Caravan to Cuyahoga

Spring Midwest Willys Reunion 2013, Part 2


The morning of Sunday, 19 May, many of the Jeeps that had been brought longer distances to Hudson, had to be loaded up for the long drive home. But about 20 drivers pulled their Jeeps into a line in the parking lot, for the scheduled cruise through nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The Park is a treasure trove of both scenery and cultural history, and here are some of my photos from the drive. See also my earlier photos from Friday and Saturday at the Reunion. -- Derek Redmond

Bob Christy is going to lead the parade in his CJ-3B, with Mindy as navigator. Gerald Oswald pulls in right behind him, and following the two high hoods is a diverse collection of Jeeps.

Sebastian Lobo-Guerrero (left) says his 3B has a bit of an overheating problem so he's not bringing it on the drive, but he poses for a CJ3B Page group photo with Bob, Gerald (right) and Roseanna and me in the middle, under Gerald's new Beachwood summer top.

Roseanna and I take the option of riding in the luxury of Eric Dunlop's beautifully restored station wagon. Here Dennis Caraway chats with Eric and checks out all the comfort features of the interior.

Cuyahoga Valley Park is full of hilly and winding roads, but it's not a wilderness area. There's agricultural and commercial activity, and industrial history that makes it the perfect place for a Willys parade.

But there is also plenty of natural beauty, and our first stop is one of the best-known spots, Brandywine Falls. Everybody who feels like making the short hike in to the falls, poses for a group photo.

After that first stop, I jump into the back of Bob's Jeep at the head of the line, to take some pictures looking back. Bill Ringeisen gets this shot of me from the front seat of Gerald's 3B.

We pull out from Brandywine Falls Road onto West Highland, going over and under a network of bike trails that follow old railways and canal towpaths. Gerald's radials look great on the hardtop, and behind him is Bill Norris in his 2A, and Roseanna riding in Eric's wagon.

Next stop is a Pure gas station that Cuyahoga Valley National Park has frozen in time, with a price on the pump of 29 cents (for premium!) The FC looks right at home in front of the M.D. Garage, named for proprietor Marjan Dzerzynski, who passed away in 1965.

Luzon Red or President Red, for five decades red has been a popular color for Jeeps. This is Carl Ruetz's recently-painted 1946 CJ-2A and Steve Herbert's 1982 Scrambler.

Mindy Christy grabs this shot of me trying to get a high angle photo, while Bill Ringeisen stays clear. And the morning is warming up, so Bill Norris has the air conditioning activated on his 2A now.

Down the road, we run into a fellow Canadian; this Alco FPA-4 was purchased in 1993 from Canadian National Railways, by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which is a huge attraction in the Park.

The excursion railway runs 51 miles along the river, and parallels the road here. The 1963 Jeep heads south while the locomotive built in Montreal in 1959 heads north.

Another stop, in a parking lot near the tracks, and I grab a shot of Monica Fritch admiring Doug Timme's 1948 2A and matching 1948 Bantam trailer. I only find out later that the Jeep has an F-head engine with a side draft carburetor conversion, so I miss the opportunity to get a picture of that.

Checking out Bob Christy's F-head with its newly-installed governor (200K JPEG) is Bill Ringeisen (left), with Bob, Dave Zibrat, Eric Dunlop and Kevin Banonis, who's wearing the 2013 Reunion T-shirt (which he probably got for free, because he designed it.)

We get everybody to pull up close together for a nice photo of the whole lineup (370K JPEG).

The passenger with the shortest legs is Ali, riding in John and Patty Waddle's CJ-3A.

We ask John and Patty to park next to Gerald so we can recreate Kevin's drawing (100K JPEG).

The two Jeeps make a nicely matched pair with their front winches, grey tops and black headlight rings.

With the hoods up, I get a picture of the F-head and L-head engines together.

Then it's time to head back to the Clarion Inn to load the Jeeps and check out.

When we're finally ready to leave, the only Jeep left in the parking lot is Bob Gibbs' high-hood Surrey. We realize that we haven't met Bob all weekend, but Roseanna can't resist climbing in for a farewell picture.

On the way back to Ontario, we spend a couple of nights in Ithaca NY, heaven for somebody like Roseanna who loves waterfalls. This is Taughannock Falls; 215 ft. high, but not a lot of water flowing this year.

Thanks to Bob Christy and Dennis Caraway and all the Reunion staff, as well as all the attendees who helped make this event a great Reunion. Hope to be there again next year. -- Derek Redmond

See photos from previous Spring Willys Reunions on CJ3B.info.

For more on past and future events, see the Midwest Willys Jeep Reunions website.

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Last updated 8 June 2013 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond