Kentucky Invades Ohio!

Before we escalate to acts of armed aggression, I should clarify: the PCA region of Kentucky spent the weekend driving through the Hocking Hills portion of southeast Ohio. The Hocking Hills is a deeply dissected area of the Allegheny Plateau featuring cliffs, gorges, rock shelters, and waterfalls. The area’s topography is due to particular sandstone formation: thick, hard and weather-resistant, forming high cliffs and narrow, deep gorges.

The area is world famous for its roads featuring sweeping curves and scenery. What would you expect from roads named “Black Diamond Run”, “Zaleski Zipper” or “Hocking Hills Nipper”? A favored spot for America’s motor journalists, frequently using the area for sports car comparisons. In fact, Car & Driver magazine has declared a 14-mile path they’ve carved out in the Hills as their “favorite test loop” for taking a vehicle through the motions. The magazine has been testing cars on the roads here since at least 1989. Well, if it’s good enough for Car & Driver, it must be good enough for KYPCA.

Lest you think it was all roads meant to be explored in a spirited fashion, the area also features more bucolic routes: “Lazy Rivers” and “Rim of the World”. Not least but last, there is the famed “Triple Nickle”: up and down and around a route guaranteed to make your passenger sick.

We decided to make a weekend out of the trip, leaving Louisville early Saturday to return Sunday night. Of our 700 mile round trip, 300 miles were spent on the Hills’ “Windy 9” (as in “winding”, not as in blowing air); 9 specific routes featuring the best scenic and winding routes for cars and motorcycles. A brief aside: does everyone in Ohio always drive 20 miles under the speed limit at all times? Our admittedly less than statistically accurate survey would say “YES”!

Besides sampling routes, we spent time visiting many popular tourist attractions, including the pencil sharpener museum, featuring a collection of over 3,400 pencil sharpeners (including one shaped like a 911 Turbo), thought to be the nation’s largest.

Our monthly activities also included our annual trip to Southern Indiana’s Polly’s Freeze, serving ice cream continuously since 1952.

 

June 30 Drive to Hocking Hills, Ohio

Most of us probably read Car & Driver and Road & Track magazines each month. Over the course of many Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati, etc road tests, there are continuous references to the Hocking Hills and Southeastern Ohio’s magnificent roads. Well, maybe it’s time we checked this out: if it’s good enough for motor sports journalists, it’s got to be good enough for us.

And so, June 29th to 30th, we drive to Athens for the Windy 9 (as in winding roads, not blowing air).

Want more info on why? Check out: https://www.explorehockinghills.com/blog/posts/2016/may/experience-the-thrill-of-driving-hocking-hills-famously-scenic-roads/

We’ll leave 9 am Saturday freewaying to Cincinnati, from where we’ll take 2 lane roads arriving in the Hocking Hills by 12 or so. We’ll spend the next 4 to 5 hours sampling roads following a pre-planned route, stopping in Athens for the night. Sunday, we’ll drive more of the hills until around 1 PM or so, before heading back to Louisville via Maysville and Paris. Some of our stops may include the one remaining, still in operation, washboard factory.

Please RSVP so we can get a head count and try to arrange a group rate at a motel. Food, lodging all responsibility of attendees.

May 2019 Activity Report

The Kentucky Region covers a territory 200 miles wide by 120 miles North to South. Of our 480 members, 410 reside in the greater Louisville area, at the North East corner of the region. 20 members are in the south and 50 in the West (and 1 in Belgium).

This month, we decided to follow Horace Greeley’s advice and go West to join up with our far western neighbors. We first traveled Kentucky parkways for 90 miles prior to smaller two lane roads. Our first destination Jefferson Davis State Park, home of the world’s tallest concrete non-reinforced obelisk. Washington’s Monument stands 554 feet tall: Jeff Davis Memorial stands 351. Kentucky was a southern state during the Civil War.

Don’t know any of us would claim confederate sympathies, just wanted to see a 35 story concrete obelisk standing in the middle of a farm field.

Our next stop was the Casey Jones distillery, where we met some of our western members, located outside of Hopkinsville, KY. The distillery was named neither for the famed engineer, nor the Grateful Dead song, but for an early moonshiner from the woods of far Western KY, whose grandson operates it today using the original still design. His shine was the only liquor acceptable to Al Capone, himself a native of the same area.

