A Westy Weekend at Watkins

How time flies! The weekend after Quebec and Montreal was back-to-back cyclocross races; the first local ones for this season. That made for a busy weekend and the early part of the week was spent getting photos online.

Once that was done though, it was time to get Babe ready for another trip. This time it was another VW camp-out and one I’d been looking forward to attending since I had heard about in 2010. Joel Cort has been running this event for 10 years now and on top of great camping in a beautiful spot next to the Gorge this camp-out ends with a trip to the Watkins Glen racetrack where the buses have a chance to do three laps of the famous course. And the usual good company, great food, campfires and live music.

There were a little over a hundred buses that made it for this 10th edition (Sept. 23-25), a good turnout considering the Friday was a wet afternoon which may have discouraged some people. By Saturday afternoon the weather turned really nice though and Sunday was even better. Andrea had a hearing so we didn’t get to leave until the afternoon. It was raining from the start of our drive and I think it only let up once we almost there (a 5 hour drive). We stopped in at the Roosterfish Restaurant and Brewery in Watkins Glen for a tasty dinner before heading to the campground. It was dark by the time we got there, lots of the campsites were already full and so we had picked one that was empty but still close to everything. Turns out we happened to be in the one that Sofie and Jerry had been holding for us. Sofie had left a chair there to make it look occupied, I just drove on by it. When she came over to collect it she was wondering who might have been so bold (politely of course) and then discovered it was us… that was good for a laugh. As were my parking attempts looking for level ground between the trees and trying not to wreck the bikes on the back. Eventually we got Babe in place and it was really very level so I guess it was worth the effort.

It rained overnight so everything was damp and glistening. Andrea and I went for a walk in the Gorge… it’s simply stunning. Rather than trying to describe it, here are a couple of photos.

There were a few options for events to do with the rest of the day, we opted to just go explore the area on our bikes for a few hours… the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is beautiful with no shortage of good climbs (and descents of course) plus lots of great gorges and waterfalls.

We also wandered around the campsites taking photos of the various campers and the things that get added to make more room, more comfort, or more fun. This photo is just an orderly little grouping, including a bold colour combination 🙂

Dinner on Saturday was a pot-luck and there was lots of great food (including for us vegetarians). Then a raffle with lots of great prizes. I was hoping to win the headlight relay upgrade from BusDepot or the SewFine curtain set but wasn’t that lucky. I did win some custom decals from Hippy Motors that will go on Babe soon. After dinner is was relaxing by a campfire and listening to Doug Alcock playing guitar and singing.

And all too soon it was Sunday morning… a time of walking around say goodbyes, packing up, getting ready to head home. But first!

A carabus to the Watkins Glen International track and then three laps of a happy bunch of campers! I was really lucky that the guys at the start / finish were really friendly and invited me up on their platform inside the barriers so I could get some great shots.

I’ll wrap up this entry with a couple of photos, you’ll find lots online at my site (KraikerPhoto.com) and they are all free to download.

2 Replies to “A Westy Weekend at Watkins”

  1. Some awesome bus shots Peter. Must have been a site! Lisa aka vwlucy

  2. Thanks Lisa. It was really cool to see, although I’m sure it looked even better from behind the steering wheel.

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