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Zone 6 Grand Tour: Longest tour in PCA history launched Saturday

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Article and photos by Tim Hagner, PCA Zone 6 Representative

July 24, 2015

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step — or so I've heard — and here I am at the first step of a 4,700+ mile, 15 day, Zone 6 Grand Tour journey: Packing the Boxster.

Considering the vast distance the tour will cover, packing might be the most daunting step — deciding what goes, what stays, and what fits into the front and rear storage areas.

Running from July 25 to August 8, Porsche Club of America members will start the tour in the Seattle area and finish near Portland, Oregon. We will pass through each of the 16 regions in Zone 6, which are contained in five states and three Canadian provinces, and drive through mountains, prairies, forests, and deserts, seeing glaciers, rivers, and the Pacific Ocean. Eight Porsches will stay with the tour for the entire distance, though 130 more cars will join at various points. In all, 210 members will experience the Grand Tour.

Here’s the route in a little more depth. After leaving Seattle, we will head to the Olympic Region and cross to Vancouver Island by ferry (reservation required) before going east through British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Then we will head south through Montana, west through Wyoming, Washington, and Idaho, and end the journey in Portland. Each region has selected a route which best exemplifies touring in that region.  

The idea for the Grand Tour hatched three years ago at a PCA Zone Presidents meeting. With 1.4 million square miles, diverse regions, and some truly great Porsche roads and scenery, Zone 6 seemed the ideal setting for a nearly 5,000-mile drive. For the next two weeks, that idea will be reality.

This tour of a PCA Zone in its entirety is a first in PCA history, not to mention the longest PCA tour in both duration and distance. So join us through words and photos on this epic adventure for the next 15 days. We hope you enjoy it and consider joining us on the next Zone 6 Grand Tour.

Yes, I did pack the camera. And sunscreen, we need more sunscreen…

Day 1, July 25, 2015: Start of the longest driving tour in PCA history

In the midst of a drought in the Pacific Northwest, the start of the Zone 6 Grand Tour was a wet one. Magical Mystery Tour? That’s what it seemed to the drivers of 27 Porsches who launched from Grand Tour ground zero Saturday morning.

We arrived to a rainy welcome at Pacific Raceways road course, where we completed a two-lap tour of the track. From there we drove scenic backroads on a tour through the lush green hills and valleys surrounding the Seattle metro area. Then it was on to our (finally) dry lunch stop at the LeMay Automotive Museum in Tacoma, Washington. Here our tour group swelled to 36 cars as members signed the waiver and joined the tour.

And then it started raining again, which continued all the way to the top of the Olympic National Park. That evening the walk to dinner and the stroll on the beach afterwards were warm and dry. A perfect end to the perfect day.  

We now have 240 miles of the journey complete — only 4,460 miles and 14 days to go.

The host Regions of day one, Pacific Northwest and Olympic Peninsula, did a fabulous job. The roads, views, stops, and food were perfect. Thank you!

Day two starts with an International ferry crossing and ends with a lap of Vancouver Island. Stay tuned for more!

Click here to read Part II

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