In The BreezeMay 2011Official Newsletter of the Bluebonnet MX-5 Miata ClubStill Free!Miatas Blow Into West TexasBy Craig MartinBeautiful weather on a cool Saturday morning greeted Bluebonnet Miata Club members April 9 as we met atthe Exxon McDonalds at Ralph Fair Road to begin our 3 plus hour journey to the Sweetwater Wind Farm.There couldn’t have been a better day for the long drive for our overnight excursion.Don and Judi Privett lead the 7-car caravan west on IH-10 and up SH83. Along the way, Dave Hamilton madean observation that was embarrassing to us all. Dave may need therapy, but hopefully he’s not having Priusnightmares (what happens in Sweetwater, STAYS in Sweetwater).Traffic was light along SH83, thus giving the drivers a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery and seeing thewild growth of our club’s namesake.We arrived in Winter, stopped for a bite to eat at Dairy Queen and hooked up with Austin and Bluebonnetmembers Jon Frank and Linda Morrow, and Desi and Aimee Erickson from the Austin Club. Jim and BrendaPorter, host and hostess of our weekend meet, run and eat, arrived and Jim lead us on our first run. Jim led ournow 14-car caravan through some winding back roads to our first stop: Lake Sweetwater. After stopping a fewminutes for some photos and learning that at Sweetwater Lake, everyone on the lake has to travel clockwise, weheaded on to the wind farm.We left Lake Sweetwater and headed to the wind farm through more beautiful countryside. Jim led us throughmore back roads, through some hills, and all along the way we could see the windmills getting closer andcloser.We arrived at the AES Wind Generation wind farm early afternoon, and Buffalo Gap team leader Mitchell Kerley treated us to every detail of wind energy production. He gave a very good and thorough briefing. The propellers span the length of a football field and at full production spin at 300 mph! It takes 10 to 11 semi trailersto bring all the parts to the farm, and it takes two cranes to hoist everything into place.Then it was time for the crème de le crème. Mitchell took us right up to a wind mill! How small we were inthis land of the giants! Mere words cannot nearly convey how it felt to be under a windmill. You could hearthe deep “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” as the giant propellers passed overhead at two-second intervals. OurMiatas were dwarfed next to the 10-foot diameter base.From the farm we stopped at our hotel for a short while, and then it was off to Jim and Brenda’s house for abarbeque. What a table of fixins’! Many thanks to Jim and Brenda for opening their home to us. The food andfellowship were great!Many of us met for breakfast Sunday morning, and like everything else, all good things must come to an end,and we headed back to San Antonio. Everyone except Lisa and I left and went on a wine-tasting tour. Lisa andI heading back to San Antonio later in the morning, and we got to meet one of DPS’s finest when he pulled usover just outside of Winter. Fortunately, the officer had noticed the other 5 cars earlier were not speeding, andhe only gave us a warning. Whew!(Photos on page 8!)
MAYPAGE 22011 Club OfficersPresidentBetty [email protected] PresidentJudi tephanie n ty [email protected] [email protected] does it Did we have Spring yet? I swear, I don’tthink I had my windows open at home formore than a week this year! And we’reclose to 100 degree temps already!You can certainly tell it’s Spring for sure,though, as folks are leading runs, gathering for this and that andeven a Twilight Run! What fun!Is your Miata ready too? Have you checked to see if those tiresare ready for our Hill Country twisties? I consider myself aslacker when it comes to checking everything on EZ, but the onething I am careful about is my tires. Gotta have good rubber onthese great highways we have.Just a quick reminder. Be thinking about the Round Up in November and how you may help the Tejas Club in Austin as theyare hosting the 2011 Round Up. Plans are already underway,according to my sources in Austin. I’m sure they’ll do a bang upjob and I’m already excited!Hope to see you on the next run!-EditorNewsletter EditorGeorge [email protected] TalkWelcome New Member!(Returning Member)Keith Caldwell, Helotes, '92 Aurora BlueInside this issue Windfarm in Sweetwater. . .Front PageClub Officers . .2New Member. . . .2EZ does it . 2Jeff Holbrook’s Trash Talk ,,, . . .2Headlights On .3Impromptu Run to find bluebonnets . .4Dave and Marilyn’s BBQ Run . .5Painted Churches Tour Story and Photos. 6, 7Windfarm photos.8Mike and Betty’s Twilight Run. .9Bunny Bizness .10Last month’s Meeting minutes .11Upcoming Runs and Events .Back Page2011By Jeff HolbrookI want to thank the 15 fine club members that cleaned up ourdesignated two mile section of Highway 1863. I think we brokeall records and had the whole section cleaned up, bags collected, and picture taken in 55 minutes. GREAT JOB EVERYONE. I also have to share that we had a virgin on the cleanupcrew that had a hot flash. This was also the first highwaycleanup event for our esteemed club President so she’s not avirgin anymore.Getting finished so quickly put us at Grumpy’s almost 30 minutes early for breakfast but they handled us in short order andwe all got our fill before parting ways to finish our other Saturday projects. Grumpy’s has added a new parking lot so wedidn’t have any trouble finding a spot.Our next highway cleanup is scheduled for July 23rd.
