Eastbound and Down! – The 2022 Cruise to Columbus Takes the Scenic Route From Iowa to the Buckeye State
The United States is home to countless back roads, forgotten highways, and tourist routes. These national byways and historic routes can turn road trips into adventures and hold the potential to provide more scenic possibilities than any one person could complete in a lifetime. It’s always fun to give a new route a try!
Taking the back roads from the Goodguys Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa to the Summit Racing Nationals presented by PPG in Columbus, Ohio is a great way to turn a simple drive into a scenic journey, while also seeing cool sights and making great memories along the way. The 2022 Goodguys Cruise to Columbus continued the tradition of making great memories with fellow hot rodders, car enthusiasts, and road trip fans.
Once again, Dave Ruhs planned and hosted the cruise, scheduling cool routes and fun stops for four days of traveling fun. When you join a cruise like this, prepare yourself to make friends and great memories to talk about for years to come. There are many cruisers who have done the Cruise to Columbus since almost the beginning. Dave and his wife Sandy, along with the seasoned cruisers, welcome any and all new faces to join the caravan – and the fun. Cruising the backroads, country roads, and tourist routes is only part of the appeal; the sights along the way and the memories are irreplaceable!
True to tradition, Dave and Sandy treated all the cruise participants to a kickoff party at Dave’s shop on Sunday evening after the Heartland Nationals wrapped up. There was a good mix of new faces and veterans attending again this year, with a total of 37 vehicles representing 14 states. After a good Sunday night’s rest, we all met at the host hotel Monday morning for a quick meeting and exchange of contact information. Then it was time for the ladies and gents to fire up their engines and do what the Cruise to Columbus was designed to do – embark on an adventure! If this is the sort of backroads fun you enjoy, give some thought to joining us next year to see great sights, meet new friends, and make loads of long-lasting memories.
The social nature of the Cruise to Columbus is evident as soon as you get to the Sunday evening kickoff party hosted by cruise leader Dave Ruhs and his wife Sandy. It’s a laid-back gathering where old and new friends mingle and enjoy some great food cooked up by the Ruhs’ good friends Tony, Mike, and Rick. Dave then leads a has a quick meeting to review the four-day itinerary and answer questions, and also lets all the participants introduce themselves. It’s a great way to finish up the Heartland Nationals weekend and prepare for the adventure ahead.
National Motorcycle Museum
We might prefer four-wheeled machines, but the National Motorcycle Museum is still a sight to behold for anyone interested in mechanical vehicles, travel, and history. Founded in 1989, the museum celebrates the engineers, racers, bike builders, and enthusiasts who have helped motorcycling thrive for more than a century. It’s full of interpretive exhibits built around a fine collection of motorcycles and related artifacts from around the world.
Our second stop on Monday was Yogi’s Inc., a major resource for hot rod and classic car and truck parts founded by Mel “Yogi” Somerville back in 1979. We were treated to lunch by the Yogi’s team, plus a tour of the expansive warehouse and some of the cool rides that reside there. It was impressive to see how successful this company has become thanks to its great parts, friendly staff, and central location.
Wheels O Time
After an overnight stay in LeClaire, Iowa, we crossed into Illinois on Tuesday and stopped at the Wheels O’ Time Museum, a facility dedicated to showcasing displays related to transportation, industry, farm and home life, and entertainment. The cars and trucks were cool, but there was plenty of other NOS – Neat Old Stuff – to take in during our tour.
Don Boeke Private Collection
On Wednesday, we drove from Indianapolis to Dayton, Ohio, where Don Boeke was kind enough to let us visit his private collection of cool cars, curiosities, and just plain fun stuff. It was a great place to enjoy a little lunch, too, while checking out all the neat rides and artifacts Don has amassed through the years.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Up we go, into the wild blue yonder! Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is the world’s largest military aviation museum, featuring more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles, plus thousands of artifacts and related items amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. It’s a wonderful space to ponder the wonder of flight and to trace aerial innovations and advancements through the decades.
Salty Dog Museum
After staying overnight near Dayton, we made our way to Hamilton, Ohio and the Salty Dog Museum on Thursday. This eclectic collection includes many Model Ts and As and other early Fords, Bonneville racers (where the Salty Dog name comes from), plus vintage fire engines, automobilia, and other cool stuff any gearhead would appreciate. It was a great place to explore before hitting the final stretch of highway to Columbus and the Summit Racing Nationals!
2022 Cruise to Columbus Cruisin’ Extra!
Photos by John & Julia Aschenberg