Birthday Greetings from the Ottawa Valley 1997
Words,images and HTML by Jeff Berg
Ottawa Valley Land Rovers
14th Annual Birthday Party
Silver Lake, Ontario
June 20-23, 1997
So Much Fun You'll Wet Yourself!
That's how my invitation to the 1997 OVLR Birthday Party read. Of course they didn't need to tell me, I was there last year ! There was no question I'd go back to Silver Lake for the festivities again this year. . .
Some birthday's are all about quiet contemplation. Others are for getting together with a group friends. But every now and then you just have to celebrate with an all out bash. Of course if you're the Ottawa Valley Land Rovers (OVLR), every year's Birthday Party is a gathering of epic proportions.
Friday morning the Empire Rover Owners Society (EROS) contingent gathered. Jeff Meyer, Eric Zipkin (joined by his lovely new friend Ann) and I were to rendezvous with Bill Caloccia in Saratoga Springs, NY. Once we'd found Bill at the the correct Stewarts Store at the (correct) intersection of Routes 28 and 9A (he was using the time to install a stereo in his Series ride) we all proceeded north. We didn't get very far before we were pulled to the side of the road by a waving Mike Liodice. Mike would be leaving for the event later in the day. While exchanging pleasantries, we attracted the attention of a local policeman who thought we must be broken down. After assuring him that the smoke and leaking oil was normal we were allowed to proceed to the border.
Nobody had any problems at the border and we arrived at Silver Lake around 6pm. Dixon Kenner was already there so we grabbed ice-cold beers from the Offroad Beer Cooler (a military trailer converted into a giant, mobile Igloo) and began making the rounds, reintroducing ourselves to folks from last year and making new friends.
|| Spencer Norcross was excited to (finally!) pick up his venerable Lugnut Award. Spenny won the award for tricking Eric Zipkin into towing The Wayback Machine from Boston up to Vermont under the guise that the transmission was blown and needed replacement. The blown transmission turned out to be a loose bolt. Eric's efforts didn't go un rewarded either. Zippy received the equally prestigious Towball Award.
The mobile club store was open for business so we took advantage of the exchange rate to stock up on pins, grille badges, hats and t-shirts. Spencer designed another limited edition, commemorative Birthday Party shirt. This year it featured a photo of Zippy's truck at last year's water crossing with the party theme So much fun you'll wet yourself printed boldly across the top. Of course we had to buy several as gifts.
Meyer elected to camp on site. The rest of us decided we wanted showers and porcelain so we headed to the nearby Provincial Park to check in. Bill and I found ourselves located just over from Russ Wilson, Jon Humphery and the rest of the Pennsylvania gang and as soon as we had pitched our tents we were sitting around their fire shooting the breeze.
Eventually we headed out for dinner. It took some searching because most places in the area close at 8PM. We finally found a pizza joint and took a seat at one of the tables. Once the pizza was ready, we were informed that we couldn't eat at the tables. Undaunted, we headed out to the parking lot, dropped my tailgate, and broke out the camping chairs.
Our hunger satiated, we went back to Pennsylvania North for more beer and breeze. One thing about the Canadian Park Service rangers, they're very tolerant of obtrusive Americans. Every time they came over to ask us to please try to keep the noise level down, they were extremely polite. Had we been in Yosemite, I figure we'd all be rotting in jail by now. Finally everyone drifted off to bed as the real festivities began the next day .