Hagerty Maple Mille – Day One

Tornado warning? I asked, via text message, “That’s what it said, but the radar looks like we’re going to miss everything.” Hmmm, this might not be the usual Hagerty Maple Mille we run!

For the first three years, the Classic Car Adventures Hagerty Maple Mille has enjoyed stunning weather. We’ve had cold mornings, but every day has been top-down motoring. Looking at the Ontario weather reports yesterday, I had concerns that we were going to get wet today. Most of Ontario was under a moderate to severe thunderstorm warning, and while sunny, the wind was certainly picking up before the driver’s meeting!

For the most part, however, I shouldn’t have worried. Our route today began in Guelph, and went west through Maryhill to find some twisties on our way up through Elora. Just as it seemed we were going to pass through a band of dark clouds, the route would turn north instead of west, or east instead of north. We zig-zagged our way north through small country towns, rolling farm hills and past long-forgotten historic places of Ontario. Our group lunched in Mt Forest or Durham, and after visiting Markdale, headed for the afternoon loops.

For Clayton and I, powering along in his 1970 Corvette, we saw little rain. We put the T-Tops back on at lunch, but quickly pulled them off as things got sunny. We pulled over at one stage to put them back on, but decided we may have made an error. No worries, we thought, we’ll take them once we’re done taking photos. As the front half of the cars passed us, I seriously wondered if I was wearing enough sun screen. As we were waiting for the back half of the group, a small shower came through and we opted to move on. It was a little rain, nothing worth even mentioning. The roads were dry just a few kilometres later. I guess, for some of the group, that wasn’t the case. As the storms of Ontario powered up, portions of our group got rained on in absolute deluges, but always short lived.

We visited the twists and turns of my wintering youth. In the early days of my licensed driving career I was instructing skiing or coaching snowboarding at Devil’s Glen Country Club. The many roads that follow river valleys and the escarpment mountains were the “Monte Carlos” of my teenaged years. What could be better than taking our Maple Mille guests on them? The route book took us on little known roads near Horning’s Mills and Honeywood, before twisting up through Dunedin, Creemore and Glen Huron. In amongst the road instructions were stories of Mrs Giffen’s pies, and what would eventually (once I was legal) become my favourite beer in Canada. We went to Stayner, past a family favourite restaurant, and into the backside of Collingwood where I honed my mountain bike skills. The whole time we took every twisty road the area has to offer.

Arriving at the hotel resort for the evening, our traditional “parking lot party” was cut short by the high winds, but some things simply can’t be stopped with weather. The sun had once again come out in full, and cars were being washed. The Corvette was being looked at by five or six intrepid mechanics….an attempt to find the odd drivetrain noise we seem to be developing. A group of guests found a patio sheltered by the wind to host an impromptu get together. Winds, a spattering of rain, possibly a couple of ‘torrential downpours’ (really…are convertible people truly trustworthy about weather reports?)…none of it could hamper the day.

The roads today were wonderful, the towns lovely and scenic,  but we’re most excited to simply be out enjoying driving our classics with other like minded people. Over half the group raised their hands this morning when asked who was here for their first Maple Mille, and by dinner you couldn’t tell who was new. Gather great people, some interesting cars, and some great roads…and it’s bound to be a perfect day. The Classic Car Adventures Hagerty Maple Mille is off to a great start.

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