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fordee9r (Ron Springstead)

"A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Tour!"

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Well, here we go with page two. Ron, it looks like you started a winner here!<P>Terry, you mentioned the trouble [or recovery] vehicle or vehicles on tours. May I respectfully suggest that you put in the publication you are working that not only should the trouble truck be the last to leave in the morning as well as the last one to leave each scheduled stop, <B>BUT</B> it should follow the tour route thoroughly, completely and accurately. <P>I know of an instance where the trouble truck & trailer decided not to take a little side road on the route and instead took the direct route into town. Result --- A car broke down on that little side road and a tow truck had to be found.<P>hvs<p>[ 08-21-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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I'd like to start out by saying, "There will never, never ,never by a perfect tour!" You will never be able to please everyone, we're all too diverse. However, you can surely eliminate a lot of problems by doing your homework. There have been some great points mentioned and I would like to and some additional.<P># 1. Keep in mind the tourists have probably never been in your area. What you take for granted, they are seeing the first time. Give them time to absorb these items. This means, while they are capturing all the sights and arguing over the directions in the tour book with their significant other, they are trying to follow directions and looking for little cutesy landmarks you have pointed out. The driver is watching traffic, listening to directions that don't make sense until he gets a mental picture of the description and trying to sightsee at the same time. Most of the time they are driving nearsighted, trying to focus on all these items and not giving any of them the proper amount of time to digest in their mind; subsequently arguments ensue(anybody that hasn't had this happen, I'll kiss them on all four cheeks). Try to put the descriptive segments of your directions, unless it's an absolute must, to areas in the directions where you have a long driving run. <P>#2. Have one(1) person write the directions even if there are different day chairman. You may use one term for a "T" intersection and another may call it a "Y". The point is, once you establish certain terminology or phrases, they will be carried all the way through the directions the same way. Don't say things one way one time and another way a different time. For instance; traffic light, turn left. Later in directions, turn left at the traffic light. TOO WORDY!!! Standardize everything you can. Make it easy on the tourists. Remember, they're your guests. They're not familiar with your area, don't confuse them any more than they already are. You want them to like your area to the point that they wouldn't mind living there, not that they can't wait to leave! <P>#3. Not everybody likes the same things to do, so give them options. Some people couldn't care less to see " Ole Aunt Martha's Country Floral Garden & Winery". Have various places and points of interest pointed out, but don't expect everyone to stop at them unless it's a mustsee. Usually by the end of the day the brain has seen enough antique glass plates and Elvis memorabilia. <P>#4. Have plenty of restrooms everywhere. Nobody likes to wait in line for anything; they may miss something. The same goes for food lines. Depending on the size of the tour(the amount of people attending), have at least four(4) serving lines. Ask the caterers if they're capable of that. If not, get another caterer that can. Absolutely do not eliminate coffee and doughnuts at the morning break. Most of the people think their $125-150 registration fee was for this and get really testy if you cut them out. Don't forget, they're your guests, they expect these things. A lot of people use this as their breakfast.<P>#5. Keep in constant touch with your host hotel/motel and your banquet facilities, but don't be a pest. If you expect them to alter something that has already been set up, expect to pay for it. They don't work for nothing and have bills and a budget to keep just as you do. I worked with 5 different managers at the host hotel. Remember, each new person may have no idea what you're doing and what has been negotiated. You may have to go over every detail with them. If your banquets are at the host hotel, have a club function there to see how they handle it. If not feasible, try to attend a wedding or some other function as an observer to see how they handle it. It may give you some ideas. Bear in mind, with these changes, prices may be altered, so build in approximately 10% to cover cost increases. <P>#6. You will run across hurdles as time goes on. Have a contingency plan developed. There's always another way to do something, think and plan them out beforehand. Remember the acronym, KISS, keep it simple stupid. Some things may not work no matter how hard you try. Use your brain not your emotions to make final decisions. You may have a Russian spaceship landed upside down in your backyard that is a mustsee. But, if it's full of nuclear waste, don't try to force it in. I hope people understand what I'm saying here. In other words, USE YOUR HEAD!