MAY 2011PAGE 3This month, the headlights are on Tom and Sandee LeMastersTom and Sandee LeMasters have been thequintessential club members ever since theyjoined our club three years ago. But I wouldbe remiss if I didn’t point out that lately theyhave been nothing short of what I think clubmembers should be. They’re friendly, funny,thoughtful and above all (this is my favoritetrait in anyone), they’re enthusiastic!Tom and Sandee are dual members of ourclub and their summer season club, theNorthcoast Miata Club in Ohio. Oh, I forgotto mention they have two Miatas. They havea ‘93 White for Texas and a ‘93 Red one forOhio! Now, that’s what I call being prepared!They spend most of their time here in Texasand we’re glad they do. We’ll be losing them for the summer months as they opt for cooler temps inOhio.They almost always show up for most of our runs and have now led their own run, a run to see ourbeloved state flower, the bluebonnet. Sadly, because we’ve had no measurable rain in the last year,the bluebonnet and almost all the other wild flowers, have yet to make their appearance! I’m surethey’ll be leading us on many more runs.Tom and Sandee have also instituted a regular event called Sundaes on Monday. They select an icecream or yogurt store to meet at on the first Monday of each month. They started that about 6months ago and it’s met with great approval! I believe they also do the same run at their otherMiata club as well. Great idea!Below is a photo of Tom with the red one in Ohio and Sandee with the white one they keep here inTexas.I know I speak for the other club members in saying “We’re glad to have you as members of ourBluebonnet Miata Club, Tom and Sandee!”-Editor
PAGE 4M AY 2 01 1The Impromptu Run with the Changing Names.Or, Searching for BluebonnetsBy Sandee LeMastersTom and I had announced that our impromptu run scheduled for Sunday, April 3 would be called the Bluebonnet Rally. Wehad heard about the famous Willow City Loop near Fredericksburg and decided to make that our destination. The Loop, all onprivate property, is renowned for its display of spring wildflowers and even has a website, where we discovered the existenceof The Knot in the Loop Saloon.Using Jimbo Treat’s recommended route-designing website www.motowhere.com, I mapped out a proposed routestarting at the Shell gas station on 281 North that Tom and I had used as our pit stop on the Burgers at Beefy’s Run in January.I was so proud of myself.“No, no. People won’t come all the way up here. We’re going to start at the Exxon station at Ralph Fair Road and I10, where we met for Tim and Ennie’s run last month,” my handsome spouse insisted.“Well, okay,” I whined through clenched teeth, crumbling up my wonderful route. Then thinking of something positive, I said, “This means we can travel that great Crabapple Road where Tim led us.”Tom and I set off on a sunny Wednesday afternoon to dry run our route. We encountered nice winding roads, hills,dips, and beautiful scenery. It was great, except for one thing: we saw a total of six bluebonnets under a creek identificationsign on Willow City Loop. Having driven almost literally into some cattle on the Loop, we decided that if any bluebonnetshad actually grown there despite the drought this season, the cows probably ate them.That evening I sent out a note to our webmaster Don Privett to change the name of the run to the “In Search of aBluebonnet Run.”When Sunday afternoon arrived, a total of six Miatas with 11 drivers/passengers showed up at the starting point:Sharon and Ed Brewster, Dave and Margaret Swartz, Anthony and Cindee Munro, Marilyn McCullen, and Kevin Fein withhis son Bryan followed us out of the driveway to begin our 97-mile run.After crossing Rt. 46 on 3351 in Bergheim, we eventually turned onto Edge Falls Road. A high fence on our rightindicated an exotic animal ranch and, in fact, Tom and I had seen a playful herd of antelope on our dry run. However, theymust have been taking their afternoon nap that Sunday. As we approached each