October 26, 2007
Text and Photos by: Kris Hansen
On October 14th a group of Audi enthusiasts from all over New England – and as far as New York – converged in Holyoke, MA for an unforgettable fall drive.
Event organizer Vijay Gandevia scripted a route that lead the tour over some of the most enjoyable driving roads around. The group would head through beautiful towns of various sizes, farm land, valleys and winding mountain roads on its way north through Massachusetts to the ultimate destination in Stratton, VT.
The skies on this day were partly cloudy, the air was chilly, but the mood was warm and with a typical Audi-upbeat feel. It was clear that people were anxious to hit the road and have some fun.
Departing the Holyoke Mall parking lot at 8:15am, the group of around 25 Audis paraded up the highway for a few miles before exiting to begin the journey on rural roads. We ended up at the rear of the pack which served a dual purpose. Knowing we were severely outgunned by some of the others in attendance, we did not want to hold anybody back from having fun when prudent. Also, being the caboose allowed us to really soak up the whole experience with a great vantage point. Overall the group was very well behaved – there were no bad incidents to report.
It was clear that our tour was drawing a bit of attention from people along the route with the expected stops and stares. In actuality we strived to not attract any negative attention, even going as far as to split our large group into two smaller groups through a couple of small towns per Vijay’s excellent plan.
The pace of the trek was spirited, but we didn’t get the feeling that anybody was feeling pushed along the way. We also had several points where we stopped to regroup, which was nice for the slower people or those who had been cut off from the group for some reason. Drivers seemed to fit in line where they felt they would be most comfortable. Several of the group even stopped to do some shopping at one very interesting roadside shop, which just happened to be a landmark on the route notes.
Entering into Vermont we started to see more and more fall color on the trees. The roads adopted a more twisty nature, and approaching Stratton even less crowded. We heard stories over lunch at the Stratton base area that would make a State Trooper’s hair curl (no names mentioned to protect the “innocent”), but as we finally found our way to the group and parked the scent of cooked brakes was permeating the air all around. Suffice it to say, the road was fun – REALLY fun.
This event was a HUGE sucess, thanks to the hard work of Vijay Gandevia and his helpers who worked together to iron out the route. It was clear that Vijay was thrilled with the turnout.
“What struck me in particular about this event was the diversity of cars present. Old, brand new, stock, heavily modded, sedans, Avants, coupes, convertibles. I’m willing to bet that almost every variant of the modern Audi motor was represented. It was a diverse participant group too. Male and female, from two months of age (yes, you read correctly) to around 60 years. Apparently, the baby loved it while we were hitting it on the twisties, and started to cry when mom and dad’s Allroad came to a stop at the end!”
We’re already looking forward to the next New England event, Vijay has told us that he’s got some new ideas up his sleeve. Stay tuned for next year!
- Photo Gallery: New England Fall Trek 2007
- New England Discussion Forum