<P>#7. Others may disagree with this, but don't ask visitors what they want to see in your area. You know your territory the best. It may not be feasible to do what they request for various reasons, and now you feel committed to do so. It could make what was to be a pleasant experience, a nightmare. <P>#8. Go over your tour routes, go over them again, go over them again and on the very last week before the tour, go over them again. You'll be surprised how many little things will change and will need to be pointed out. If you travel into an area that has another region, ask them to help. Ask them if there's a better way to get from point "A" to point "B". You know your area, they know theirs. Make absolutely sure you travel the routes the same day you plan on running those routes and run them the times you figure the tourists will be travelling them to observe traffic flows, snags, snafus and whatever else there may be. It may be a heavy truck route the day you plan to run it. Now, think about adding 150-200 antiques that don't know where they're going. It could get real messy. As stated before by Howard, "STAY OFF THE INTERSTATES". My cars can run 70+ mph, but when Irene's mad at me for not listening to her read the directions three times, there's going to be problems. Remember, that 18 wheeler, with 80,000lb gross weight, that has to be 20 miles down the road in ten minutes to meet his delivery time, doesn't give a damn that your not from the area. He will though, when you slam on the brakes because you missed your exit. Know compound the fact that 5 of you just past up the turnoff and want to pull off to maybe backup to the cutoff ramp. Also keep in mind the locals aren't used to seeing a bunch of old cars on the road and they're gawking at the new sights just as you are. One other thing, plan routes where groups of cars can get off the road. There will be breakdowns or some goofy reason why a group will want to pull over. Stress to drivers not to bunch up, so the locals or faster vehicles can pass. These tours are not meant to be a procession. Remember, we're on vacation, but the locals are going about their daily business.<P>#9. You as host members will be asked what you may think to be some of the dumbest questions in the world. It may be about something you explained in the directions, at the banquet, or whereever. Answer them with a smile. The husband may have been burping or blowing his nose while you were explaining it and the wife was sent to find out what to do. You will also receive some odd requests from various people, about everything imaginable. Try to fill their requests graciously. They don't realize 35 other couples wanted something special too.<P>#10. If you run into a snag, don't try to solve it immediately unless you absolutely have to. Most of the time, they iron themselves out and there not as bad as first appeared. Plus, by giving yourself a little time to think of a resolve, you avoid making more problems develop. Many times the problem is not as bad as someone reported. They just got a little excited and blew it out of proportion. Get your facts before you react. When you do have problems, share them, if you need to, with only those that need to know and can help. Some people go on these tours just to hear dirty laundry. It gives them gossip to spread. They may be having a great time, but they're just waiting to hear about someone else's misfortune. It only takes one to make others think things are going bad and the tour is "ALL SCREWED UP."<P>#11. Put the best person you can in charge of your chairmanships. Don't put someone in a position because you think they deserve it. The better people you have in positions, the better the tour will go. In your planning stages, if you have someone causing problems and thinks they should be in charge, graciously remove them from their position. There cannot be two people to make the final decisions. There can be only one in charge and to take the blame for things going wrong. If you put someone in charge of a position and they're doing what you want, be prepared to take the heat for a problem if one arises. Don't leave them hanging out to dry, or others will think the same will happen to them and won't support you. Give your chairmen latitude to do their job, however, keep abreast of what they're doing. Loosen the reins so they can be creative. It's easier to pull them back a little if need be. You are focusing on the entire tour, they are concentrated on their position and may come up with some really neat ideas. <P>Much of this is common sense when you sit down and think about it. Go on various tours and jot down things that you liked or things you would do differently. What works one place may not work some place else, but you may be able to use portions of the concept. Enough said for now, I'll try to add more later. There are plenty more issues, these are just off the top of my head. <P>One last item for know, don't focus on giving out all kinds of little trinkets. They're cute and we like to receive some things, but honestly, how many more coffee mugs do I need? Does anybody use half the trinkets they get in the goody bags? Give the tourists a better meal somewhere or a cheaper rate on an entrance fee into something. Give them there moneys worth, not a bunch of toys they'll throw in a drawer or in the garbage can. cool.gif" border="0

