Every August, the Halifax Scooter Council and friends descend upon the little valley town of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia for a weekend of scootering mayhem! Our 13th annual Rally in the Valley took place August 10-13 at the 74th Crusaders Motorcycle Club. The Crusaders have been kind enough to host us for quite a few years, and their beautiful clubhouse (a former sailing club) overlooking the Annapolis River is a site for road-weary eyes.
Being the 13th rally, we started joking early on about what could possibly go wrong. Things started off very well though, and my group made the 250 km trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia without a single breakdown, flat tire, or any sort of mishap. Okay, we were off to a good start.
The weather was beautiful and warm, dinner was waiting for us at the Crusaders’ site, and the weekend began with a big bonfire on Friday night.
And then the rain came.
I should note that it has become something of a tradition not to look at the weather forecast for rally weekend. We’ve always had excellent weather (except for the Saturday afternoon in 2006, when it drizzled for all of fifteen minutes) and looking at the forecast would only jinx it.
Someone must have looked at the forecast.
But the fun went on as it always does! On our Saturday group ride the Portland Tuxedos were out in full force as we rode through sprawling valley farmlands and into the hills, where we stopped at Valleyview Park for a photo op. We wound our way down the hill just as the rain got worse, and headed for the shelter of Ye Old Towne Pub in Annapolis Royal.
Later in the afternoon, everyone congregated back at the rally site for the afternoon games. Our gymkhana is usually a force to be reckoned with and the “teeter-totter of death” has taken down many riders (myself included). This year, the gymkhana field was a swamp after hours of rain, and the few who did brave the course took it slow and easy. The slow races, which are challenging enough in dry grass, got especially entertaining as tires started spinning in the muck.
Raffle prizes were awarded after the games, with all of us huddled under some big trees to stay out of the downpour.
Later that evening the rain finally broke. We gathered up some wood and everyone pulled up a chair around a big campfire to dry out. This is always my favorite part. Passing a bottle around, telling stories and laughing so hard your stomach hurts the next day. Fireworks were going off from some camp on the other side of the river. It almost seemed as if we were all celebrating the rally’s end.
Thirteen isn’t so unlucky after all.