Finally leaving Toronto, after a welcome break, for Watkins Glen NY - 09.15
& 24C(75F). Memories are of a truly vibrant city.
We face the delights and challenges of the border crossing to the USA.
On leaving we refuel at a Shell Garage on Spadini and find the cashier comes
from Ilford in UK, knows about Morgan’s, aims to get Canadian citizenship
and then to return to UK, all in two minutes! With grey clouds we started
with hood up, we catch up with torrential rain after 30 miles and other
braver souls we pass seem drenched
Canadian driving horrors are exacerbated in the wet – presumably they are so
used to driving on snow and ice and so feel invincible!
The sheer size of the Ford Plant at Oakville “Home of the Freestar” seems
much more striking from the vantage of an elevated route.
I detect a new hand in the mapping (also in later days) with a false exit
recommended and after slotting off; only then does Kemosabe mention the
recommendation to stay on QEW! Meet Cressy’s and others in same predicament
but situation is easily retrieved. Meet solid rain again some 10 miles for
the border crossing and fall in behind the Fryear’s.
Pleasantly only a 10 minute wait - 6 gates and 5 cars ahead of us. Jeremy
told sternly yet again to stop filming! He could not capture the Lacey’s
being strip searched, Morgan that is!
With new instructions from the Peace Bridge within 2 miles we come across a
smash with a Canadian Jeep wrong way round on shoulder against barrier with
severe frontal smash – hmm… not so invincible in the wet!
At Aurora Beach 11.00 hood comes down, it is pleasantly fresh and on SR20A
we find verdant rolling hills and a little bit of Europe, Warsaw, Leicester
etc. and a plethora of garage sales it being Sunday – no room so can’t stop!
Everywhere seems to be drenched but with seeming paddy fields at the side,
very wet roads awash in places, we are very lucky. At Bristol Mountain we
catch sight of ski slopes then forest and cable cars.
By Naples we have five cars behind us (The Myers Star Trek Team moving at
warp speed with Satnav!) but as we are very low on petrol a stop is needed –
and the obligatory ice cream. Spotted rain drops as we prepare to leave and
Tonto’s wise counsel prevailed as with hood up and 2 minutes down the road
the heavens opened and shortly saw the aforesaid convoy looking like drowned
rats struggling with hoods in the deluge - feeling smug and snug!
Rain continued with us all the way but through the downpour we found the
Heron Hill Winery imposing, Keuka Lake – striking shades of Italy. On
arriving at Watkins Glen we found our assigned hotel The Chieftain Motel an
old fashioned chalet 60’s style establishment a little way out of town.
Endless coffee, clean, good for gathering out front and nattering suited us
fine. Others lodge at Longhouse Motel or Seneca Clipper Inn.
Early evening saw us meet up at Seneca Lodge bar where we were made very
welcome and thereafter three very rapid circuits of the old track behind a
deceptively fast and very well driven Plus 4 – thanks.
We partook of an excellent buffet dinner at the centre circuit Glen Club,
after signing disclaimers and heard a comprehensive history of earlier
racing and how the circuit had been resurrected.
A short drive back and then before we retire some drinks and fruit pies on
the veranda courtesy of Alan Marsh.