Portland

Portland Section

Cruise the Crater

Cruise the Crater

Portland
Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 6:00pm to Saturday, June 22, 2019 - 2:00pm
Rouge River, Oregon
Oregon

A few of Portland section members had a great visit to southern Oregon visiting Crater Lake and seeing Blue Nelson and his magnificent car and motorcycle collection. In attendance was a w116 chassis 6.9, r129 SL600, W111 Cabrio 3.5, W203 C55, w212 e350 wagon, r107 560SL, W126 300SEL, W166 350ML. A great array of the last 50 years history of Mercedes-Benz!  The journey started on a Thursday an evening was enjoyed at board member Jim and Kirsten Hendershot’s wonderful home overlooking the Rouge River. On Saturday we all met up and traveled to Lake of the Woods Resort for lunch. I haven’t been in probably 15 years and it is a wonderful place I highly recommend. Following Highway 140 to Highway 62 with spectacular views of Mt McLoughlin on a sunny mild day. As we approached the south gates to enter the park, we all got attacked by mosquitos. So, we all jumped back in our cars and put up the windows and ventured on. We made it to the rim village at Crater Lake and it was a gorgeous day and the bugs were not present! We all stayed a while and enjoyed the dark blue water and the view of Wizard Island. As we left, we made the decision to take the north route out for some photo opportunities. This route is closed in the winter and spring and there is still a lot of snow we got lucky and it was open. On the way to dinner, we traveled through Prospect stopping to get gas which was non-ethanol. A few of us filled up! We continued on 62 to back toward Medford. The rolling fills and shaded areas were great. Our dinner destination was The Schoolhaus Brewhaus. Great traditional southern German cuisine and a multitude of beers. I highly recommend if you haven’t been. This is also the location of the annual Brit Festival that’s is very popular. We all indulged in an array of German desserts too. We all took the back-route back to Rouge River at the hotel. A spectacular first day!Day two started at the hotel with a light breakfast then meeting at Jim Hendersot’s business located next door to the hotel in Rouge River. We headed out to Blue Nelson place. Blue is the caretaker to many significant cars notably the ‘Brauner Benz’ as featured in the Star magazine last Nov/Dec. I first met Blue when he brought the famed w123 to Legends of the Autobahn last year. We have a lot of mutual friends and I was aware of Blue for years. As we approached the location, we were treated by a few cars lined up in front of Blue’s place and an artist painting a picture of the Brauner Benz’ and a few other cars like a red sunroof Ponton, a well worn w123 touring and other Mercedes-Benz. We were treated to a few stories of some significant Porsche 356, Mercedes, and German motorcycles. One car of note was a w115 couple Blue found in LA. He met the owner late at night and was interested in the car. He took it on a short test drive and bought it. Upon looking at the VIN he realized it had a lot of zeros followed the 7. Well, it turned out the first 9 coupes where show cars brought to the US to introduce the successor to the w111 coupe. This was one of 2 cars brought to LA. Car #7! It is all original with its paint and interior. It is a very nice drivers’ example with a lot of history. One thing Blue told us that Saturday was the cars he keeps and maintains all have a story and connection to history and the owners. Blue promised to get is all a print of the painting his friend was making as a remembrance of the day. We then headed out for lunch at a great car-themed restaurant overlooking the Rouge River. We all had long chats about the trip and the cars. I think there was some great friendship made on this trip and everyone said how much they enjoyed the couple days. I think we need to plan more trips like this!! Personally, I will never forget this trip and the people.

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