Cruise to the Capital - Day by Day

Photo for Cruise to the Capital - Day by Day

Eleven cars completed the Cruise to the Capital from Victoria, BC, to Ottawa, ON, to participate in GT-39. The Cruise was a NAMGAR Regional Event organized by members of the Canadian Classic MG Club of Vancouver.


Day 1 - July 4th

The Start. Four cars were flagged off at noon from the BC Legislature in Victoria, BC, by the Acting Mayor – Len & Bonnie Smith in a 1959 MGA, Stephen Spenst in a 1959 MGA (left us in Sicamous), Jennifer Orum in a 1970 MGB and David Sell and Bud Kirk (from Seattle) in his 1970 MGB. The starting group then drove to “Mile 0” of the Trans-Canada Highway, where they were joined by members of the Victoria MG Club, and escorted to the ferry terminal. That night, the Cruise participants, and forty of their friends from the Canadian Classic MG Club, had dinner together in Surrey. Days mileage – 72 miles. Accumulative mileage – 72 miles (including a ferry).

BC LegislatureOn the steps of the BC Legislature

Mile 0Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway

Friday Night's DinnerSome of the cars at Friday night's dinner

Friday Night's DinnerFriday Dinner at the Roadhouse Grille

Day 2 – July 5th

Seventeen cars drove to Sicamous, BC, via Kamloops where members of the Okanagan MG Club produced a fabulous lunch for more than 35 people at the home of NAMGAR members, Ken & Lorraine Finnegan. The homemade cherry pie was “to live for”. Along the way, the cars were photographed for the Merrritt Herald. Days mileage – 313 miles. Accumulative mileage – 385 miles.

Photo Op MerrittPhoto Op in Merritt, BC

MGAs at the Finnegans

FinnegansKen & Lorraine Finnegan

Day 3 – July 6th

Eight cars continued to Strathmore, AB – four MGAs, three MGBs, and one Jaguar. In Strathmore we had dinner with members of the MG Club of Calgary, and Tom Hutcheson, the Hagerty representative for Alberta. The next morning, prior to leaving the hotel, the Hagerty rep supplied various items for our trip – bottled water, sunglasses, hats, gum, sunscreen, etc. Days mileage – 328 miles. Accumulative mileage – 713 miles.

Rocky MountainsThe Rocky Mountains in BC

Calgary MG ClubDinner with the Calgary MG Club

Day 4 – July 7th

Strathmore, AB to Swift Current, SK – not much to report – road was straight and flat! And it was very windy! In Swift Current we said farewell to the Jaguar, which returned to Vancouver. Along with the 3 starters from Victoria, this included Steve & Sheila Kaufman in their 1960 MGA, Peter & Anne Tilbury in their 1956 MGA Roadster, Bobbi Tafaro and Vicki Bell in their 1977 MGB, Tony Cox and Tom Tyre in their 1962 MGA Mk II Days mileage – 288 miles. Accumulative mileage – 1,001 miles.


Day 5 – July 8th

Now we were seven cars. The day was spent driving across Saskatchewan, and our first “incident”. An MGA windscreen was cracked by a rock thrown up by a passing truck. We visited the Al Capone tunnels in Moose Jaw, and drove through “Dog River”, home of the Canadian TV series “Corner Gas”. The hotel that night was in Estevan, SK. Days mileage – 259 miles. Accumulative mileage – 1,260 miles.

Dog RiverRouleau, SK, aka "Dog River"

Day 6 – July 9th

We crossed the US border at North Portal, ND without problems. We stopped in Rugby, ND – the geographical center of North America. What does this mean – if you had a map of Canada, the US, and Mexico glued to a sheet of cardboard, and cut out around the coastlines, the map would balance in Rugby! After arrival in Grand Forks we visited a restored gas station on the grounds of the Myra Museum. That night in Grand Forks, ND, we met up with members of the Minnesota MG Group. Days mileage – 327 miles. Accumulative mileage – 1,587 miles.

Rugby, NDMGAs in Rugby

Restored Gas StationThe Smiths at the restored gas station

Day 7 – July 10th

We drove with Minnesota MG owners from Grand Forks, ND, to Duluth, MN. On the way, we visited Paul Bunyan and his blue ox in Bemidji. Dinner was with the Minnesota MG Group was at “Grandma’s” in Duluth. Iris and Ken Langford from Fort Worth, TX, joined us in Duluth, but unfortunately their MGA was not with them. Days mileage – 264 miles. Accumulative mileage – 1,851 miles.

Paul Bunyan and AbePaul Bunyan and Babe

Minnesota MG GroupDinner with the Minnesota MG Group

Day 8 – July 11th

Duluth, MN to Munising, MI – it rained all day! ‘Nuff said. Days mileage – 298 miles. Accumulative mileage – 2,149 miles.

RainRain, rain and more rain

Day 9 – July 12th

We re-entered Canada at Sault Ste Marie. The locks there allow ships to pass between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Past NAMGAR President, Tim Coyne, and his wife Sue, hosted a barbeque for the group at their cottage. The number of cars increased to eleven with the Coynes in their 1960 MGA, Ed Sass & Colleen Quinn from Wisconsin in their 1957 MGA, Jim and Nancy Lowda from New Jersey in their 1967 MGB, and Murray & Sharon Shantz from Unionville, Ontario in their 1958 MGA. We then drove to the small but clean, Massey Motel for the night stop, where a coil packed it in on an MGA. Days mileage – 259 miles. Accumulative mileage – 2,408 miles.

The Soo LocksThe Soo Locks

Cars at the CoynesCars at the Coyne's BBQ

Coyne's BBQA Welcome Break from Driving

Day 10 – July 13th

Massey to Pembroke, ON, via the “big nickel” in Sudbury. We saw a black bear in the forest in Petawawa. An MGA suffered a puncture. Days mileage – 270 miles. Accumulative mileage – 2,678 miles.

The Big NickelThe Big Nickel

Day 11 – July 14th

We had an easy drive into Ottawa where we were first “assembled” at the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the Ottawa Senators ice hockey team. Then we were escorted in convoy to the host hotel for GT-39, to be greeted with whistles and cheers from the GT-39 organizers. This day we drove just 94 miles, but the total mileage from Victoria was 2,772 miles (about 4,460 kms). We made it!

Group at the Canadian Tire Centre

While Hagerty Insurance provided free Roadside Assistance to the C2C participants, we are pleased that no one needed to avail themselves of this service.

We'd like to thank the photographers whose photos appear in this article: Steve & Sheila Kaufman, Tony Cox, Jennifer Orum, Stephen Spenst, Dave Sell, and Peter & Anne Tilbury.

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Reader Comments (3)

Picture of Steve O
Steve O (Manassas, VA)
on August 12, 2014 10:32am
I'm an old friend of Dave Sell and he passed this on to me. Looks like you had a great trip ... thanks for sharing!
Picture of George M. Kress
George M. Kress (Gibsonia, PA)
on August 16, 2014 1:43am
Looks like fun. Sorry that I missed it. There is always next time.
Picture of Bayard Denoie
Bayard Denoie (Honesdale, PA)
on October 19, 2014 7:11am
Cannot count how many times I have read this adventure, or know how many more times I will re-read, but what a marvelous experience. Perhaps next time! Thanks for letting us share.

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Last updated on August 13, 2014.