This past weekend I was invited to join the Appalachian Mountain Mini's event Bonnet, Boot and Brew Rally.... WOW was I in for a surprise!
We also own a MINI Cooper JCW (John Cooper Works) as well as another MINI Cooper S, and we always thought about joining a car club to share our same excitement with others. After this past weekends events of driving, eating and socializing- we are hooked!
Day 1 began at the Days Inn in North Asheville and headed up to an elevation of 5,722 ft to Mt. Pisgah which was named after the biblical mountain from which Moses first saw the promise land. At the top we stopped in hopes of seeing spectacular views of Asheville about 16 miles away, but with the rain and fog there was little to see. All the MINI's, about 14 of us... drove through the twisties, over and through the mountains then continue along the French Broad River that lead us through the countryside to the Sierra Nevada Brewery where we had an amazing dinner, and a great evening with new friends.
Day 2 began really early at 9am... well not early for most, but we live an hour away so we were up and going at 7! This would be the longest of the weekend with two challenging and spirited runs.
The first run was the Elk Mountain “S”cenic Photo Run.
It took a while to figure out what the "S"cenic Photo was, but once we were there and the cars where in place it was easy to understand. This particular road has several tight "S" turns and we tried to accomplish a photo that showed all the turns, but a photo just doesn't show what we experienced.
It was a day full of fun as all the MINI's cruised along the high peaks on the mountains of Western North Carolina. Our adventure followed the Elk Mountain Scenic Highway, and then continued through Possum Trot Creek and followed along the Cane River on NC-19W. Then onto Spivey Mountain Road on the Tennessee side where our MINI's enjoyed quite a few twisties throughout the mountains. The last leg of the run took us onto NC-352, which is called the Old Asheville Highway. At this point my photography inspirations kicked in.... a little drive by shootings of each car! So my husband the great driver he is, drove up beside each car and I was able to capture a photo for each one of them... some were a little more challenging than others, especially the lead driver (no names). I won't disclose the speeds it took to reach him, but let's just say our little MINI was very happy!
Here is the whole group from Saturday's morning run.
The afternoon rally run traveled through the countryside of Western North Carolina passing farms of Leicester, up and down some tight twisties into Hot Springs. Some of us... yes even us, enjoyed the newly paved part of the road to Hot Springs... those were some great curves, and lots of tire squeals were heard. I'm impressed at the driving ability of MINI people! The ride back to Asheville took us through some relaxing roads before we all went our separate ways.
Day 3... Last day of all the MINI fun! This rustic drive twisted through some rural parts of Western North Carolina leading all the MINIAC's to the historic Lake Lure, the Green River Gorge, and some historical highways. Finally we finished our Rally through some fun twisties in the back woods and ended up in Black Mountain where we stopped and had lunch at The Monte Vista.
One MINIAC summed it up best~
What an amazing weekend photographing and meeting new friends. I truly enjoyed the adventure and look forward to more events with this group!
I just wanted to say a "MINI" Thank YOU to those of you that spent hours, and probably days getting ready for the Bonnet, Boot and Brew Rally ~ Patrick and Judith, Alan, Wendy, Benjamin, Theo and Corey! To my fellow photographer Jeff... so GREAT to have someone taking photos of me- Thank you, Thank YOU!
To all the MINIAC's it was so much fun, and we enjoyed our time this weekend getting to know each of you. I hope that I was able to capture at least one shot of each of you during the event... especially the "Drive by Shooting". I look forward to sharing other fun times, and photos. You can always find me at Mari Miller Photography. Thank you for showing us a great MINI weekend!
Thanks Jeff Goodman for the photo!
Wonderful to meet you and Craig - and honored to be a contributing photog on your blog!
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