By Joan Bercovitch, UCR Member & Provinz Proofing Editor (from July 2016 Provinz page 16)
The Blue Ridge Boxster Summit 2016, held in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, waited with bated breath for the return of Boxster lovin’ Canadians in June. Karl Folkens and Ron Kucynski planned the 18th annual event around the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “We do not quit playing because we grow old; we grow old because we quit playing.”
The playing field was high in the North Carolina Mountains. You could hear the Porsches in the distance screaming around the tight corners along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway provides scenic access to the crests and ridges of five mountain ranges along its 469-mile route from the Great Smokey Mountains to Shenandoah National Park.
You can experience the thrills, switchbacks, and twisting curves of the Diamondback on your way. NC226A has over 190 curves in a 12-mile loop. Our tires hugged the road and the navigator hung on for dear life as we climbed or dropped 100’s of feet. Relentless, exhausting, adrenaline rushing twists and turns threw us from one side of the seat to the other. (Light lunches were a must.) Oh, it was so much easier to be sitting in the driver’s seat! Concentration was essential on a moment to moment basis. The rich forest is dense and the non- existent road allowance jaw dropping. The navigator was a key player as you needed that second pair of eyes for oncoming traffic, bikers, hikers, road signs, and black bears.
At the end of each day, Southern hospitality awaited us at the Switzerland Inn with a warm welcome back and a cool drink. The Inn has delighted visitors since 1910. It’s located between NC’s Mt. Mitchell, the tallest peak east of the Rockies, and Grandfather Mountain with the mile-high swinging bridge at Mile Post 34. Sitting with other Boxsterites, swapping tales of their day at the Inn’s outdoor bar or in the traditional rocking chairs on the lower patio, was all part of the experience. The event choices were many: take a trip to Charlotte to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, see the Sherriff of Mayberry’s 1963 Ford signed by Barney Fife at Bennett’s Classic Auto Museum in Forest City, tour Asheville on a comedy bus or hop on a Segway tour of the Biltmore Estate, take a wine tour…the list goes on and changes every year. The days were action packed! As the sun set over the misty blue mountains and rolling green valleys, we sat by the fire pit with new “Boxster” friends feeling so peaceful and serene after a hot and hectic day of sightseeing and driving.
The BRBS is so successful because of the many volunteers from all over the United States and Canada. All the volunteers are thanked at the final banquet and two very special people are chosen each year to become royalty. This year two of our very own UCR members were crowned KING Guenter and QUEEN Michelle. Congratulations Guenter and Michelle Gamauf!