I am always delighted when people get in touch with us about their Saab Club meeting or a weekend getaway. The other day in the [email protected] account I found a letter with some photo’s of an event that gathered people from three different states in the US to enjoy some Saab time together. Chris from Oklahoma provides the words for us below and Chris thank you for sharing.
I know from time to time you like to highlight Saab get-togethers from various parts of the world, and wanted to let you know about an event we had this past weekend in the very rural southeastern Oklahoma here in the United States. What many folks don’t realize about Oklahoma is that it is pretty diverse ecologically – with the western part of the state being pretty arid and flat, and the eastern part being quite hilly and green. So, for the best driving roads (if you’re in a Saab, at least), we decided to hold an event on an scenic highway in the southeastern part of the state between Talihina, Oklahoma and Mena, Arkansas known as the Talimena Drive.
This past weekend, we had Saab fans from Texas, Oklahoma, and even Kansas meet up in the small town of Talihina. For many of us, this was our first Saab meet up, so we spent quite a bit of time at Pam’s Hateful Hussy Diner, the only diner in town, to shake hands. After that, we set off in the rain (more on that later) down Oklahoma Highway 1 towards Mena. This highway was built by the US Dept of Agriculture Forest Service back in the 1960’s for recreational purposes due to the beautiful view provided by the altitude of the Kiamichi Mountains.After having one of the driest years on record for Oklahoma, we were all amazed to see that as the weekend got closer, there was a substantial amount of rain forecasted for the area. While we all hit some rain coming in to Talihina, none of us were prepared for the dense fog once we got at altitude. Dense fog, plus a moderate rain and sharp turns made for an exciting, yet terrifying at times drive for the first half of the drive. However, about half way through, the weather started to clear and we were able to stop and enjoy some scenic views and take a group photo. Plus, the break in the weather allowed us to enjoy the curvy mountain switchbacks as we entered Mena – one of many of the group’s highlights of the trip, and really highlighted the awesome XWD system in my 9-3 Aero.
After setting a Guinness Book of World Record for the greatest amount of Saabs ever concentrated in Mena, AR (probably – not verified.), we headed back in to Oklahoma for dinner at one of the legendary restaurants in southeastern Oklahoma called Pete’s Place in the small town of Krebs. Pete’s Place is well known for their homemade Italian meals and excellent Choc beer, so we all stayed for a while and enjoyed each others’ company, and of course, lots of Saab talk was had!At the end of the day, we had 10 Saabs for the drive, with Saab fans from 2 to 80 years old. The cars in attendance were a ’97 900, ’06 9-5, ’03 9-5, ’07 9-3 Aero, ’99 9-3/Viggen Hybrid, ’07 9-3 Aero, ’01 Viggen, ’11 9-3, ’11 SportCombi, ’11 9-3 Aero XWD and an ’03 SE vert, and all performed flawlessly in the mountains. We couldn’t ask for a group of better people in this small community in a part of the world not known for it’s Saab appreciation. Before parting ways, we all agreed that we’d have to do this more often!
I’d like to throw out a special thanks to Daniel Cahill from the Dallas, TX area for coordinating with all the folks south of the Red River, as well as John Sear from Pittsburg, KS for instigating this event. Also, while lots of photos were taken, Richard Rios and Tony Grider’s contributions are especially appreciated.I’ve attached a few photos to this email, but there’s many more in a public folder located at www.photobucket.com/
Chris Grider Norman, Oklahoma
(photo credits for the photos beginning with IMG belong to Richard Rios, the one entitled Saabclub-17.jpg belongs to Tony Grider, and the one entitled hatefulhussy.jpg belongs to Chris Grider )
What a great event, I notice some of the names on the list from groups on Facebook too like Daniel Cahill from Dallas. If you have an event like this that you would like to share with the rest of the Saab world, please forward you story and photo’s to [email protected] as we enjoy being a part of these stories and frankly it puts a smile on my face to see something like the Hateful Diner and then to check their website to see more humor.