IF YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO ENDURES strained patience with traffic lights, or additionally becomes annoyed at the insertion of advertisements in your television programming, an unfettered drive meandering the scenic roads of Muskoka is the elixir for you.
The Best Back Roads Muskoka driving tour was the only trek this year that spanned two days. A 48-hour menu of events that bundles together breathtaking, adrenaline-elevating cruising of bending, twisting back roads, plus casual group gatherings tailored to build bonds and connections with fellow members. As Caroline commented, “You shouldn’t judge the folks in the group by the car they drive because when you have a chance to meet them and have a conversation you are quite pleased to learn so much about them.”
And she added, “You know why? Because it’s about the people.”
Setting out from the parking lot of the scenic Trent locks, and the skies populated only with wisps of clouds, camaraderie was well underway as owners shared stories about how, why, and when their Porsche joined their stable.
It is naturally worth mentioning that the entire first-day route was a delight, complete with warm temperature, challenging curves to negotiate, and the splendor that is the Ontario north. But the route was not as originally planned. We learned from Larry Funnell, our tour organizer, that when he made a preliminary run-through of the planned course, he was confronted with some “road closed” surprises. Faced with the unexpected, a quick plan B was needed. And, surprise, the 140-kilometre alternate routes woven into the tour remarkably provided superior results. Our thanks to the Muskoka roads department.
Ahhh, but this was just the beginning of the day’s group activities as a pit-lunch stop back at Deerhurst Resort to recharge and down some of the food fare was a welcome interval. Of course, much of the meal-time banter centred around commentary of the morning’s meanderings. With seating being at the long banquet tables, old acquaintances were revisited as well as many new ones forged.
Following the eating and bonding stop, a general buzz could be felt in the group, anxious to get back on the road to pile on more of the same, and with a flurry of cars filing out of the parking area and sending a Porsche melody bouncing off the trees. Did we have more of the same quality route in the afternoon drive? You bet. One had the feeling that the uplifting drive and the sun could just keep on going. But the sun inevitably started going down as well as the gas gauge needle, signaling the beginning of the rest period before the evening.
It was a grand setting for dinner, again at Deerhurst. Bodies were conscripted to push a handful of our cars into the ballroom to pose as the backdrop for the festivities. This was another great time to exchange Porsche stories and adventures as well.
It isn’t likely anyone was inclined to sleep in after the overnight at Deerhurst with the prospect of another cruise through the beautiful backdrop of our north. Following a hearty round of breakfast, and a stop at the depot for picking up our box lunch, it was “start your engines” and the train of cars was off again, with a leisurely stop at the Big Chute marine railway. The final destination was at the Sawdust City micro brewery. Naturally pleasing after the final 70 kilometres, and before the trek home.
If there was ever an opportunity to live the part of the club slogan, “It’s not just the cars,” as well as the “people,” this tour sits close to the very top of the list. </>
Story by Marc Etherington
Photography by Stefan Walther and Marc Etherington