After touring the modest, but attractive distillery, we all repaired to a local BBQ for lunch (and home made coconut cream pie) prior to the long drive home.

Would that have been all, it would have been enough, except the region also attended the annual Joe and Jane Galownia Steak and Wine party, a pre-purchase inspections tech session from Mitch at Stuttgart Specialists and KYPCA Ladies Night at the local Massage Envy hosted by the lovely Vycki Minstein.

 

April 2019 Drive to Overlook Restaurant

The Overlook restaurant is uniquely positioned on a bluff in Leavenworth, Indiana, offering a 20 mile panoramic vista of the Ohio River.  As you enjoy your meal, watch barges churning up and down the river or the sun setting behind the wooded hills of Indiana.

The restaurant serves up country classics such as fried chicken, pork chops, chicken pot pie, and catfish fillets—and in-house baked coconut cream pie worth an hour’s drive.

Or maybe, it was the donuts. April’s first drive started at a late enough hour to get folk out of bed (10:30 leave time) and at what is arguably Louisville’s best for donuts: North Lime Donuts. Regardless, we had a 50 mile drive through the farm country of deep south Indiana, between the twin urban Indiana metropolises of Elizabeth (pop204) and Laconia (pop 51). Once through Corydon, our group of 27 cars and 38 folk remained on Hwy 62 along the Ohio River bottoms until reaching Leavenworth and the Overlook restaurant.

Following PCA recommended protocol, we had split the 27 cars into three separate drive groups. Leaving 5 minutes apart and staying within speed limits allowed us to be safe, and not disrupt local traffic by trains 10,15 or more cars long. As a result, we arrived at the Overlook parking area with enough time between to safely park.

The Overlook had reserved 3 long and two 6 top tables in a separate room, surrounded by views of the curve of the Ohio. Everyone enjoyed a country style home cooked lunch and some of wisely chose dessert (the wisest among us choosing coconut cream pie, just sayin’).

After lunch, it was time to saddle up for the drive home. Some chose to go direct to the freeway, a little West and North. Some chose back to drive East back to Corydon following State Scenic Route Hwy 62 getting on the freeway after the scenic part of the drive. And some decided the day was warm enough to drive further North and West to Patoka Lake sampling a wine called “Drunken Bunny Piss”. We hope they make a safe return.

 

April 2019 Membership Report

“It was a dark and stormy night…”, well actually, cloudy (thought it did get stormy later) and  morning. But, an opportunity to consume excellent donuts at our meet up spot preparing to brave the elements for the 200 mile round trip to Story, IN, inside Brown County. We explored the farm country and roads over and on top of glacial moraines visiting two separate covered bridges.

Although rain had threatened, we were able to get to the Story Inn on time for brunch, surrounded by antique bottles, glassware and a meat grinder (I remember my mother using one in the 1960s).

Story was founded in 1851, a land patent grant from President Millard Fillmore to Dr. George Story. Story soon became the largest settlement in the area, in 1880-1929 supporting two general stores, a nondenominational church, a schoolhouse, grain mill, sawmill, slaughterhouse, blacksmith’s forge and post office. Story never recovered from the Great Depression creating the opportunity for the State of Indiana to purchase 16,000 for what is now Brown County State Park.

“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. Well, here in Kentucky, we add “…and hangs around like a feral boar”. Scheduling drives means potentially contending with rain, sleet, ice, cold and warm sunshine: all in one day.

With weather remaining so uncooperative, our next adventure was a tech session at Bluegrass Motor Sports. The how’s of replacing plugs on coils. Well attended, we were walked through the procedures and dos and don’ts…afterwards, consuming large quantities of pizza.

Our last activity for the month the 2nd Annual Endurance Donut Run, visiting separate donut shops around central Kentucky. As Homer Simpson says: “Uhm…donuts”…indeed.

