Life is good.I know that this phrase is often used these days but it aptly fits the feeling of firing up the Chevy on a warm sunny day for a cruise in the country; especially along one of the most scenic highways in the lower mainland along the mighty FraserRiver.
Mother nature certainly cooperated in giving us such a nice day, that we had no fear of finding any rain drops as we made our way east of Vancouver to our gathering point in Mission.Lining up in front of Tim Horton's, our shiny Chevys were gaining some attention as we waited for everyone to arrive.Plus Timmy's is a great place to get that "one for the road" that is certainly family approved.Timbits, danishs, muffins - all washed down with that great brew but since it was so warm, the Ice Cap was my choice; tasty cool.
Our gang was growing nicely and my 55 was holding on as the oldest in the group.Alex had "chief" his 57 Pont and Don had his 56 Pont rag top.Brad, our leader was of course in his 57 wagon and had Amanda and Lauren along.Ron and Darlene had "Tweety", 56 Sedan Delivery, love that yellow.Roman and Judy in the 56 Belair ragtop.They had picked up Mark along their route who would become my wingman for the trip.Dale and Gale had their 56 Belair ragtop.Their guests enjoyed the tour in the open air of the back seat.And last but not least was Dick, with Casper the 57 Chevy pickup with Richard riding shotgun in the one and only truck on his day.With Dick's encouragement I might have to get my ol' 58 Apache on the road sooner than later to keep him company.
After a short social moment it was decided that all were present who were coming so we formed our parade and headed east on Lougheed - destination Harrison Hot Springs.We didn't get too far beyond Mission when Mark's phone rang; it was Judy.Dale and Gale were lagging behind and out of sight and maybe we should wait.The message was relayed to point man Brad to find a spot to pull over and wait.So we did at ______ and a few minutes later, along comes Dale and company with Casper bringing up the rear.This was also a chance to let a traffic line-up go by us and then we could travel in one pack.All was good - the engines were rumbling along and everyone had a smiling face on such a fabulous day.
The next pit stop is Deroches for some cheap gas and tasty beef jerky - the best for miles around so I'm told.Tastes pretty good to me, might be better with a cool beverage to wash it down, but time for that later.We fired up the Chevy's and hit the road.We did find out who still has a heavy footand need for some speed on this next leg of the trip.Alex decided that a long stretch of open road was no place to dawdle so he dropped the hammer and moved up a spot in the ranks.With all those ponies under the hood, it's a gas to turn them loose once in a while - just beware of the law.
Upon reaching the Hot Springs, it was evident that many people were out to enjoy the sunny day, especially a large number of bike riders, which reduced parking spaces in the area.Brad brought the group to a stop on the shoulder of the road just outside the main area.
Time to stretch our legs and tour a bit.The group strolled to the beach area to enjoy the view and atmosphere.I had my dog Babe along and he was relieved to get out for a walk and "relieve" himself at the nearest bush.It was so enjoyable to leisurely stroll around such a beautiful beach and lake.After enjoying so tasty ice cream on a patio, it was time to move on.But first, we toured the resort streets and proceeded along the lakeshore to GreenwoodPark - another beautiful place to visit and possible destination for a future cruise and BBQ.
By now, it is late in the afternoon and time to head west - back Lougheed to Mission, then out to the TCH and on to Surrey to Fred and Ginny's for a BBQ and beverages.And wow, what a buffet!Everything from wings and sausage and salads to ribs and steak.Very delicious and lots to feed the gang of travelers as well as guests of our hosts.Thanks so much to Ginny for all the effort and work she put in to hosting our club on this great outing.Also thanks to Fred for the tour of his shop and which allowed us to see his immaculate 57 Belair hardtop.What a beautiful machine.One added treat was the delicious rhubarb upside-down cake that Judy baked for us which doubled as a surprise birthday cake for Alex.He did manage to blow out all the candles although there seemed to be fewer than one would have expected.
By now the sun was dropping lower in the clear blue sky and time for all to head for home.So we said our good-byes, still with smiles on our faces.This had been a great cruise day for the Fifty 5-6-7 Club that had been a long time in the making.But I am sure that the next cruise will happen sooner than later.Anyone on for a trip to Steveston?Or maybe Whistler?Cruise on guys and gals.
WOW, you could not have asked for a more fantastic day. The summer had been hot and dry and the only thing I kept praying for was another dry and sunny weekend. Woke up to a full blue sky, it was seven am as the truck moaned out of the driveway. Filled to capacity with lawn chairs, tables, registration forms, tickets, door prizes, toy's and games. The blue sky was endless. The truck sounded like it had indigestion as she moaned her way down the hill to the parking lot. By eight everyone had arrived, after a few sips of coffee, good mornings, everyone got busy.. I Must say we were well organized.
Dick was assembling his tent, then realized he left the tarp at home, oh well. Not to worry couple of tents were on hand. As the girls were setting up the trophy and door prize station, the guys had set up the registration none to soon as the first car arrived before nine, then a second, third. the rumble of the cars made your head turn . Red, blue, cherry black, lime green, orange, jet black, flat black. Raised, chopped, modified, semi modified, Barbie even came along for the ride. By 10 am the Lions Club had set up for breakfast and the day had begun!
