Minnesota Vipers

Fall Colors from a Snake's Eye

Posted by: MN VOA on 12/24/2019

Highway Engineers in Minnesota appear to be an ambitious sort. They shut down highways for months and even years to straighten turns and eliminate hills. If you like putting your car on cruise control and taking a nap, Minnesota is the place to be!

Highway Engineers in Wisconsin are cut from another fabric. They’re seemingly much too busy drinking beer and cheering on the Packers to be bothered with what’s happening on the roadways. Their motto is clearly: “Just pave it!” Big tree in the way? Go around it. Steep hills in the plan? Go over them. In the upper Midwest you’d be hard-pressed to find better roads for snakes to slither than in Western Wisconsin!

Go East Young Reptile

When the group from MN VOA wants to have a windy, rollercoaster-type cruise we engage our Western Wisconsin members and head East. Luckily, club Treasurer and Wisconsinite Mitch Janusch was happy to oblige the gang for our annual Fall Color Cruise. “I’ve lived in this area for quite a while. In Minnesota there are about three or four good roads to cruise. In Wisconsin, it is unlimited!”

Rain had been looming over the area for the entire week before the cruise. In fact, the cruise was set to be on Saturday, but as many inches were falling that day, the club brass decided it would be best to move the cruise to Sunday. Luckily, the rain cleared out and club members awoke Sunday morning to bright sunshine—the perfect day for a Viper cruise!

Tremendous Turnout

With the date change it was thought that the turnout might be on the shy side. However, the beautiful day charmed the snakes out of their pits—with a total of 18 by the time of the cruise. While that may not seem like a big cruise to some of the more populous clubs, the MN VOA membership stands at 56, with members in five states and Canada. Having 18 cars attend a cruise is about one third of the members.

Matt McCarron started the cruise until we crossed the Wisconsin border, where Mitch took over. We may have been out to see the Fall colors, but most members had to keep their eyes focused keenly on the road as the twists and turns, ups and downs were abundant. Dr. Ron Osborn, MN VOA track Czar commented, “Not only did we have a beautiful day, the roads were very scenic and the cruise was certainly spirited. On the plus side, the only other vehicle on most of the roads was a Viper—no Corvettes or Porsches slowing us down like they do on the track!”

It’s Never Really Over

Lunch was at the Village Pizzeria in Dresser, Wisconsin. Afterward several members had to get on with the day, so the group parred down to 5 cars for a stop at Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour in Afton, Minnesota. Selma’s is the oldest ice cream shop in Minnesota, dating back to the early 1900s in a building used for ammunition storage during the Civil War. Mike Gresser treated all to an ice cream treat, “The people of this club do so much for me and my friend Gretchen. I’m happy when I can give back.”

After ice cream it was time to say our goodbyes. The 2019 driving season may be over in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, but the fond memories will last a lifetime!