We ventured out on some of Kentucky’s fine back roads, around, alongside and over the Kentucky river and its many tributaries. For those geology buffs among us, the open limestone cliffs were a stark reminder of the tremendous waterflow through here from the melting of the great ice sheets of the last ice age. How much water? Considering water density at room temperature is 0.998g/cm³ and ice is 0.9167 g/cm³,  the ratio of volumes is inversely proportional to the ratio of densities.  So an ice sheet two miles thick melting produces a lot of water: enough to carve out hills, valleys and erode the hard rock underneath.

Whatever: we had a lot of pretty scenery to drive through as we got to our first stop: B’s Bakery in downtown Frankfort. Their constantly shifting selection of fresh donuts made decisions difficult and a number of us grabbed some to go. The heath bar donut especially interested me, but too much sugar can be, well, too much.

After B’s, we saddled up and went out through the flat farm lands of central Kentucky, again driving along the Kentucky river and more of it’s tributaries, but this time, in the flatter zone indicative of the Kentucky Bluegrass. We ended up driving through the thoroughbred horse farms producing Derby competition to arrive at our 2nd stop: Doughdaddy’s Donuts outside Versailles. Although a donut specialty house, the clear winner was Bs with their varied home made specialties.

By the time we had finished lunch, it was warm enough to put down the top (albeit with seat and steering wheel heaters in ON position) as we drove home.

Primary Members: 305

Co Members: 177

Total Members: 482

2019 Endurance Donut Run

An old proverb states: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. Well, here in Kentucky, it’s more comes in like a lion and hangs around like a feral boar. Scheduling drives means potentially contending with rain, sleet, ice, cold, sunshine, and that’s all in one day.

This past Saturday, a group of stalwarts braved the 30 degree temperatures to meet at the rest area on I64 at 8:30 because, well…getting the car out is important, but even more: visiting not 1, but 2 separate donut shops is well-nigh life saving. In the words the great philosopher, Homer Simpson: “Uhm…donuts”…indeed.

We left the interstate in Shelbyville venturing out on some of Kentucky’s fine back roads, around, alongside and over the Kentucky river and its many tributaries. For those geology buffs among us, the open limestone cliffs were a stark reminder of the tremendous waterflow through here from the melting of the great ice sheets of the last ice age. How much water?

Well, water density at room temperature is 0.998g/cm³; the density of ice is 0.9167 g/cm³.  The ratio of volumes is inversely proportional to the ratio of densities.  So, for example, one gallon of water near the freezing point would make the equivalent of 1.090 gallons of ice. When an ice sheet two miles thick melts it produces a lot of water. Enough to carve out hills, valleys and carry off sediment, displaying (and eroding) the hard rock underneath.

Whatever: we had a lot of pretty scenery to drive through as we got to our first stop: B’s Bakery in downtown Frankfort. Their constantly shifting selection of fresh donuts made decisions hard and a number of us grabbed some to go. The heath bar donut especially interested me, but too much sugar can be, well, too much.

After B’s, we saddled up and went out through the flat farm lands of central Kentucky, again driving along the Kentucky river and more of it’s tributaries, but this time, in the flatter zone indicative of the Kentucky Bluegrass. We ended up driving through the thoroughbred horse farms producing Derby competition to arrive at our 2nd stop: Doughdaddy’s Donuts outside Versailles. Although a donut specialty house, the clear winner was Bs with their varied home made specialties.

We finished off the drive with lunch at the Versailles Tap Room (enough safe parking for the Porsches) before striking out back home. Great drive, though some of those one lane wide roads were a bit off-putting to all concerned.

 

March 2019 Drive to Story Inn in Story, Indiana

“It was a dark and stormy night…”, well actually, it was cloudy (thought it did get stormy later) and it was morning…like early morning. But! We met at a donut shop and had excellent donuts from North Lime Donuts (their original store in Lexington was on our 1st Annual Donut Run last year, but cut for being too far away). 6 cars and 7 folk altogether made the 200 mile round trip to Story Inn, in Story, IN, inside Brown County.

Along the way, we decided to explore some of the farm country between Salem, IN and I-65. We visited two separate covered bridges along the way, including one outside Medora, the longest single span covered bridge and this one in Leota, what must be the worlds shortest.