By 1pm the club had registered 160 cars, enough door prizes were handed out, tummies were full, puppies had enough water and no one got hurt or burnt. The Club would like to thank all the members who came out to help make this one of the best runs ever. The guys who manned the gate, the girls who worked great at the ticket sales, handing out door prizes, counting ballots and all round chit chat. The parking guy's, ya did a great job, and the Hooper trailer. A big "THANK YOU" to ALL, we could not have done it without YOU!!
2006 Aldergrove Lake
The dictionary defines ALDER as a species of tree which also includes the Birch, having fine, close-grained, dense wood useable for hardwood Veneers.
Grove - a stand or group of trees.
So, an Aldergrove is a group of dense wooden growths - and no, I'll stop here and refrain from pointing out any similarities to groups of politicians.
In our case, ALDERGROVE is the name of a GVRD (there's those politicians again!) Park situated very close to the US/Canada border.
Aldergrove Lake Regional Park has been the site of 27 out of 28 annual events held by the Fifty-5-6-7 Club of the Lower Mainland. Every year has seen an outstanding collection of cars of all types, all makes, all models, having one thing in common - they are owned and driven by folks who care about them, who lavish attention and love on them, and who are proud to show up with their specialty vehicle for a day of relaxing, and looking at the ones brought out by others.
The field which has been used by the Club for these events is nearly perfect for this type of event. Access is easily controlled, there is a large field conducive to parking a large number of cars, and it is a grassy field, which allows for strolling, for relaxing and for family-oriented outings.
The event is so popular that if no adverting was done, if it were not listed in events sheets/run sheets/cruise calendars, there would likely still be upwards of a hundred cars coming out for it.
This year was no different - we had 160 cars come out on a beautiful sunny day, temperatures in the low 20's (70's to any Fahrenheit fans out there!) with dry and firm ground conditions.
One thing that was different was our charity partner - the organization that benefits most from the event was new for this year. In past years we worked with, and for the benefit of, two organizations every year. The Lions Club had been the charitable organization who supplied breakfasts and lunches in return for donations to their causes, while the "walk-in folks" were asked to donate to a different charity as they entered the grounds to see all the cars. For many years, the Arthritis Society had been the group to man the walk-in gate, to accept donations and to take responsibility for selection of the Spectator's Choice category of vehicles. This involved passing out ballots to folks making a donation, as well as counting up the returned ballots, selecting the winner and presenting a trophy sponsored by the group. A couple of years, the Arthritis Society closed its local office, and was no longer able to do their fund-raising at our event. For the past two years, the United Way of the Lower Mainland was the organization which was the beneficiary of the opportunity to do some fundraising at Aldergrove Lake, but for this year, in recognition of the excellent works done by the Lions Club, a club decision was made to provide the Lions Club to benefit from both the food service and the spectator gate.
In the period leading up to the 2006 event, our club had done the required works - organizing trophies (and trophy sponsors), securing door prizes, obtaining licenses and permissions to use the park (Would that be those politicians again?), obtaining liability insurance, securing the services of a DJ who has a phenomenal collection of "Cruising music", ensuring that we had a generator to power the music system (and gas for it!), getting a series of raffle prizes lined up, making up and printing off the ballots for the categories chosen by show entrants, making up entry forms, getting dash plaques and trophies and the thousand and one other things that largely fell on the shoulders of one very special, very dedicated and very hardworking member (No, Judy, I will not embarrass you by naming you, Judy! Wild horses and threats of torture could not make me reveal Judy's name ), and ensuring that the word was spread.
On the day before the event a club work party arrived at the park and spent a large amount of time, incurred a bunch of blisters and generally groomed the field, trimming back branches, raking, picking up and otherwise ensuring that the field would be ready for the special vehicles soon to arrive.
And so, on the Sunday of Labour (Labour to our US friends) Day weekend, the club members were all ready to ensure that their labours were going to result in a great show.
Every year, for 28 years, this has been THE DAY! Labour Day Sunday, Aldergrove Lake Regional Park, the All Club Picnic (That's the Official name, by the way!) Has been held, and every year the Fifty 5-6-7 Club has done an outstanding job of putting on a great show.
As 2006 marked the 50th Anniversary of the '56 Chev, the fifty six was the feature car this year, appearing on all our trophies and on all our flyers and run sheets. There were excellent examples of the feature car on display, ranging from the Convertibles of Roman and Alex, to the eye-dazzling yellow Sedan Delivery that Ron has just 'finished", with hardtops, wagons, nomads and pick-ups all making it out to the event. (Is any car actually ever really finished?)
There were some streetrods there that we had never seen before, some wild paintjobs, some restored originals and many daily cruisers all sparkling and gleaming in the sun. Mustangs, Camaros, Oldsmobile's, Mopars, musclecars, imports (did everyone see that crazy little Nash Met with the plate that read "NOT ROD"?), entries by pro builders, entries by weekend hobbyists and a whole bunch of really great people who had one thing in common - fun!
The Lions club raised money, we recovered our costs, door prizes were awarded, trophies were awarded and it seemed that EVERYONE had a great day! A special award of merit was presented to Mark G on his many, many years of dedicated membership. This was especially noteworthy, as no-one has ever seen him speechless before!
If you weren't there, you missed a relaxing day in the park, a wonderful show and a day of just kickin' back with like-minded folks enjoying a fun cruise.