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<B>TEREK --- YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!!</B><P>One post saying so much, so well and so thoroughly.<P>Terry is making a mistake if he doesn't incorporate your guidelines directly into that book he is putting together.<P>Now are you firm on that <I>NO INTERSTATES</I> position? rolleyes.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>hvs<p>[ 08-22-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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This is a fascinating thread with lots of good suggestions, however I interpreted one of Ron's requests as wanting to read comments related to some of the misfortunes we have had, like -<P>The time Al T. ran out of gas and drove into town in his Vette on a gallon of deisel he "borrowed" from a barn. Sure cleared out the mosquitos in that town!<P>Or, the time I missed a turn and found a service road to get back on the route. Only problem was that it turned out to be a bike path and at the end was a curb instead of a ramp - getting down off a curb with a '61 Cad and those lower fins dragging ain't fun. Don't understand why the tour planners didn't warn us about bike paths!<P>Or, the time we apparently had to get on an Interstate for a very short stretch and the next instruction was to get off at the "EXIT". Every driver yelled, "What exit?" - every navigator yelled back, "It just says "EXIT", it doesn't say a street or road or number!" The yelling continued until all of a sudden we saw a sign "EXIT" - that's all it said - no street, road or number. (Incidently, I agree that you should avoid interstates if at all possible - we had a tour sown here in Alabama and told the tourists that if they even saw an interstate they were lost. Unfortunately, not many areas have that luxury.)<P>Or, the time I violated the most basic principle of getting the car ready and assumed there would be someone with more expertise to help me get it started at the tour. Spent the better part of Sunday with lots of help - no luck mad.gif" border="0 Ended up as a passenger on that tour blush.gif" border="0 <P>No amount of planning can eliminate some of these embarrassing moments. But they will happen and make for great stories over a cold one at the end of the day.

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Hi all, I have been reading this tread, I have not seen so many opinions since the last time we tackled young people. All that I can say is that some day I hope to go on a national tour. A group of folks from Long Island go on the Glidden every year and most of the stories are positive. smile.gif" border="0

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Ron,<P>I remeber hearing a sory about some promised ice cream on one tour. Would you know anything about that one?<P>24T42

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Sorry 24T42, but I'm not sure what you're talking about. confused.gif" border="0 Maybe, since we exchange newsletters, you picked up on something that you perceived as a problem that I missed.<P>Our Region looks for any excuse to drive our old cars that we can. It may be an "Ice Cream Tour" after our monthly meeting instead of pigging out on cookies and soda for refreshments or it may be a "Breakfast Tour" before going to a local car show.<P>If I've missed the point of your post, please enlighten this dummy. rolleyes.gif" border="0

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Judy ~ No one <B>PROMISED</B> ice cream. It's just that we all went to the ice cream social <B>EXPECTING</B> ice cream. Honestly I'm not sure that it was billed as an ice cream social. Maybe we just assumed that it was. Anyway that may be one of the longest running tour stories when talking about tour "Remember whens. smile.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0 <P>hvs<P>Ron ~ It was an event that happened 13 years ago on a tour. It has been a 13 year running joke among those of us that were there. grin.gif" border="0 Nothing to be taken seriously<BR> smile.gif" border="0 ~ hv<p>[ 08-22-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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Ron S.<P>Sorry about that - the reference was for Father Ron. I guess I need to watch my p and q's as well as my Ron's.<P>Sorry.<P>24t42

