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Zone Rep Report November 2012

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

Dang, does it EVER let up? I mean the FUN, of course. When I last wrote, I was packing to head off to the Alpine Mountain Region's Fall Tour. I got to Colorado Springs late the night before, then set off in the morning to find the group. We had a nice breakfast at the Monument Hill Country Club, then received our first set of directions -- they don't tell AMR fall touryou your final destination till the late afternoon! Off we went over some of the most beautiful roads the front range has to offer. At lunch we found out we'd be heading up and over Trail-Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. And on our last stop -- in Kremmling, Colorado -- we discovered our final destination would be Steamboat Springs. The fall colors were at their peak and we had dinner on top of the ski mountain at sunset time. Their tour is truly magical and mysterious!

For the last two years, the last weekend has been the calendar slot for the Santa Fe Concorso, hosted just over the mountain from us. For me, that's been a busy weekend since the Intermountain Region had traditionally hosted their Club Race that time of year. Low and behold, this year the IR's moved their race to June and my weekend was open. I attended all three days of events as a correspondent for 9 Magazine. Wow, what a great weekend.

Organizers Dennis and Beverly Little of Santa Fe have been working hard to put on a show that they hope to bring to the level of Amelia Island and Pebble Beach. And they're on their way. Quite an amazing array of classic vehicles of all sorts were on display and Sir Stirling Moss was back again as Grand Marshall. Local writer and racing legend Denise McCluggage has contributed to the event in many ways, helping to bring in stars, cars, and dignitaries. A GRAND event it was.

While there, I ran into my Bonneville buddy Jeff Brock, who lives just up the road in Abiquiu. Jeff built and races one of the most iconic and most photographed cars on the web, a 1952 Buick Super-Riviera. He was on the Design Forum panel discussion with former Cadillac Design Cheif Kip Wasenko and Pebble Beach Overall Winner Paul Russell. The panel was hosted by automotive journalist and actor Tim Consadine and was an amazing discussion of design trends past, present, and outlaw! After the panel Jeff mentioned he was headed out to Bonneville to participate in the last meet of the year and wondered if I'd like to come along. Hmmmm, I said, let me think about that for...YES!!! Of course I would.... So Sandra and I loaded up all our camera stuff -- both video and still -- and on Monday morning got up at 4am and drove...to the Santa Fe ski area; two hundred miles out of the direct path to Wendover. Why? To take some photos of some beautifully classic Porsches for a couple of stories I'm working on. (More on that another time). Then we turned around and made the long drive to the Salt Flats.

buickIt was a great trip for all kinds of reasons. We got some great photos and video of Jeff's car. To see some of the video go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olhJD6Qu9js
Plus I got to see my friends at Team Vesco set a new record of 339mph with their #444 car, the one I rode on as a skier back in 1985. Jeff set a new class record of 165.380 What can I say, I have "salt fever" and there's just no getting over it.

We made the long drive home through Moab and the Four Corners on a beautifully sunny day, with just enough time to un-pack the car, download video and stills, get cleaned up and head off to the Roadrunner Region's annual Chili Cook-off. If you' live in New Mexico, you can't live without your "chili-fix" and we're definitely addicted to the many great flavors of red and green to be found both in the super-hot and the deliciously sweet dishes you always find at thest kinds of events. The cook-off is always one of the best attended events in the Region and is hosted in the beautiful racing-themed home of Bruce Phillips and Debra Burns. There's always a great mix of new and veteran members and this year was no different. One of the Regions founders and its 1969 President, Jim Miller was on hand for a Roadrunner event for the first time in years to enjoy the fun!

As I write this, I'm getting ready to head off to Las Cruces and Deming, NM for the Carrera Region's big event, the Oktoberfiesta, always a good time and one of the last warm weekends before the winter winds blow in. It's not that long before I'll be heading to some of the holiday parties for my last official appearances as your Zone Rep. I hope to see you at one of those events. I look forward to seeing you there!

Sean

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