MINIsOnTop 2005

Saturday was sadly a WET day. It started wet & stayed wet – but it did not damp the spirits of the MINIsOnTop attendees. Not much chance to enjoy the views on my way to the Loon Mountain gathering – the Kancamagus Highway looked like this:

When I arrived, my first stop was to the school group who had volunteered to wash MINIs, collecting donations for their school – they did a great job on GBMINI & on many other cars too!

(they also happened to have some umbrellas for sale – very useful!)

As the rain continued, people either put up with it, bought an umbrella, or crammed under the MINIsOnTop welcome tent – there were a lot of people and a LOT of MINIs!

Happily Richard gave another of his excellent “driver meet” speeches, before the MINIs set off, then (most of) the MINIs headed off along the Kancamagus Highway:

A few MINIs & owners hung around a while, resulting in some police activity, while other MINIs set up a “posse” to round up stray MINIs:

Eventually five of us headed off to the auto road to prepare for the afternoon, stopping on the way in the original MINIsOnTop 2003 lunch stop

At Mount Washington auto road, MINIs slowly gathered while we waited for the tent to become available (it is used first by a running race up Mount Washington, and we have to wait until they finish). Eventually everything was ready and we had food, speeches & prize presentations under the tent while the rain continued outside:

The fabulous raffle prize, of a two year lease of a MINI Cooper donated by Herb Chambers, was won by Theo! Other prizes included a Whalen Shift Knob from Whalen Shift Machine, and a Valentine One Radar detector donated by Chris Winslow and won by John!

Then it was time to drive up the auto road to the top of Mount Washington – the conditions were marginal due to the rain (thanks to my passenger Elliott for taking pictures); the problem was that once we reached the non-pavement section of road, it was just a mud-slick with minimal traction – the car felt like it wanted to steer its own way instead of my way, and I did not like the fact that it was doing that with a many-thousand-foot drop on one side of the road.

So I quit! I pulled over and let the last few MINIs go on up, then turned round and headed down again – the MINIs that did go got up and back down successfully so it was not dangerous or impossible, but I simply did not feel comfortable driving.
I headed back to the Town & Country Inn, had a drink & some ice cream, and ended my day safely …

Here’s a couple of pictures that Jason took – he did go all the way to the top of Mount Washington!

Also see this MINI2 thread and this one for more information and post-event chat.

3 thoughts on “MINIsOnTop 2005

  1. hey Ian, you’re right, it was pretty slick on the non-paved portion. That was the portion where we were “directed” to the wrong side of the road and encouraged to run one wheel in one of the ruts…it got pretty slippery, especially for my car w/ the performance RFs.

    We asked our guide why that part wasn’t paved, and were told it was due to the springs and water under the road; it’s constantly washing out and no asphalt would “adhere”.

    Great time tho’, bring on ’06!!!

  2. Hey Ian, are you gonna clean up the weather for me on Tuesday? I’ll bring some CA weather with me.

    Looks like it was fun.


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