Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
September 1, 2009

There are two things for certain at the All-Ford Nationals-it's either going to rain or it's going to be hot. Sometimes both. At this year's show, held over the June 5-7 weekend at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the rain rolled in on Friday morning and continued throughout the day, putting a drenching on our Pony Trails cruise and bringing out the umbrellas and hay ground-cover at the Carlisle Fairgrounds. But when the rain moved out overnight, it left us with a sunny and warm-but thankfully not hot-Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the Carlisle swap meet, car show, and special displays.

While only the die-hard swappers weathered the Friday storm to search for the early-bird swap meet deals, seemingly everyone came out on Saturday. The midway aisles were packed most of the day and there was very little green (and soggy) grass to be seen in the car show area. By mid-day, you couldn't find a seat at the grandstand food court. With Friday a rain-out and Sunday typically a travel-home day for many, attendees scurried to see everything on Saturday, a Mustang and Ford smorgasbord that included the huge car show, swap meet, manufacturers' area, Ford's Drive One tour with the Mustang Garage, cars for sale, Building T Invitational displays, Mustang 45th anniversary line-up, Ford GT Reunion, and a '59 celebration with a focus on retractable Skyliners.

Rainy Day Trails
In the nearly ten years of Pony Trails at CJ Pony Parts, we've had minor drizzles and annoying fog. But this year, we had rain. Not heavy, just constant. The rain fell from the time we arrived at the CJ Pony Parts showroom just outside Harrisburg to the end of the Trails near the Carlisle Fairgrounds. I don't recall ever being involved with a Pony Trails where it rained for the entire cruise.

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Still, 50 to 60 brave and determined Pony Trails die-hards assembled at CJ Pony Parts on Friday morning. Instead of milling around the parking lot per usual, everyone crammed inside the dry showroom for coffee, doughnuts, and tours of the CJ facility by owners Creed Stammel and Jay Zeigler. This year, trailmasters Jeff Bliemeister and Jim Krupa planned a shorter cruise than usual-probably a good thing due to the weather- taking us through the hills north of Harrisburg for a 90-minute ride to Carlisle so participants could get an early start at the swap meet or show. The soggy Trail ended at Village Park, just north of Carlisle's Gate 5.

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