COG's 2009 National Rally Shiftin n Grinnin
June 8 - 11, 2009
Fontana Village Resort
The Southeast Region of the Concours Owners Group was greatly pleased to host the 2009 National Rally, `Shiftin n Grinnin'. The site included western North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee, and northeastern Georgia. Now if you are wondering why three states are listed, Tennessee is less that two miles north of the site, and Georgia is less than 70 miles south of the rally site. This tri state corner hosts some of the most notable and challenging roads east of the Mississippi: Deal's Gap, Tail of the Dragon, Cherohala Skyway, Foothills Parkway, Blue Ridge Parkway, and a lot more. That is the main reason we named it `Shiftin n Grinnin”. In addition to all of the paved roads, there are even more dual sport type roads and trails. In short, this area is riding heaven.
If the two pictures above got your interest, that is North Carolina's Highway 28. This was almost the only way in or out of the hosting resort, Fontana Village Resort. The resort has accommodations that range from lodge rooms, suites, 1 to 3 bedroom cabins, a campground for tents and RV's. Iron Butt Al Norcross headed up the campground and from what I heard, there was a party every night.
For activities on site, there were two outdoor swimming pools, one indoor pool, a game room, a billiard room, basketball courts, tennis courts, hiking trails, bicycling, skateboarding, disc golf, putt putt golf, horseshoes, shuffleboard, craft shop, fishing, playgrounds, and a day spa. Other activities nearby were: whitewater rafting, golf, a full service marina with rentals of all types, and also a stable for horseback riding. There was no shortage of things to do. This was one great site for a family vacation and many did just that, brought the family.
Ken Ford, our Executive Director, planned out a good number of road routes and all I can say at this point, they were fantastic. He also planned a dual sport rides that took in historical paths along with some amazing scenery. We tried to get an ERC setup for those who need to brush up on their riding skills but ended up with something that allowed many more to practice their riding skill. The “Thanks” for that goes to Vic Salisbury, the Southeast Area Director.
There was a Monday evening Social, an event to meet and greet. Needless to say the room was almost full. Later in the week there was a `Women's Breakfast', hosted by Marcia Ford and Brenda Hess. Gary Murphy, of “Murph’s Kits”, hosted an Ice Cream Social one afternoon, a great event. Former Southeast Area Director Larry Buck hosted a Bike Show Contest that was a great draw for the crowd. Then Thursday evening was the Banquet, a meal not to be missed. Ted Adcock, our Slave Labor, was there along with the OTP visitor. Bob Sherwood, Vic Salisbury, and others got a big bunch of prizes and gifts for the Awards Program after the banquet dinner. Guy Young was honored with a Lifetime Membership along with several other awards. One award was a golden “J” box.
The weather was better than expected, only a few short showers throughout the entire event. The resort lies in one of the largest forested areas in the east, cell phones do not work. Having to ride to call home often proved to be an unwelcome venture for several, but also several others liked the fact that work and home was out of easy reach.
Geographically, Fontana Village Resort is 62 miles south of Knoxville, TN, 95 miles west of Asheville, NC, 126 miles east of Chattanooga, Tn, and 178 miles north of Atlanta, GA. The Great Smokey Mountain National Park was just across the river from the resort.
A team of SouthEast COG volunteers worked hard to make this a memorable experience. Again, I want to express my “Thanks” to all those who gave a hand, you did GREAT! A special “Thanks” goes to Calvin Underwood (a former Southeast Area Director and Rallymeister of the “Mountain Do”) and Vic Salisbury (current Southeast Area Director) for their invaluable assistance. That is what makes COG such a great organization. As the saying goes, you may join for the bike, but you will stay for the people.