Last Saturday, August 6th, members of the Twin Cities Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club got together for a casual ‘road rally’ known as “The Vino in the Valley Scavenger Rally”. The Event is based at “Vino in the Valley,” a vineyard and outdoor pavilion restaurant in Maiden Rock, WI. Our event hosts, for the second year in a row, were Ken Arenson and Julie Winger. They did a great job organizing this year’s event. (more photos below).
The event itself is very casual and, basically, a good excuse to get out and drive your Mercedes-Benz vehicle with friends, old and new, on the back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin. There were a number of places, local businesses, each two person team had to navigate to. At each location you’d have someone from the business stamp or initial the rally form and off you’d go to the next place. It wasn’t a race of any kind… the first team back to Vino in the Valley just had to wait longer for lunch.
Stops included the Red Wing Shoe Company in Red Wing, MN, The Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery in Maiden Rock, WI, as well as the Crazy Cat Candy Shoppe in Stockholm, WI. Another fun stop was the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery… THE place for all sorts of Wisconsin diary products including the best cheese curds on the planet!
There was a variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that participated in the rally… from an old Pagoda style 113 chassis SL to an SLK55 AMG, a CLK convertible, a 560 SEL sedan and several R107 body style SLs from the 70s through the 80s.
Vino in the Valley had a nice spread of Italian pasta, salad and all the trimmings for us when we got back from the rally for lunch at about 1:00.
One funny thing happened to my wife and I when we were doing the scavenger rally. We were headed into Re Wing, MN, back over the river from Wisconsin and the place was packed with traffic. We needed to stop on the main drag, at the Redwing Shoe Company outlet. What rally organizers hadn’t planned on was “The River Days” parade planned to go right through Red Wing at 1:00pm. We were there at about 10 minutes until 1:00, a lot of streets were blocked off… there were people lining the streets along the parade route, kids and their parents in law chairs, American flags everywhere.
Michele and I were leading in our C300, I had Bruce Kelly in his white SL320 behind me and Rob Berg in his 280SL Pagoda behind Bruce… SOMEHOW I managed to turn down the parade route, there were no barricades, I just took a right turn and there were were… completely empty street, no cars, but lined with people on either side..a real slice of Americana and we were crashing the party. We just waved, got some claps and a and took the next turn possible to get out of there! It was hilarious. We finally managed to stop at the shoe place… the driver’s stayed in the cars, the passengers (wives) jumped out and got the paper signed then we got out of Red Wing just before the parade started… whew!
It was a fun time and there was a good club turn out. If you’re interested in a fun, well organized event this is a great one. This was the second year we’ve done it and both events were a lot of fun… a good excuse to get out for a nice Sunday drive with friends in your Benz.