 

 

Although rain had threatened and was in the air, we were able to get to the Story Inn on time for our noon reservation. We looked at the numerous antique bottles and other glassware, the kitchen meat grinder (I remember my mother using one in the 1960s) and other antiques in the main dining room.

The village of Story itself was founded in 1851, with the grant of a land patent from President Millard Fillmore to Dr. George Story. Dr. Story and his progeny built many of the structures which distinguish this town today, from the then-ample supply of domestic hardwoods. Story soon became the largest settlement in the area. In its heyday (1880-1929) the village supported two general stores, a nondenominational church, a one-room schoolhouse, a grain mill, a sawmill, a slaughterhouse, a blacksmith’s forge and a post office.

Story never recovered from the Great Depression (1929-1933), as families abandoned farms in search of work elsewhere. Brown County lost half of its population between 1930 and 1940. The exodus created the opportunity for the State of Indiana to purchase 16,000 for what is now Brown County State Park.

By the time we had finished lunch, the rain had started. Some opted to head south and hop on I 65 in Brownstown; others, chose the highway through Salem, passing through some occasionally intense cloud bursts, but mostly, just more rain.

Barber Motorsports Museum

Submitted by Anthony Minstein – Membership Chair

For car and motorsports enthusiasts, Louisville seems to be in the center of the world. Putnam Park is 2.5 hours away; Mid-Ohio, 6 hours, Road America, 9. But, for the true enthusiast, the best destination might be Barber Motorsports Museum and road course.

In the 1960s George Barber’s zeal for speed ignited his vision for today’s museum. Having raced Porsches in the 1960s, Barber held an impressive track record—63 first place wins. A thriving business executive, Barber rediscovered his motorsports passion in 1988 and began collecting and restoring classic cars.

Since the world’s best and largest car collections had already been established, Barber heeded some wise advice. His longtime friend Dave Hooper—a motorcycle enthusiast as well as the person who ran Barber’s delivery fleet for 27 years—suggested that Barber shift his focus from cars to motorcycles. Being a man of big dreams, Barber seized the opportunity to accomplish what no one else had done… build the world’s “best and largest” motorcycle collection.

To help jumpstart Barber’s collection, Hooper suggested a trio of Honda V-Fours. He then gifted Barber with two of his own motorcycles. One of these bikes—a rare, exquisitely detailed 1952 Victoria Bergmeister—instantly won Barber’s affection. The quest for more was on. In 1994, the Bergmeister inspired Barber. He appreciated motorcycles for much more than just fast machines. They were also works of art.

He established the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum as a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation. The museum opened to the public at its original Southside Birmingham location in 1995. Along the way, Barber’s love for speed was not forgotten. The Barber staff excelled in conserving or restoring motorcycles to running condition, and, in some cases, to competition-ready shape. Having launched a race program to promote the collection, Barber also demonstrated to the world that this was a “living museum.”

The Barber Racing Team first competed in the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) series in 1992 in Daytona. The previously unknown team won premier races and created a buzz in the vintage motorcycle community. The team continued competing in the U.S. and Europe until 1998, bringing seven national championships back home to Birmingham.

A call from New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 1997 was a defining moment for the Barber Museum. Sending 21 bikes to exhibit at the original New York show, “The Art of the Motorcycle,” Barber continued to make the connection between motorsports and art. “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit also traveled to Chicago and Bilbao, Spain. The thrill of the New York exhibit sparked a much bigger dream for Barber. “We can do this in Birmingham!” he maintained. Barber set out to create a one-of-a-kind, world-class facility. Going even further, he imagined a road course as well where the “living museum” quality of the collection could be demonstrated.

A sprawling Birmingham landscape was required to accommodate the large scale of Barber’s dream. Consulting with world champion racers John Surtees and Dan Gurney, uncommon precision drove the design of the complex. In September 2003, the 930-acre park, with its world-class 16-turn, 2.38 mile racetrack, opened to the public. The track is home to the Porsche Sport Driving School, and numerous automakers have chosen the park as their stage for vehicle debuts and to film commercials. In 2014, the Barber Proving Grounds were built adjacent to the racetrack and consist of a track area, which can be converted to various layouts, along with a wet/dry skidpad. The proving grounds allow users to demonstrate vehicle capabilities such as accident avoidance, braking, turning, and acceleration. Mercedes Benz began using the grounds for their employees’ “Brand Immersion Experience” in October. Other uses for the proving grounds include product debuts, kart racing, driving schools, and safety instruction.

