Toure de Old Blewett Road
|Registration Closed:||July 25, 2012 5:00 PM PDT|
Toure De Old Blewett Road: Saturday, July 28, 2012
Audi Club Northwest introduces a new event for the 2012 Tour Season. The Toure De Old Blewett Road will be held Saturday July 28. The tour combines scenic and photographic opportunities, as well as the unique challenge of spending most of the day driving on an old section of mountain pass highway crossing the Wenatchee Mountains between Cle Elum and Leavenworth. You don’t have to own an Audi to participate, all auto enthusiasts are invited to attend.
The Old Blewett Road is a 10 mile portion of the original highway between Cle Elum and Leavenworth/Wenatchee. Opened in 1924 and paved in 1925, this road crosses Old Blewett Pass at just above 4100 feet. The highway was rerouted to its current US97 route in 1956. This little gem of a road has over 57 turns, including hairpin turns, and is a very challenging and enjoyable route. The road now consists of FR7320 and FR9715, and is maintained by the USFS.
The route of the original highway followed ridge lines high above the current highway, and is quite twisty. The road is still the original 1925 pavement, and in places the road is now only 1 ½ lanes wide. The pavement surface is not always smooth, it has delaminated in places, it has potholes and bumps in places, and some loose gravel on the surface, and was built before all the current highway regulations were in effect. This means the road has narrow width, minimal guard rails, and lots of turns. It will definitely challenge your driving skills.
This road will be open to all traffic, but very little traffic actually uses this road, as almost no one knows about it, nor how to find it. While this road will NOT be closed for our tour, traffic can be expected to be from nil to very light. Drivers who have enjoyed FR25 on the group drive to Maryhill, as well as those who have driven the Maryhill Loops Road itself, can think of those roads, but with older pavement and 3 ½ times as long, and you have an example of what Old Blewett Road is like. This road was also featured on a portion of the 2011 Autumn Colors Toure.
This event is NOT an instruction event , but it is an opportunity to learn driving skills in a fun yet challenging and scenic mountain road environment. You might even see more deer than cars on this road.
Drivers will meet Saturday morning at 9:00am in Cle Elum, at a location to be determined. The group will depart Cle Elum at approximately 9:30am, arriving at FR7320 about 30 minutes later. The first drive over the route will be driven with the entire group, behind the event leader. This will familiarize everyone with the road condition, width, road hazards, and challenging turns. After the initial drive participants will be split into two groups for novice/intermediate, and advanced. Separating drivers by experience will allow a more enjoyable driving day. Advanced drivers will be allowed to depart as a group, followed 5 minutes later by novice/intermediate. Each group will drive the entire route, returning to the bottom of FR7320 for chatting and reviewing their experience. Both groups will re-unite there before continuing again.
Groups will drive the road until noon, at which time there will be a lunch break. This event will be a BYOL/D event, please plan to bring your own lunch and drinks. Lunch will be at the summit of Old Blewett Pass. After lunch the two groups will continue driving until approximately 5:00 pm. Attendees then have the option of driving to Cle Elum for a group dinner at the Homestead restaurant, or making other individual plans. After dinner in Cle Elum the tour officially ends before drivers depart for home.
The portion of the tour on Old Blewett Road has NO services, and minimal cell phone service. Drivers are encouraged to bring basic tools or any required maintenance items they think they might need. Be sure your spare tire is full of air. Bringing a gallon of antifreeze or water may be a good idea, the drive will probably be in hot weather and includes climbing to over 4100 feet on winding roads.
This event will be limited to only 20 drivers, as this will enhance the driving experience for all. A wait list will be made for those who register after the 20 driver maximum has been reached. If you are interested, be sure to register early. This limit is imposed on the number of drivers only, you are welcome to bring family and friends as guests to ride along with you.
Drivers who wish to get an early start to the weekend will have the option of driving to Cle Elum on Friday and staying overnight at a hotel. You do NOT have to arrive on Friday, you may meet in Cle Elum Saturday morning as indicated above. Drivers wishing to arrive Friday can join a group drive departing North Bend at 12:00 noon or arrive on their own schedule.
Attendees who do wish to join the group drive Friday will also have the opportunity to participate in a Friday evening drive over Old Blewett Road. This drive will be for the purpose of confirming road conditions and preparing for Saturday’s drive.
For those wishing to arrive on Friday the hotel is the Timber Lodge Inn in Cle Elum. The hotel is located at 301 W. First St. Audi Club Northwest has reserved a block of 7 rooms: 4 single queen beds @63.00 plus tax, and 3 double queen beds @72.00 plus tax. Please call the hotel directly @ 800 584 1133 or 509-674-6966 to make your own reservation. The rooms are reserved under Audi Club Northwest’s name. If you have any problems with your reservation ask for Robyn (group sales) or Sarah (manager).
ACNA membership is required for this event. If you are not a club member at this time, you may purchase membership on the following registration page, or you may attend this event as a guest and take this opportunity to meet other club members and see if you would like to join. If you are already a member but your membership is not current, you may renew it on the following registration page.
For further information please contact event leader Mark Yonker at 253-670-8575 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click and paste the website addresses below for Maps of the Old Blewett Road route.
Audi Club Northwest is supporting Children's Hospital!
For several years, Pete and Sue Dieckerhoff have raised contributions to The SOVREN Guild of Seattle Children's Hospital as part of the annual Audi Car Corral held at the Pacific Northwest Historic Races on the July 4th weekend. Their effort has been successful and wonderfully satisfying for everyone involved. In 2011 the ACNW Board raised our visibility with an annual commitment of $1,000 or more to help uncompensated care to the kids at Seattle Children's Hospital. The amount from us for 2011 was $1,105, and 2012 is already gathering funds.
Your fee for this tour will be donated to Children's Hospital. Everyone has the opportunity to select an additional small donation as part of your event registration. Each donation produces a tax-deductible receipt as part of your registration that you can use with your tax return. These funds are consolidated and donated once per year to The SOVREN Guild. All of us will be recognized in the Children's Checkered Flag Club as "Audi Club Northwest", inside the front cover of the Pacific Northwest Historics program.
The club is also part of a drawing to have one of our attendees start the "Checkered Flag Race" from the starter's stand on the front straight and to also ride in the official Pacific Northwest Historics Pace Car for the following race. A mind blowing experience!
There will other developments associated with attending the Audi Car Corral and being involved with Children's Checkered Flag Club, so stay tuned.
Thank you all, for the Kids!