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Ted, those are good points as well. Howard, forget the accolades, just send money! Give me a little time to think about this and I'll come up with some thoughts. Ron, you forgot to mention about the beat up old '33 Chrysler somebody I know owns that crapped itself on the DelMarVa Tour. Thanks to some great friends, ingenuity and some spare parts to get it running again. Just had to get out, open the hood and disconnect the "hotwire" every time I wanted to shut it off( oops I gave out who owns it). I also remember not too long ago sitting in the motels room that distributes our favorite beverages, discussing some major world problems with the National Presidents spouse when a fellow came in looking for the tour chairman to solve a catastrophe. It seems "Big Red" needed some new spark plugs and nobody had the testicular fortitude to break the old ones loose. Oh, the things your asked to do when you're tour chairman. Sometimes it's great to know you're needed for something! rolleyes.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0<p>[ 08-22-2001: Message edited by: Alan Terek ]

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Al ~ Take the accolades. You're not likely to ever see the money. grin.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0 ~ Howard

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Just another idea. Wouldn't it be a good idea if somebody from the host club was to drive the next day's tour route say in the afternoon? Looking for new road construction, fresh tar, bridges that might be out, new tanktraps frown.gif" border="0(i mean major potholes), signs that are missing due to a storm or someone's vehicle took it out, or any other items that the drivers should be made aware of.

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Just to add to Alan's ideas from experience - give the day tour directions special oversight and controls. The procedure that I found worked best was to have the day tour developer write up the directions; have someone else on the tour committtee drive each day's tour and make corrections to the instructions; and (I agree with Alan) for consistant directions, have one person write up the final tour instructions - but have that person be the final quality check by actually driving each day's tour the third time. I found that on four days of tour instructions, I got totally lost at least once for each day because of errors - and I had detailed maps and knew where I was going. Also, I agree with Alan that the routes be driven just a few days before the tour again, plus try to establish a contact to check road construction projects in the area.

