NWCOC SPRING MEET, POINT
NO POINT RALLYE
By Katherine Enos (Seattle,
with contributions from Henry Reed (Seattle, WA)
and Uschi Walter (Seattle, WA)
I awoke with a yawn: Yawn. My
back felt like I'd slept in a 2CV without a trunk extension and my
eyes were closed so tight as to be a pair of Citroen chevrons. But
there was no time to waste. It was the day of the Point-No-Point
Rallye. Whatever that was, I was going to it, in my first car, my 2CV6
named Cocteau. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I jumped out of bed,
fed the cats, and prepared to drive to the Edmonds ferry dock to take
the Port Gamble ferry. Having dutifully read the instructions prepared
by Port Gamble denizens and hosts David and Cindi Walker, I aimed to
get to the ferry dock in time for the 11:30am boat, and hoped to meet
other club member attendees in line.
The gas was good to go, and so we went. Careening over Capitol Hill
down 23rd (circumspectly slowing at the point where the motorcycle cop
had chased me down last Fall to award Cocteau and me our first
speeding ticket, accompanied by a lecture-demonstration on how I might
better translate kilometers to miles per hour in the future),
trundling over the deck of the Montlake Bridge, then shooting around
the corner onto Pacific Avenue, Cocteau and I traversed the roads of
Seattle, settling then on a steady and merry gait all the way out
north on 15th, enjoying the clouds and grey-blue sky that sheltered us
like a canopy to the Edmonds ferry dock.
Being lucky in line, the ferry line that is, is rather like being
lucky in love. You never know what it will be like until you stand
there waiting to see if you get on the boat, or if you're forced to
await the next one. Or is it like a box of chocolates? Ah, well, no
matter. That day, I was lucky. I was in. Happily, I left Cocteau and
went off to attend to the standard pre-ferry functions: (1) finding
the restroom; and (2) finding the coffee stand. I peered over the
lines of cars on the way, scouting for the elegant elongated lines of
a DS, the familiar upside-down-smile-like curvature of the 2CV, or the
quaint exterior of a former Parisien baker's truckette. No other
Citroen. But then I saw Josie, the yellow-and-black Charleston of Axel
(Hobo) Kaliske and Ursula (Uschi) Walter, Hobo and Uschi smiling and
waving on approach. It was time to board.
This was a day like any other, and, like any other, Hobo and Uschi
had upped the ante by making sure they used the last drop of gas in
Josie, their yellow-and-black 2CV6 Charleston, before arriving at the
ferry dock. And I, nursing my entrenched 2CV I-can-go-as-fast-as-you
chip on the shoulder, had already roared, if you will, off of the
boat, leaving Hobo to run after me for just a few drops of the fewer
than six gallons of gas in my tank. Studiously and with the practiced
daring of any duck driver, I worked at cutting off the BMW that had
charged off of the deck on my left, while simultaneously trying to
pass the terminally accelerating Viper on my right. Naturally, these
activities made it impossible for me to see poor Hobo, whose pace
could not begin to outstrip Cocteau's marauding and surrealist
tendencies to subvert both form and function. Fortunately, before Hobo
and Uschi had to come clean with the ferry people and drag the gas
can out of their car to refuel, Hobo was spotted by an observant Jack
Hillyer, always prepared and having just enjoyed a fast-food repast at
a dockside diner.
Leaving behind the battered egos of the BMW and Viper drivers, I got
to the Albertson's parking lot but was puzzled to see that, again,
nobody was there. I puzzled over it. Weren't Hobo and Uschi just
behind me? Just as well. I had to purchase some groceries for the
bring-your-own-meat-or-nonmeat potluck that would follow the
festivities at the Walkers' home. I left Cocteau in the lot and made
my way into the store to purchase my perishables to put on the grill.
Rallye organizer David Walker announced his arrival through the store
page as I shopped in the meat department for some lamb to grill. There
was the nearly unintelligible voice of the customer service clerk
asking uncertainly, "Will the owner of the... two see ve?...
please come to the front of the store?"
"What an unlikely page," I mused as I searched for the lamb
in the meat section. "Well, no matter. I'm not done yet - hmmm,
lamb shoulder? Or chops? - and there could be any number of 2CV owners
here by now."
And so I finally emerged from the store, found David Walker and Jack
Hillyer (with his 1956 2CV truckette) in a quiet corner of the parking
lot, and was informed that the page was in fact for me. Who knew? Soon
we were joined by the other rallye participants: Henry and Leena Reed
in their black Traction Avant 1953 11BN, with guest passengers Dick
and Eivor von Hagel, and, with a fresh tank of fuel, Hobo and Uschi in
I have to admit, I wasn't aware of the fine, or not so fine,
distinction between a "rallye" and a "raid."
Besides the winter dinner, this was in fact my first Citroën club
event. It was a complete surprise to me to hear that each car was to
receive from rallye organizer David Walker a list of questions that we
somehow (I had no idea how) were supposed to answer en route to his
house. For all I knew, it could have been questions as difficult as: "Does
the fireman wear a hat?" or "Fish preschool?" Well, you
tell me. Suddenly, it became clear to me that the 50-mile drive to the
Walkers' abode would depend on my skill in playing a game - when the
only game I like to play is chess - and not on my willingness to find
a place for Cocteau, my 2CV, in the middle of a cavalcade of Citroën
vehicles magically bound for a blissful drive that would culminate in
an evening of good company and cheer on this great day in the
northwest. No. It was a road game, the likes of which I hadn't played
since >a captive teenager on vacation with my parents.
