Upstate Area Fall Drive & Dine
November 1, 2011
By John Budinich

The Upstate Area held its Fall Drive & Dine tour on October 2nd. The group gathered at Protech in Greenville, SC at 8:30 am to get organized and to fill out the necessary paperwork. The members on hand took the opportunity to get caught up with old friends, get reacquainted or meet new members on their first tour. The morning was crisp and sunny and the weather outlook was just right for a drive through the mountains

The tour started at 9:00 and the group of 20 people in 11 Porsches headed out for Highlands, NC. We had two stops to regroup, stretch our legs and continue conversations between our starting point and Highway 11. The sight of the 11 Porsches all in line on Highway 11 was impressive and we received a number of “thumbs up” from drivers heading in the opposite direction. We left Highway 11 and headed north on Route 130. This road gave the group the opportunity to enjoy the uphill climb and the many gentle curves heading to Route 64 near Cashiers. This was a good warm-up for the more challenging roads facing the group after lunch.

Once past Cashiers, we arrived at our lunch destination, Southern Bells Restaurant, just outside of Highlands. Sherri, one of the owners and our host, greeted us as we pulled into the parking lot. She made numerous positive comments as she checked out all of the Porsches. She welcomed us all and had a separate area of the dining room just for our group. We had a long table that accommodated all of us so we could all be a part of the conversation. After lunch the group headed into the town of Highlands. This gave everyone an opportunity to do some shopping, check out the scenery and walk off lunch prior to getting back on the road. The temps in Highlands were in the high 50’s, which kept us from getting sleepy after a big lunch.

At about 1:50 pm the group headed out of Highlands on Route 28. Route 28 is a very feisty and challenging road that heads south out of North Carolina, through Georgia and into South Carolina. As the tour took place on a Sunday, the road had very little traffic and we were only held up twice by vehicles not up to the “Porsche friendly” curves. Both times those vehicles used one of the pullouts alongside the road and let our group continue on our way. The group stayed together through all of the twists and turns and took a quick break in Walhalla, SC. This stop allowed the convertibles in the group to lower their roofs to enjoy the abundant sunshine and the warmer temperatures in the low 70’s.

We followed Routes 183 and 130 around lakes Keowee and Hartwell through Clemson and into Historic Pendleton, SC. We stopped in the Pendleton town square for a quick break and to take some pictures. We then headed out on the final stretch of back roads to Anderson, SC and our final destination, the Marble Slab Creamery ice cream shop. They have outdoor seating and the group ate their decedent ice cream creations and talked for a while to recap the day and start talking about other upcoming events and the next Drive & Dine.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day with great weather, great roads, great cars and especially great friends. We all agreed that a Drive & Dine is a perfect way to enjoy our Porsches and socialize at the same time. Until the next time...