Today, the museum is home to over 1,400 motorcycles that span over 100 years of production. More than 650 bikes can be seen on any given day, and 200 different manufacturers from 20 countries are represented in the collection—from Harley-Davidson, Honda, and Indian—to Showa, DSK, and Cagiva. The museum features the world’s most extensive Lotus collection, anchored by the Lotus 21. The museum also displays rare racecars, including the 1964 Ferrari F-158, in which John Surtees won the 1964 Formula 1 Driver’s World Championship.

A number of us journey down to Birmingham for track events. The track being the site for a number HPDEs, plus other DE type events sponsored by independent promoters. The track is fast, with a couple of long straights, elevation changes and well-maintained surface. One danger, if you hit a barrier, a truck will be out to retrieve your car in minutes, along with a bill for replacing and repainting the barriers. George is serious about maintaining the track.

The setting is in rolling hills a few miles outside of Birmingham with woods and two bridges crossing the track from the museum into the woods. Periodically through the year, besides professional racing (Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, part of the IndyCar Series, is one of the annual events at the park) there are annual events such as the Barber Vintage Festival, the Small Bore Festival and more.

Come for a DE, come to visit the museum, come for a weekend of racing…but come. You’ll be amazed at what you find, and it’s only seven hours from Louisville.

 

May 2018 Club Activities

We don’t get to drive much for fun in Kentucky November to February: too cold, wet and dreary. We make up for it when the weather turns and May was a typical example.

We started the month with the 4th Annual Wine and Steak tasting at the home of Joe and Jane Galownia. 60 members came with two bottles of wine: one to share and one to auction off to members at the event end. As usual, Joe and Jane were delightful hosts. Members were greeted with a terrific spread of charcuterie and a selection of cheeses (including member Kenny Mattingly Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese) followed by a dinner of grilled steaks, oven roast potatoes and salad. Desert was a selection of fine cakes and pies (gotta love that coconut cream cake!).

The monthly membership meeting was held at Mango’s Mexican Restaurant. Our membership attendance numbers keep climbing to such an extent it’s getting harder and harder to find someplace to accommodate all of us. I guess we should be happy we’re so successful! Nothing succeeds like success.

The next weekend, Region leadership Jason Miller (President), Robert Klein (VP), Anthony Minstein (Membership Chair) and Jim Doll and Gene Hoffman (Board Members) drove up to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Northern New Jersey Region experienced driver weekend. It’s always nice to see how other regions run their DEs and a great time was had by all, in spite of the low temps and damp track.

The same weekend, another group made the 100 mile trip South to member Ken Mattingly Kenny’s Farm to tour the new automated barns (robot milking stations for the cows!) and of course, to buy some of Kenny’s locally famous cheese. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate for the drive; rain, slick roads and cold temps tried to damp the enthusiasm, unsuccessfully. 11 cars and 20 members braved the elements returning with lots of fresh cheese (Kenny always brings a good assortment of cheeses for tasting at our own track event).

To round the month off, we had a Memorial Day weekend drive through the Ohio River valley out to Georgetown, KY to visit Babe’s BBQ. TH Morris, our Activity Chair led 16 cars (on Memorial Day weekend!) us on a long drive across the twisty county roads along the many streams and rivers. A favorite was the path following the Kentucky River curving past the river locks and dams outside of Lockport, KY then crossing Appalachian the foothill ridges normal to this part of the state. Babe’s is an off-the-trail family dining spot on the list of Kentucky 10 best off-the-beaten-path restaurants and the service and home cooking demonstrated why. Everything from the warm greeting, to the great service and food impressed our group of travelers.

I’m not sure what we liked more: the drive? Or, the BBQ? Typical KY staples like pork, brisket, chicken, and Kentucky specialty sides including corn pudding and fried okra (yee haw!) plus traditional side dishes like cole slaw, beans and corn bread (and did I mention the toasted coconut pie?). The ride ended at Babe’s with many members opting the more direct freeway route home.