Woodstock was on the route of the Nutmeg XXIII Winter Rally of the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA) which lucked into a clear day on Saturday February 10. I was riding as navigator in Tony Carroll’s 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI, a four door sport sedan and the oldest car to complete the entire course which ran well over 100 miles through the Catskill Mountains. We had a group of 17 cars and 37 people following a trivia clued route guide starting and ending at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck. The route was designed by rally master Jim Donick of the VSCCA. He had us follow Hurley Mountain Road to Rte. 213, then circle the east basin of the Ashokan Reservoir, passing my house and studio twice on the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway. Then we ran up Rte. 375, the Levon Helm Memorial Boulevard, through Woodstock to lunch at the Bear Cafe, spicy jambalaya.
After lunch we drove out Rte. 212 to Mt Tremper, then the Old Plank Road, which was part of the historic 1903 Auto Endurance Run route, into Phoenicia. Rallyists were asked to purchase a novelty souvenir in either Woodstock or Phoenicia to trade at dinner. Up Rte. 214 onto the Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway through Chichester and Lanesville. A ride through Tannersville and Haines Falls to the abyss of the Kaaterskill Gorge, which delighted some of the young sporty guys in their Lotus Elise and new Alfa Giulia so much that they ran up and down the nicely paved gorge a few times.
I directed Tony in our old creaky Alfa Romeo down the Laurel House Road so I could experience the new viewing platform overlooking Kaaterskill Falls. I had my winter hiking boots and needed them for the short 3/10 mile walk from parking lot of platform, the view was awesome. The falls are an ice enclosed flume of pure water. Then we took the Alfa Romeo Giulia TI down the gorge through Palenville, Blue Mountain and into Woodstock to follow Zena Road along the Sawkill Creek back to Rte. 209 and over the bridge to Rhinebeck…it could have been a longer route, but Jim Donick was uncertain what weather would bring, and we lucked out, even had some sun.
Really old valuable vintage cars are not driven in salt conditions, so people brought some daily drivers to attend the rally along with some nice sports cars. There were three Alfa Romeos — along with our Giulia TI there was a Spider and the new Alfa Giulia, which was a rental! A Porsche Panamera sedan, Fiat 500 Abarth, Mini Cooper S, Lotus Elise, BMW 3 series, BMW X5, Ford Escape and more filled out the field. Jim Donick’s gorgeous Morgan +4, the oldest car entered, didn’t drive the whole route, so Tony got the prize for our Alfa at the dinner. Tony Carroll, my driver, joined the VSCCA in 1964 and is a highly esteemed veteran of the organization. I navigated with him in the Alfa last year as well.