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Okay, fordee9r, here goes. My first Glidden Tour, French Lick, Indiana( I should have known with a name like that), as I pulled into the registration parking lot I got a flat tire on the tow vehicle. What a way to start a week of fun and excitement. Did you ever try to change a 9.50 X 16.5 tire and not get dirty? Got through that, got checked in and ready for the first day of touring. YeeHa!!!<BR>Monday morning, What's this, rain? Where's the umbrella? What do you mean you left it in the tow vehicle? I'm not going out in this unless you go get the umbrella? Are you really sure you want to drive in this all day? I'll just stay at the hotel and you go by yourself. <BR>I'll bet you can't guess who made those comments? rolleyes.gif" border="0 <BR>Ok, we're on our way, finally.<BR>What's the matter with the car? Uh, I think we have a flat. Sh.., do I have a jack? I think I packed one. Ok, there's a place to pull off and change it. Son of a bit.., there's no handle for the screw jack. ...Ah, Irene, can you get out and give me a hand? WHAT, IN THE RAIN? ARE YOU NUTS? <BR>I need to lift up on the car while you take this screwdriver, stick it in this slot and turn it...to the right, to the right...CLOCKWISE!! Let me pull up on this block of wood, that I was using for a wheel chock. Is it STILL raining? Geeze! Ok, I got it up on this block of wood and piece of log, I'll get the jack wound up to the axle so you can sit in the car and stay out of the rain. I'll let you know when I need you. Ok, come on out and turn the screwdriver while I lift up on the car again so we can get the blocks out from under the tire....grunt...TO THE RIGHT!!! Hour and a half later, tire is changed. We're on our way. Irene asks, " What's this thumbs up, thumbs down thing mean? I thought people were supposed to stop."<P>We'll skip to the last day and not talk about 6 or 7 of us driving back Tuesday night in a driving rain, 9:00pm, with no defrosters, lousy wipers, trying to follow a very dim tail light, 20+ miles.<P>Final day, good golly, only 10 miles to go,we finished our first Glidden...what's that, do we have another flat? Fortunately, this time we're with some friends and the tire is off and ready for the spare before I can get it out of the sidemount.<P>Hey, what the heck, it was our first tour. Boy, were we having fun!<P><BR>Tallahassee Founders Tour, as Ron and I were driving back from a long day, seems Big Red blew a waterpump that day( Thank you, Arlen Banning), we came across a monsoon. We're driving about 25mph with maybe two car lengths between us. The wipers had no chance of clearing the windshield. As it wiped, you had a split second of visibilty. We're travelling a two lane road, beautiful area, lovely homes, etc. All of a sudden a car coming the other way runs off the berm. The driver over compensates and comes across the road missing the back of the Vette. Oh boy, here goes a trip to the hospital. There's no way Ron's going to miss that car. What? How did that car get between us and end up in that persons front yard without hitting anything? THANK YOU, GOD. When we got back to the hotel and changed our shorts,it was time to settle the nerves.<P>That same tour had some "kid at heart" adults(sometimes known as drunks) circling a restaurant parking lot 7 or 8 times in a convertible "blowing a Buzzy horn". Hmmm....<P><BR>Ron and I have run out of gas so many times going to, while on and driving home from tours we now have dubbed ourselves as the " Gashouse Gang". We're looking for new members. Requirements are you have to had run out of gas at least three times. I'm still trying to top the time Ron ran out of gas and got picked up by the Swedish Bikini Team...or was it the St. Pauli girls?<P><BR>Then there was the tour where two juveniles were going around with squirt guns. As they passed other cars they would sqiurt the drivers and speed off.<P>The Gatlinburg Glidden had it's moments also. Tuesday morning we were to travel to Asheville, N.C. and stay overnight there. This means packing clothes, snacks, tools, parts and whatever else you may need; a load for a rumble seat convertible with a rack and no trunk. Bob Cirilli and I were travelling together, however, as we started up the first mountain, Bob's '29 Pontiac, a beautiful car, wouldn't run. We go back down the hill and start checking things out. After I don't remember how many trips up to the tow vehicles for extra tools, parts, manuals, etc, we determine we can't fix it. No problem, we'll load everything in our car and Bob and Dee can ride in the rumbleseat. C'mon, it will be fun!! We had lunch at the host hotel, purged our luggage, etc. to make room for Bob and Dee's luggage, strapped everything on the rack, stuffed things down by their feet and put what we could fit in the front seat, off we go. Did I mention yet that morning Tennessee had some escaped convicts trapped in the mountains and shut down the tour route? Well, by the time we came through, tour signs were down and nobody was around to follow. We had no map and no idea where we were let alone how to get to Asheville. After finally finding a place to ask directions, we end up on a dusty, dirt mountain road swerving around bulldozers and earthmovers. Keep in mind, Bob and Dee are in the rumbleseat. Somehow we made it to Asheville about 8:00 that evening. <P>Howard, don't you have a story for us? Wasn't it on the '99 Founders Tour you had so much fun that while driving home you unloaded the car from the trailer and had Judy drive about 500 miles? I'm trying not to steal your thunder. grin.gif" border="0<P><BR>With the Buzzards Breath Divisional Tour coming up next week, does anybody want to expound on Bruce's Bar? <BR> wink.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0<p>[ 08-23-2001: Message edited by: Alan Terek ]

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<B>BOY HOWDY for Bruce's Bar ! ! ! ! ! ! ! </B><BR>Bruce's Bar is a unique place in Severence, CO (a small farming community) that attracts very unsavory characters like bikers, hunters, truckers, and ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE ENTHUSIASTS. At Bruce's the floor is uneven, the silverware doesn't match, there's ice in the urninals, and if you say excuse me, you could be asked to leave. Their specialty is Rocky Mountain oysters. If you need to know what that is, Al will explain. A group of the BBTR have been there several times. We keep returning and as a matter of fact, the divisional tour will stop there on Tuesday. As tour chairman I was threatened with unnamed harm to my body if we didn't include this lunch break.<P>Al, I think they still have the same shirts for sale that you bought Irene and she made you return it.<P>Dan wink.gif" border="0tongue.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0

