MINIs On The Mac – August 3, 2013 – drive from DSM to St. Ignace, MI

MINIs On The Mac

As you know, there will be an attempt to set a new Guinness Book of World Records mark for the most MINIs/Mini Coopers in a parade at the Straits of Mackinac Bridge on Saturday, August 3. The goal is to have at least 1,451 cars, and one lane of the bridge itself will be closed to all traffic EXCEPT the MINI/Mini parade.

This is going to be one of the largest gatherings of MINIs in the world, and will certainly be the largest such gathering ever for the U.S. If you’re a MINIac like me (Roger Sitterly), that makes this an absolute “must-do” event, so I’ve already registered. Now, I’ll be working with contacts in Nebraska and Iowa to see if we can assemble a single caravan of Nebraska/Iowa owners for the trip to northern Michigan.

Tentatively, the route to get there would be through Green Bay, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so that registration packets can be picked up in St. Ignace on the way to participants’ motels Friday night without the need to cross the bridge to get them (and then, perhaps, cross it again to get to a motel in Mackinaw City). The total distance from Des Moines  to Mackinaw City (no matter how you get there) is between 690 and 725 miles, so tentative plans are to take two days to do the drive. This will be especially important if the caravan includes owners from Nebraska who will have an additional 130 or more miles to drive the first day just to get to Des Moines.

The event is now about four weeks away, and those who plan to attend should be making motel reservations quickly because area lodging are filling up. If anyone who plans to attend would like to join in a caravan to the area, please let me know as quickly as possible – an email will work just fine rogersitterly @ you can call me in Des Moines at 515 – 270 – 8095. Having some idea of how many people will be joining in a caravan will help us plan the route in terms of necessary stops along the way.

The deadline for early registration (with a discount) is July 19. The $25 early registration fee includes your bridge toll for the event, an antenna topper, lunch on August 3 in St. Ignace, admission to the music festival and some local swag. Cars will begin assembling in Mackinaw City Saturday morning, August 3 at 7:30 a.m., and departure for the parade across the bridge will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. After crossing of the bridge, lunch, entertainment, and contests will be held in St. Ignace, with a music festival scheduled from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. In addition, there will be a fireworks show at dusk.

Here’s a link to the information and registration page.

I’ll be at the club picnic July 13, and will be available to discuss potential routing and caravan issues. And if you have any questions, please feel free to call me.

May 18, 2013 – Joint Drive for CIMC/KCME Groups

James Flowers has done it again.

On Saturday, May 18, 2013, starting at 11:00am at 100 N 16th Street in Bethany, MO, the CIMC will be gathering with the drivers from the Kansas City MINI Enthusiasts for a drive through the countryside – from nowhere to nowhere, but with lots of curves in between. We’ll do a “fast” group for the more spirited drivers and a “slow” group for those that just want to relax and enjoy the area.

The preliminary plan is to have a short meeting on the town square in Bethany, MO to distribute maps and info, then a jaunt over to the Sonic in town for a quick lunch (make it light – hills aren’t good for the stomach!) and then we’ll line up in the Wal-Mart parking lot and drive at noon.

Stops will probably include Leon, IA and Lamoni, IA. Not sure where we’ll finish yet!

July 9, 2012 – MINI Takes the States Arrives in Des Moines

MINI Coopers from near and far descended on Des Moines as we welcomed the Motoring world to Central Iowa. Starting with dinner and visiting the animals at Blank Park Zoo, drinks at Johnny’s Sports Bar, and a fund-raiser pancake breakfast the next morning served by and with a free-will donation to benefit the Waukee Fire Department. After that, the MINIs hit the road again on the journey to Denver and, ultimately, Los Angeles. But before we all left, those nice fire fighters were kind enough to take a few pictures of us all from high atop one of the cranes.

May 19, 2012 – Joint Drive with Kansas City MINIs

The Club’s second event of the driving season, thanks to James Flowers, was hosting a joint drive with the Kansas City MINIs on Saturday. The drive started in Bethany, Missouri, and ended in Leon, Iowa, after passing through Nine Eagles State Park. There were two separate caravans from Des Moines to the starting point in Bethany, Missouri. The first left early and took several twisty back roads to the south. The second left later in the morning and headed straight down I-35. Thanks for planning a great event, James!

October 29, 2011 – The 9th Annual Fall Colors Drive

Drivers meeting Pella (1) Drivers meeting Pella (2) Greg and MINI Mouse address the crowd Imes Bridge St Charles (1) Imes Bridge St Charles (2) John Wayne House (2) MINI Mouse Beachy Parked in Pella (1) Parked in Pella (2) Rest stop Indianola (1) Starting for Pella (1) Starting for Pella (2)

A little History:

Beginning in 2003, MINI owners state-wide have been invited to join the annual Fall Colors Drive – this year was the ninth consecutive year MINI owners have taken our cars out for some exercise amidst the glories of an Iowa fall.

This year’s route started in Pella, where everyone assembled for lunch. Following lunch, we meandered by way of several twisty and curvy back roads west to St. Charles to view the Imes Covered Bridge, then we headed over to Winterset to visit the John Wayne home (those who elected not to tour the home visited the Cutler-Donohoe Covered Bridge instead), and finally we ended our drive at MINI of Des Moines where the dealership will provided us with refreshments and some entertaining MINI-related challenges – as part of M of DSM’s participation in the national MINI “Motor-tober” promotion. The total distance covered between Pella and M of DSM was about 150 miles.

As this was a statewide event, we were also lucky enough to meet a number of Eastern Iowa MINI owners who came to enjoy the drive.