telly chap who gets a
ride perched on the back of Keith’s Morgan. Close quarters, but the cars
fit on the ferry at White’s Ferry carrying them to a nice, relaxing
evening. Luray is the home base for the long—running East Coast club’s
annual meet, and similar events are staged for this conclave, including a
concourse, the Melvyn Rutter autocross, a rally and a keg party. Bill
Boyle’s rejuvenated +4+ is welcomed back, adding to the many handsome
Morgans assembled, not to forget new European arrivals, especially the
trikes of Brown (Scotland) and Rolt (England). In a sweeping tripod camera
shot of the marshalled Morgans, Ruth does a mad dash to beat the film but
was wrong. The pillard veranda of the Mimslyn Hotel is a popular meeting
spot and Ulla-Brit polishes her rocking technique.
Calendar check...August 6th. Location check...leaving Luray back to
Washington. Laverne and Jeanette checked in during the first Washington
stop and now set out merrily with Keith and Steve for the scenic option of
Skyline Drive; less merrily, the quartet views the fog and rain on this
long and winding road while peering out from plastic garbage bags! Warmer
surroundings at a noggin with the Washington Club back in guess where.
Mr. Penn’s foothold in the New World comes complete with a visit to the
battlefield at Gettysburg and a picnic at the Spahr’s historic home hosted
by Morgans of Philadelphia in Wagontown.
Zeroing in on Exton for the night
proved to be an unscheduled rally — rescued by a friendly native.. Morgans
doing well, but as the miles pile up little things do happen. Steve
acquires a new master cylinder while Chris Godwin has a tie-rod
straightening session - how did it get bent?
Clusters of clubs on the East Coast rise to the occasion — is this a
monster run or a social season? The 3/4 Morgan Club does their bit very
well indeed in Pittstown (New Jersey now) at the Griffiths’ modestly
designated “farm”. Was it the conviviality, or are all these Eastern
hotels in obscure locations?
Too bad it wasn’t Sunday, but everyone attends “church” for a super
breakfast send-off by the Sieberts, then wends on a delightful road into
Ithaca. (Keeping track? This is New York State). Dinner at La Tourelle is
very memorable for the friendly members of the Western N.Y. Morgan Club. A
hard choice to make then - will it be Bully Hills winery and Curtiss
Museum or the classic Watkins Glen racetrack - or both?
As San Francisco was at the beginning, Niagara Falls, Canada is the
eastern lodestar for Morgans Over America. Race car maven Brock Yate’s
restaurant in “the hamlet of Wyoming” (hey, thought we’d been there
earlier) dishes up lunch; Laverne has her purse recovered from the
highway; reflections of the Colonies — a tea break at the Erie Canal.
Safely through customs (guess no one landed by mistake in Toronto), the
Canadian Club in Ontario has all the appropriate flags flying and the bash
at the Whirlpool Country Club (quelle nom) is a winner (Morganeers have a
hearty party appetite).
Ah Niagara, how shall we count the ways; Maid of the Mist, Spanish aerial
car, tunnel trip, helicopter - take your pick or take them all to
experience these mesmerizing falls.
Back to car stuff...the hospitable Canadians mastermind a rally (damp
again) and a humorous concourse - lowest sump level, lowest tyre pressure,
and so on. Jim Robinson has retrieved his very own Morgan and wife by now
and is prepared for a spit and polish version - in spite of a dispiriting
lack of defects, Jim takes the overall award. Morgans Over America climax:
a fare-thee-well banquet at the Victoria Park Restaurant on August 12th,
Rather fittingly on a Monday, this troop of Californians, Brits, Swedes,
Germans, Swiss and Danes has to pack up the Morgans and realize Morgans
Over America does not go on forever - pity. Still smiling, like a family
after all those miles, the intrepid band says “what fun” and “let’s do it
again” - mark your calendars for 1993 (the Northwest?). A little rain
falls, a sad rain, as the band disperses with a brave tootle of Jeremy’s
horn — how great it was!