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Al ~ I'll save the trip home story from the '99 Founders for later as there are funnier stories in the book. Now you have to remember that my tour stories span 20 years and 2 wives. As Judy often says when I tell one of those remember when stories, "That was with the other wife." rolleyes.gif" border="0 This one was on a Reliability Tour shortly after we were married.<P>We were driving on a country road at about 35MPH in the "14 Buick with Father Ron following in his '11 Hudson. As we went along the car seemed to be losing power no matter how much gas I gave it and I said as much to Judy. confused.gif" border="0 About this time Judy looked around and said, Oh look, Ron's waving at us." I said something like, "That's nice."<P>A little bit further on she said, "Now Ron's waving and yelling something at us." Again, "That's nice. I can't hear any thing with the wind and the car noise."<P>Then she said, "Don't you think we should slow down and see what he wants?" That was easy since he was speeding up and we were slowing down steadily.<P>Finally he was close enough to be heard above the din and Judy turned to me and said, "Ron says we are on fire!" shocked.gif" border="0 She swears I said, Do you think we should stop?" I don't think I said that, but in any case we stopped. The left brake was smoking rather vigerously, but there were no flames. I had adjusted the brakes that morning and gotten that one too tight. On that car there is about 1/2 turn separating no brekes from fire.<P>Anyway, for almost 10 years now, "You're on fire --- Do you think we should stop?" has been a running Barnett/Scotland joke on tours.<P>There are lots more in the book, but how about some from other tourists.<P>Al, I was at French Lick and Gatlinburg. Too bad I didn't know you then. The police cut the tour route just before we got there and we spent a lot of time milling around in some small town with 100 other cars waiting for them to decide how we were going to get to Asheville. Your route was more creative than ours. <B>BUT</B> we found the ice cream store in that little town. smile.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0<P>Howard

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Given that Malcolm Creighton is one of our tour planners, I can promise that there will be ice cream or custard somewhere on the 2002 Founders Tour!<P>Based on the "Roving Judge" reports he submits to the Beam (the Wis Region newsletter) whenver he attends national events -- and he attends a LOT -- he has a real talent for finding the best wherever he goes.<P>And I think it's an excellent idea to try to have a host club member run the next day's tour a day in advance, to check for unforeseen obstacles, road construction, etc. I'll suggest that to our committee.<P>Jan K.<BR>Wis Region

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I have really found it beneficial to read all of the comments posted on this site. We have been working on the 2002 Founders Tour for over a year and have utilized many of the ideas you've all expressed, but there are always new ideas to be considered. One question I have for Terry is regarding check points--can you explain how this would work? If there isn't a structured time schedule and participants are free to indulge themselves in additional points of interest, even off the scheduled route, how can this be managed? <P>One plan we are considering is offering options for those who do like a planned activity in the evening. We do not expect everyone to want to do something every evening, but sometimes it is difficult to figure out something to do on your own so we are offering some options. <P>We can assure you that we plan on driving the antique cars each day for the tour and we have planned shorter days for the opening banquet and the closing banquet. Attire for the opening banquet will be minimal business casual due to the location of the banquet at Monona Terrace. The closing banquet will be business casual or casual--it will be in the hotel. We will include this information on our registration form.<P>Many of the participants on the 2001 Founders Tour expressed wanting the opportunity to spend plenty of time at some of the attractions. This will be up to each participant depending on what time they want to return to the hotel.<P>Our hub hotel rate will be $95 and there should be room for all who want to stay at the hub hotel. Baymont and Fairfield Inn are located in the near vicinity and I am working with them to get an established rate.<BR>The hub hotel was chosen because it could accommodate 250-300+ people and because it is the only hotel in the vicinity with ample parking for our antique cars, motor homes and trailers. The hotel is providing security for the vehicles while on premise along with a place for washing cars. <P>We will not be travelling on the Interstate. I agree emphatically with other contributors to this thread that interstate driving is not very much fun in an antique car. Our hotel is in a western suburb of Madison with proximity to country roads in every direction.<P>Any suggestions are welcomed as all of our plans are not finalized yet. Our intention is to introduce many of you to the beauty of Wisconsin and our heritage. We plan to make this a terrific vacation for all of you!<P>Sharan W. <BR>2002 Founders Tour Chair

