CIMC members participated in 2012 annual Swamp Fox Parade, a celebration of the past and the present, which honors Marion’s namesake and Revolutionary War hero, Francis Marion, aka the Swamp Fox. The perfect weather made for a fun time showing off our favorite little machines and helping the city of Marion celebrate their own special place in Iowa.
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.
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!
The 2012 driving season for Central Iowa MINI Club members began on Saturday, April 14, with a poker run. For those not familiar with the concept, participants followed a specific route and found specific stopping points along the way. At each stop, they drew a card or cards from a deck. Upon completion of the run, they had enough cards to make a poker hand. The person with the best hand won – and the worst! – won while also having experienced central Iowa’s criminal past!
Participants checked-in at their leisure between 11:30am to 1:30pm at Willis Auto Campus’ MINI of Des Moines Dealership and drew their first card before starting the drive. Even better, everyone in the car could play their own hand. The poker run was 128 miles long and took roughly 2.5 hours without extra stops. The weather threatened and tried to put a stop to the fun, but there’s no holding a MINI down. We saw the scene of a bank robbery in Adel that nearly took the life of an Iowa governor, checked out the site of Bonnie and Clyde’s last bank robbery in Stuart, and learned about Jesse James’ train robbery in Adair.
Although the start was somewhat flexible, everyone had to return to MINI of Des Moines by 4:00pm to draw their fifth and final card to be eligible to win. Willis was been kind enough to provide refreshments for all our road weary historians.