Z3 Cruise fever is on the rise. Everyone seems to be making an effort to show off the roads of their state, and this was no exception. Several months ago on the message board, we started discussing Connecticut, and decided that we should meet to discuss the matter. So, several of us met up somewhere near Waterbury over a Sunday Brunch. Several Nutmeggers showed (Garth, his sons Robert and David, and DaveZ) as well as interlopers such as myself (from NJ), as well as Dan and Nancy Lawrence (from MA). We ate, bandied about different ideas (I mostly listened). Dan had several ideas, including an idea of going around all of Connecticut. He had done some research, and already had a rough idea. It was more or less settled. the One Lap of Connecticut was borne!
The idea was to start on one side of the state, and drive to the other. Dan chose the eastern part of the state, as it appears that many of the CT Z3ers are in the Eastern half. This ended up being Norwich, which is a reasonably nice area. As it stood, this would end up being almost 4 hours from my home, so I made the decision to drive up the day before, and stay at a local hotel. Dan and Nancy suggested the Comfort Suites, and Rachel and I got our rooms there, too. Couple of days before, Todd offered up his house as a place to wash cars, and (even though I missed this part) a place to stay for the night.
So, I left work in Weehawken, NJ at 4 PM on Friday, and while I was walking out to my car, I spotted an MZ3 Coupe in the parking lot, and it had a license plate frame from the same, small dealership that I got my car in back when I lived in Pennsylvania. This is probably 150 miles away! Strange coincidence.
I hightailed it up to the George Washington Bridge, and took the upper deck. Great day to be out!
And then I continued on I-95 for most of the rest of the trip. Is it just me, or are most Connecticut drivers utter and total morons? As I got to the state, there were traffic advisories about rush-hour delays from exit X through exit Y, aka bumper-to-bumper traffic for 30+ miles. What bothered and later annoyed me was that THERE WAS NO @$%@$%@ REASON FOR THE DELAYS. No accidents, No stalled vehicles, no Nothing. As I got to the end of the listed delay, traffic just sped up. Why, God, Why? Absolutely no reason. It was as if the signs hypnotized the drivers into believing that since the sign mentioned delays, they should drive slowly in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
At one point, I got behind an Dodge Durango SUV whose driver decided to look for something on the passenger seat. She put her beast into park, so she could search for it. Traffic was bad, but not this bad. She spent time looking, until the vehicle ahead got about 1/8th to 1/4 mile ahead. She did this several times, and eventually hopped over to search. Thank God that traffic opened up on the right, and I passed her as soon as I could. Maybe people like her were the ones causing the delays. I dunno, but I'm glad I don't have to drive that road on any regular basis!
There was a second delay, much like the first - no reason, no sense, whatever! I lost an hour in this manner, but it was the end of a long week, and I didn't want to spend any time thinking of alternate routes. I stuck to it, and I arrived (after several calls to Todd in an area with bad cell phone coverage), I made it to find Rachel drying her car. It was late, and I wasn't really motivated to wash. Oh well, the three of us chatted for several more hours, and we found it too late to cancel our reservations and stay at Todd's wonderful house. In the background, the baying of a goat foreshadowed some of the next day's events, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Anyway, here's a pic of Todd's garage, complete with vacuum and a warm water hose.
Sometime after 10, Rachel and I left Todd's - the night sky gets dark up there!
The hotel was ok, but definitely not worth $150! I won't be returning there any time soon.
The next morning came too quickly. I met Rachel, Dan and Nancy down in the lobby, and Rachel wanted to get to Friendly's before the start so she could have a proper breakfast. I checked out one of the good maps we had, courtesy of Dave Zeleznik (DaveZ on the messageboard), and I led the way. Rachel was close behind, and at one traffic light, I was trying to remember if CT is a right-on-red state, and I told Rachel "It is, today" and started to go - I didn't see any "No Turn on Red" signs. The turn itself was sort of a blind right, and as I pulled out, I saw a car coming, so I quickly jammed on the brakes. Unfortunately, Rachel was close behind, and tapped me. We were probably going 3 MPH, but it was a bit of a shock.
Luckily, the damage to our cars wasn't all that severe. Actually, it turns out to pretty much be scratches on our bumpers. Rachel has offered to pay for the repair, and I doubt it'll be very much. Here's my bumper
And hers. The scratches are right around the tow-hook spot (the rest are bugs!)
(BTW, These were taken Saturday night on the way home, which is why they are so dark )
So, we link up with the rest of the convoyers. Dan gives out some last minute pointers.
And We're off! I really like this pic of David Todd's Impala Brown roadster!
One Lap, Page 1
One Lap, Page 2
One Lap, Page 3
One Lap, Page 4
One Lap, Page 5
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