cattle crossing, I warned into the hand-heldradio “cattle guard.” At our 17-mile odometer reading, the Miatas took the sharpest curve Tom said he has ever encountered.Crabapple Road was just as much fun as when Tim took us on it -- lots of curves and dips – and cattle guards. Someone started mooing into his radio at every cattle guard. (We learned it was Bryan, who was having fun carrying out a familytradition.)When we headed up a slight hill and took the left fork onto Rt. 1888, a police car was blocking the right fork. Wefound out on the TV news that night that a murderer had been captured that afternoon on Rt. 1376 – exactly where we wereheading. Oblivious to reality, we enjoyed the wind blowing in our hair and the gorgeous views on Rt. 1888 and then 1376,where we passed the busy Luckenbach entrance.Our pit stop at the Stagecoach Stop at Rt. 290 was a quick one, although some of us took the time to purchase locallygrown/processed food items. The Swartzes left the entourage to enjoy nearby Fredericksburg, but the rest of us headed downRt. 290 to a narrow road named Goehmann Lane. I felt as if I were trespassing as we drove through barnyards with wanderingcattle, goats, sheep – and a lot more cattle guards. It was on this particular road that we decided to rename this route “TheCow Pasture Run.” Goehmann Lane becomes Eberle Lane at some point – probably when we twisted through the Eberle family’s backyard.Our next road was the smooth 1631 and then we turned onto another farm road called Herber-Schaeffer Road, wherewe encountered more loose livestock, lots of curves, dips -- and cattle guards. That led to 1323 that took us into Willow City,which is an actual town with an actual post office!Then with a slight bump, we were on the famous but narrow Willow City Loop, where we saw “private, no stopping”signs, beautiful scenery, a scary drop-off, loose livestock -- yes, more cattle guards -- but few bluebonnets. Although expecting other sightseers, we encountered only a few other vehicles taking in the rustic Texan sights on the 13-mile Loop.The Loop ends on Rt. 16, which we took toward Fredericksburg, but five miles down the road, we turned left, backonto 1323 to pull into the unique The Knot in the Loop Saloon. Owners Robin and Wayne, who live next door to their fulltime enterprise, usually close early on Sundays, but they stayed open just for us. We pulled our tables together, ordered attheir quaint bar, and relaxed from the dust and sun in the cool atmosphere of the rustic saloon. The drive had been exhilarating, the food was good, and the company was extraordinary.Tom and I took a relaxing sunset drive back to Spring Branch, where we realized that all the wildflowers this year aregrowing along 281 North.
M AY 2 01 1PAGE 5Dave and Marilyn’s Bar-B-Q RunOn 6 April, Dave & Marilyn Hamilton led a dinner run to Granzin’s Bar-B-Q in New Braunfels. A total ofeight cars participated. The group was fun and lively. They departed the Miata Valero at 5:45pm for a scenicand interesting 55 minute run prior to dinner. It was a perfect top-down evening. The run covered familiarroads including Krueger Canyon, Mission Valley and Huecco Springs. At a historic spot on Mission ValleyRoad the group slightly paused while Dave detailed a memorable moment from the 1st Full Moon Run. InGruene the group drove past the famous Gruene Dance Hall where part of the movie Michael, with John Travolta, was filmed in 1996. Upon entering New Braunfels the group drove past Gazebo Circle and thru the maindowntown area to Granzin’s where a private party room was waiting. The food portions were generous andreasonable. Marilyn’s favorite was the Bar-B-Q Spud while Dave preferred the Sliced Brisket Sandwich. Itwas announced that it was Tom’s birthday and he was loudly serenaded by his fellow club members. Dave &Marilyn thanked everyone for participating in the run especially since this was the fourth club event in the lastfive days. The happy and well-fed group departed for home as the restaurant closed.
