Fall has rolled back again and that means it’s time for Fall Drive again, or more specifically “Ken’s 11th Annual Fall Color Drive”, “Leafapalooza”, “Roadster Mania and Run the Dragon” and a few expletives thrown in for good measure. Each October, members of the Atlanta Z3 Roadster Club and usually some from the North and South Carolina clubs join up in Maggie Valley, North Carolina for a few days of fun and fellowship that culminates in an all day Saturday drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway and various tributary roads through the mountains to look at fall colors in their finest reds, yellows and oranges. Anywhere from 25 to 50 BMW roadsters will go in caravan, radio headset equipped and spend the day tearing up some serious mountain roads, tops down and all.
My mother, being the speed possessed person that she is has been doing this for nearly the entire time this has been in existence and I am now on my fifth pilgrimage to commune with nature, visit with good friends and enjoy some seriously good food on the way. First stop on this annual outing is an overnight stay at the famous Dillard House in (where else?) Dillard Georgia.
The Dillard House is as far north in Georgia as you can get without running into the state of North Carolina and it is known for it’s food, plain and simple. In fact, it’s the finest example of Southern Cuisine this side of Buckner’s in Jackson, Georgia. The difference is that Buckner’s doesn’t happen to have a hotel attached to it (give them time). Not that the Dillard House accommodations are anything to write home about. It certainly isn’t five star. In fact, it isn’t even a one star or a half moon for that matter. But it is clean and affordable and in close proximity to the DINING Hall and that’s the business end of this place. The Rock House is the oldest part of the place and was, I think, an original boarding house 100 years ago when it was built. The last major renovation added electricity and running water (which may be the reason the floor in the lobby is vibrating like one of those beds you put quarters in since the water pipe is right under it. My lavish bedroom is about 7 by 9 and includes a wrought iron bed that is about a foot shorter than I am, a sink, and a small tv-plus a bathroom you share with the next room. Primitive indeed but very clean and practical. The food makes it all worthwhile and the scenic vistas of the valley it resides in surrounded by majestic mountains and cool fall air are just icing on the cake. Dinner is served in a large dining room with glass picture windows that open up onto all this grandeur and is served in vast quantities all at once. Much of it is still grown locally, on Dillard land or by the Jolly Green Giant if it can’t be obtained here. Meats, lots of vegetables, breads and desserts will leave you hurting and happily miserable for hours. I am looking forward to dinner tonight! More to follow tomorrow on the annual adventure!