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Sharan ~ Some of us old pharts have been retired for so long that when we were working, business was business and casual was casual and never the twain shall meet. Exactly what is business casual and what are its varying degrees ? smile.gif" border="0 ~ hvs<P>Terry ~ I think this KK thing is progressing beyond the long running joke stage. Get that permission and see if they can be declared "Unofficially official". wink.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0cool.gif" border="0 Howard

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Howard, I guess I wasn't too clear in my former post. I would not advocate having the offical route for a national tour on Interstates. What I was suggesting was that alternate routes could be mentioned if for some reason (breakdowns etc.) time had to be made up. I also did not mean that tours should be convoys. They are very difficult to do. I was thinking of groups of 3 to 4 cars which some people seem to prefer. You are correct in assumeing that I have yet to be on a national tour my former profession precluded this. However I have been on 23 tours of 9 days duration or longer and about 3 times that many weekend tours. I have also run many of these weekend tours. I thought that input here might help other regions and wasn't confined to national tours. Sorry if I caused any confusion. Al

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Al ~ Sorry if I was a little hard on the Interstate issue. As you can tell I am very strong on that subject and I seem to have a lot of company. <P>As an alternative to actually including some "Interstate alternatives" in the tour route, why not provide everyone with an area map so that if they want alternatives they can find them themselves. That way nobody is responsible for leading anybody into trouble.<P>I once considered putting on an 8 day tour out here in the wilds of Wyoming and everybody said I was crazy. Where do you find people willing to devote the time and effort to putting on a 9 day tour?<P>I think we are now both headed in the same direction.<P>hvs

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Wow - Al, thanks! Some super stuff, Im typing as fast as I can! So much great info that I even forgot I had to write Krispy Kreeme and get their permission to include them in the brochure. This is a great thread!

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Why stop at getting KK's permission to use their name. Tour organizers could go for sponsorship: "KK - the official AACA tour donut". Maybe even have them provide, for free, the morning pastries. smile.gif" border="0

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An example of what can happen to a tour in the last days before the tourists arrive. shocked.gif" border="0 <P>Today is Friday the 24th and the Western Divisional Tour in Ft. Collins starts on Sunday the 26th. This afternoon I took a trailer [with car] to the host hotel in preparation for the tour. The hotel is on a divided highway with a crossover into the hotel. At least there was a crossover last week. <B>NOT THERE NOW!</B>. <P>This will be a minor inconvenience, but it is an example of how quickly things can go downhill on a tour route.<P>I post this to re-enforce the oft repeated suggestion that someone SHOULD run the next day's tour route the day before. Even that cannot assure that the road will not be shut down as of 5:00 AM on the day of the run. rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>hvs

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Since the posts to this thread have begun to slow down, all I can say is THANKS to all who have contributed! grin.gif" border="0 <P>There has been a lot of good information presented here and I can only hope that there is still more to follow. smile.gif" border="0 <P>I will print out every page and can only encourage anyone interested in organized touring to do the same. wink.gif" border="0 <P>Before this thread comes to an end, PLEASE post YOUR insights to tours, both good and bad, for all of us to learn by. We really want to hear your stories! smile.gif" border="0

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