PAGE 6M AY 2 01 1An absolutely gorgeous Spring day greeting a small but enthusiastic group for the revival of the Painted Churches ofTexas tour.We met at somewhere besides the Miata Valero for a changeand to my surprise, no one was confused and found us justfine.Planning this trip was dicey as I changed up the first quarter of the trip to factor in the different starting point. If ithadn’t been for my trusty co-pilot and navigator, I probablywouldn't have been able to pull the run off at all.We took a leisurely (that’s my favorite way) drive throughsoutheast Texas, winding through La Vernia, Stockdale andwound our way to Gonzales. This is where it got very trickyas I didn’t trust my own instincts and pulled over to consultmy trusty Texas Highways book. Well, I should have givenmyself more credit as we were on the right track, after all.Before you knew it, we were at the first church in High Hill.As usual, folks were amazed at the intricate painting in thechurch. Everyone ooh’d and ahh’d, took pictures and enjoyed themselves. Pressing on to the next church, we foundout that there had been much remodeling to revert back to the style it had prior, which was lots ofhand stenciling. They left some of the paint so you could see the differences. It truly was magnificent.From there we went into Schulenburg for lunch and an awesome buffet of down home cooking. Ithink most of us stuffed ourselves in the back room of the Oak Ridge Smokehouse.Only halfway through the tour, we journeyed on for the main driving draw to this trip, the PianoBridge. As we drew closer to the road leading to it, we saw a sign that said “Road Closed”. Well, notletting that stop me, I pressed on only to find out that sign back there should have said “BridgeClosed!” Woefully disappointed, we had to skirt around to get to the next church. While it waspretty, our spirits had been dampened considerably when we found out that the bridge was closedand, after trying to go around a back road to get to the last church, the road on the other side wasclosed as well ! Rats!So, only three churches this trip, not four. Maybe next time?If you want to know more about the Painted Churches of Texas, check out this r
M AY 2 01 1PAGE 7Photos
PAGE 8M AY 2 01 1Wind Farm Photos
M AY 2 01 1PAGE 9Mike and Betty Jackson’s Twilight RunSomething new, to me at least, was this past week’s Twilight Run led by theJacksons. While I’ve only been in the club 4-5 years, I can’t remember a runfrom San Antonio that was meant to be a night time run. Oh sure, I have theLunar Zoomer event, but it’s not a run, per se. The Jacksons came up with ashort but very enjoyable drive up Hwy 16, over to near Pipe Creek, downBump Gate Road and back to San Antonio. It was one of the more enjoyabletimes I’ve had lately with the club and I thank the Jackson’s for coming upwith this new and fresh idea.Now, before we went on this run, we all met at the Dairy Queen in Helotes for eats. I don’t thinkthey were ready for the likes of us because not only did some of their equipment malfunction, theyhad the incorrect price menu up and some of our sharp eyed members caught them charging the nonposted new prices. Serious eaters we are and fooled we won’t be!We had a small groups of about 10 Miatas but given the time of day, it was just the right amount!Paul and Judy Faulkner even made the trip from Yorktown to take part.Thanks again Mike and Betty, it was truly a fine evening.-Editor
PAGE 10M AY 2 01 1New Sponsor!2620 Blanco Road @ Olmos Dr.10% off all parts this locationonly!
M AY 2 01 1PAGE 11Bluebonnet Miata Club Meeting MinutesMarch 22, 2011Submitted by Stephanie Turner, Club secretaryOpen MeetingIntroduction of new members: Craig Schraub 2007 Copper Red.Visitors: Griff WootenReportsTreasurer’s Report: Marilyn McCullen reported that our current checking account balance was The savings account balance is .Membership: Betty Jackson that we have 86 members.Webmaster: Website and Forum are running well.Newsletter: Still Free. Available in paper or on the web.Old BusinessClub Pins are free to new members. 2 for current/old members. See Betty Jackson for more information.Club Stickers are 2 for 5.00. See Betty Jackson for more information.The Bluebonnet Miata Club Business cards are available for members to pass out.Name Badges are available from Betty Jackson upon request. They are 6.50 and due when ordering one.There is a minimum of 5 when ordering.New BusinessMembership directory is in the work. Members need to update information and photos.The Meeting site for April’s Monthly Meeting is still at Big’z Burgers.The Miata Club Cruise information was presented. People are signing up already and it promises to be lots offun. Book early for best prices.Check the website often for impromptu runs.Past Runs and ActivitiesFeb. 27th – Lead Me and Feed Me. Led by Jim Treat. www.motowhere.com was used to help findgood roads.March 5th - Austin Independence Day Parade – Heavy traffic on the way up there. Jim had fun doing donuts.March 7th - Sundaes on Monday. Led by Tom and Sandee LeMasters. Freddy’s in the Quarry. 9 Miatas.March 12th – Hill Country Run to Alamo Springs Café. Led by Tim and Ennie McCurdy. 17 Miatas.March 17th – Lunar Zoomers. Led by George Lucas. At the Quarry Golf Club.March 19th – Grape Creek Vineyard. 9 carsNew Runs and ActivitiesMarch 26th - Gimmick Run with Paul and Judy Faulkner.April 2nd – Trash Pick Up. Led by Jeff HolbrookApril 4th - Sundaes on Monday. Led by Tom and Sandee LeMasters. John and Linda Morrow, andJudi Privett.April 16th – Painted Churches Run. Led by George LucasApril 17th – Lunar Zoomers. Led by George Lucas.April 22nd – Twilight Run. Led by Mike & Betty Jackson.April 26th – Monthly Meeting. Big’z Burgers.New Miata StuffMarilyn McCullen got her seats recovered.George Briscoe put gas in his Miata finally.Dan Hicks Sold his 99 Miata.The Meeting was adjourned. People