So it was that rallye organizer and host David Walker (alas, being a
host meant that Cindi Walker wasn't able to attend the games for the
most part) showed up on his Kawasaki 1000 police model, with the
horsepower to gather up stragglers and to head off aimless wanderers,
but lacking the authority to ticket those among us who would be
intoxicated by the heady rush of our engines. I suppose it's just as
What set me to panicking was that David intended the honor and
advantage of first departure for the first arrival in the lot. That
would be me.
At any rate, the seemingly (to me) dubious honor of going first,
combined with the fact that I was to somehow simultaneously navigate
Cocteau through unfamiliar territory while playing road games, caused
me some concern. Fortunately, the always generous Richard (Dick) von
Hagel was willing to forego a comfortable and calm afternoon with mate
Eivor and the Reeds in Henry and Leena Reed's Traction Avant in favor
of cavorting around with me and Cocteau. I would drive; Dick would be
in charge of submitting our well-considered answers to paper.
Without further ado, and lacking further excuses, Dick and I set out
to experience the thrill of victory - or was that the agony of
defeat?! No matter. Woopeee!
Rallye organizer David Walker kept a steady eye out for us and others
as we turned round and round, traversing a single road numerous times,
if need be, to ensure the precision of our answers, which could only
be like the finely machined engineering of a DS, or so I've heard.
There were great debates, questions to be asked and answered. Dick and
I typically used the Socratic method to resolve our intellectual
differences over such vital questions as: "The largest crab in
the world is what?" or "I am not a starfish, I am a what?"
Being the nonconformist I am, I could be heard to mutter, "Why
can't we just play strip poker!?"
Our mid-afternoon break was slated for the Port Gamble Store. For
some reason, Dick and I always were the last to arrive. Perhaps it was
the counting of the red barns that slowed us down, this being one of
the key highlights of the journey wherein we had to settle certain
important questions such as: What is the difference between a barn and
a house? Between a barn and a shed? Between a building that was
probably a barn in days of yore, but is now a retail establishment?
Not to mention the "When can we stop counting?" question
that we puzzled over as we became increasingly confused over our
counting methodology and decided that the prudent and responsible
action would be to retrace our steps and to begin again, and again.
The Port Gamble Store contains the Seashell and Natural History
Museum wherein Dick undertook the task of answering that section of
questions as I wandered around. Some interested parties had apparently
been waiting for club members and cars to arrive at the Port Gamble
Store for hours. These included someone driving a green Citroen Dyane,
which, oddly enough, turned out to have once belonged to Ben Morse,
the founder of French Parts Service (FPS). Another was a beautifully
restored VW bug sporting a compact and cylindrical swamp cooler on the
passenger-side window that had caught the eye and attention of Henry
Reed. Henry had apparently been thinking of trying to get just such a
swamp cooler for his DS that he and Leena will travel to Amherst later
this summer for the World Meet. All the while, inside the Port Gamble
Store the Walker's young son Alexander would wordlessly indicate the
answers to key questions to those raid participants fortunate enough
to encounter him.
Then it was that David and Cindi Walker got us back on the road again
so that, with growling stomachs, we could finish the rallye and arrive
at the house to begin the evening's festivities. Along the way, we
laughingly observed the Reeds and Eivor as Henry tried to maneuver the
Traction Avant through a none-too-successful U-turn on the narrow
streets of Indianola, a scenic and historic village in the Port Gamble
Area. Such a long car; such a narrow road. And somewhere along the
way, we picked up another 2CV, this one unabashed in red and yellow, a
custom beauty belonging to Peter and Barbara Kaupat. I'd met them
before, they once followed my 2CV into the parking lot of the Saffron
Cow in West Seattle. I remembered their warmth and was glad to see
them again. The adventure was capped by the view of the Port Gamble
Lighthouse along the coastline.
Back at the house, we got busy making dinner while David Walker
worked on scoring our road results. Don Stangeland was there too, in
his black BMW convertible - his DS is still being restored. We had a
feast, including Leena 's homemade focaccia and her intense but "Guilt-Free
Chocolate Cake", and Eivor's spinach salad. I brought veggies to
grill, and some tidily sized cheesecakes. Everyone brought wine.
NWCOC SPRING MEET AT THE
photo provided by Cindi
Walker (Hansville, WA)
Alas, owing to Jack Hillyer's
early departure that resulted in his forfeiting the distinction of
coming in last, Dick and I did experience the agony of defeat, though
we were presented with a big, poofy baguette to use as the sword on
which we collectively might fall. But Jack hadn't even filled out his
form! (Or so I was told). And Dick and I had stalwartly pursued the
answers to nearly every question on the road quiz, going to and fro,
and fro and to, as the field mice scattered to avoid Cocteau's trusty
Michelins, the bees hovered, buzzing over the open top, the birds flew
overhead endeavoring to perfect their aim, and the barn cats watched
our passings with derision. There'd even been an impromptu and
somewhat one-sided game of chicken with Hobo and Uschi in 2CV Josie,
though Hobo was unflappable. But by then it didn't matter - Leena and
Eivor were a hoot, I'd run into Peter and Barbara and gotten to know
them (and their 2CV) a little better, we'd dined on the Walkers'
hospitality and the good banter of new and old friends, and had our
happy alcohol-warmed faces licked by the Walkers' new dog, whose name
sadly escapes me at the moment.
And so finally, it became dark, ferry frequency was on the wane, and
we bade each other our goodbyes and set out in a line of 2CVs with the
familiar yellow light of the Reeds' Traction headlights to find the
Thanks to David and Cindi Walker for their kind generosity in
inviting us to Port Gamble and into their home, and for the energy
spent to create an enjoyable rallye for all!