Upstate Area - March Drive & Dine
March 15, 2014
By John Budinich
Photographs by Peter Wrenn

The Upstate Area had another great Drive & Dine tour on March 15. The tour was planned and arranged by Upstate Area member Robert Rainer and we toured through the Northeast portion of the Upstate Area in Spartanburg and York counties. We would like to thank Robert for all the effort he put forth to make this tour happen.

Pre Start Driver Meeting
Pre Start Driver Meeting

The group was greeted with sunny and mild weather, so the tops went down early on the cabriolets in the group. Anticipation ran high for a great day with friends and a great drive. In all, 26 members in 14 vehicles participated in the event. The day started with the group gathering at Starbucks on North Pine Street in Spartanburg for breakfast, coffee or just to get caught up. We reviewed the rules for the day, signed the appropriate waivers and went over the planned route. We had three walkie-talkies and they were used by Robert (lead car), Steve Forsstrom (mid-pack) and me (sweeper) to help keep the group together as we negotiated the stoplights and turns leaving Spartanburg. The radios were a great help and we had no problems keeping the group together throughout the tour. I want to thank Porsche of Greenville for donating the radios to the Upstate Area.

We headed out from Starbucks and regrouped about 5 miles down the road at an Ingle's parking lot. This helped keep the group together through the many traffic lights that tend to break a large group apart. From there, we drove to the historic Glendale Mills area on some scenic two-lane roads. We traveled along the Pacolet River on Goldmine Road on our way to Pacolet Mills. Crossing the River, we traveled along SC 215 with a view of pre-civil war plantations and panoramic vistas overlooking the farmland and rolling hills. We then drove through Hickory Grove on our want to Sharon, SC for a planned break.

Group Photo
Group Photo
Mingling During The Break
Mingling During The Break
Stop Break In Sharon
Stop Break In Sharon
One Impressive Lineup
One Impressive Lineup

We stopped in Sharon at the Sharon Baptist Church parking lot. While there, we took a group photo, some photos of the cars and enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers. As we were talking, Dr. Samuel Murphy, the church's pastor, came out to see what was going on. Dr. Murphy was very interested in the cars and asked questions about the club. He spoke to a number of members about their cars, assisted us with directions to the restaurant and stated his parking lot never looked so good.

After our stop in Sharon, we picked up the "Old English District" scenic byway along SC 49. We followed this route and then merged onto SC 161. This took us into York, SC and our lunch stop at The Garden Cafe. The Cafe arranged a private dining room for our group’s enjoyment. Everyone commented on how good the food was and the service was good as well, considering 26 of us were seated at the same time. I was not alone in saying it would be worth the trip to dine there again.

Lunch At Garden Cafe
Lunch At Garden Cafe
Parked for Lunch
Parked for Lunch

After lunch, a few of the participants left the tour to head back for soccer games and other commitments. The balance of the group headed north on SC 161 towards King's Mountain National Park. We stopped at the visitor's center and had a chance to soak in the history of the area. The road in and out of the park was tailor made to enjoy our Porsches with the gentle curves and rolling hills. The Visitor's Center at the park was the official end of the tour. After saying our goodbyes, people headed back to Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson and points in between. A few of us took the opportunity to stop at the outlet mall in Gaffney as it was on the way home on I-85.

At Kings Mountain Park
At Kings Mountain Park

Thanks again to Robert Rainer for putting the tour together, making sure the route was fun & interesting and for finding a gem of a restaurant in York, SC. I also want to thank Peter Wrenn for the photos that accompany this article and all of the others he took of the tour. We will be sharing the photos at our next monthly meeting. Finally, I want to thank the Upstate Area members for making these tours so much fun. I am looking forward to late spring, which is the planned time to hold our next Drive & Dine Tour. If you have any suggestions for a route or destination, let me know and you can help make it happen.

Remember, the best way to enjoy your Porsche is to go out with good friends and drive it as it was meant to be drive.

Enjoy,

John

John Budinich
Upstate Area Director
Carolinas Region PCA