MOSES LAKE - The long line of gleaming corvettes paused tenuously at the dirt road leading to Camas Cove Cellars at noon on Saturday. With each of the cars priced in the tens of thousands of dollars, the drivers' apprehension was little surprise. But slowly, cautiously the line edged forward into the winery to begin the first "Corvettes 'n' Wine Jamboree."
The event provided a chance for Corvette drivers from Spokane, Richland, Wenatchee and Moses Lake to meet, enjoy lunch together and talk about their cars. Three Rivers Corvette and several other groups were in attendance.
Steve Teston, of Richland, left McCurley Chevrolet in his '05 model with a group of 16 bound for Camas Cove Cellars. Upon arrival at their destination, he scanned the carefully parked rows of corvettes and smiled.
"There's a lot of different people and a lot of difference in cars, but they're all still the same, you know?" Teston said.
That unity was apparent as the owners admired each others cars, socialized, took pictures and talked excitedly about the upcoming release of the seventh generation Corvette model.
According to Moses Lake American Legion adjutant Grant Oberg Jr., the last time this many corvettes were in Moses Lake was during an event at his house in June of 2007. Oberg said that event showcased 37 corvettes, including his, a '98 model with about $15,000 invested under the hood.
"My wife and I are on a tight budget like everybody else nowadays, but we still like to have fun," Oberg said.
Many of the owners worried about the effects of the drive to the winery on their cars.
"Did you get all of those little bugs on the window too?" one driver asked. "They sure do make a mess." He quickly searched for a polishing rag, a sign of the drivers' devotion to keeping their corvettes in pristine condition.
"Just about every hood here," Teston said, gesturing at the filled lot, "you could open up and eat off of. We keep 'em that clean."
Other drivers commented on the scenic nature of the event's venue. Open for almost a year now, Camas Cove Cellars is said to be in a "unique" position by its owner, Dennis Parr.
"We have water on three sides and easy access from Moses Lake and the surrounding area," Parr said. "We opened last Thanksgiving and since then we've had people come on foot, by horse, by bike, cars and boats. It's a great set-up."
Parr said the Corvette groups were already planning on holding the event on his grounds again next year.
Besides an opportunity to show off their cars and socialize, the event also offered wine sampling from Camas Cove for $5 and a pizza lunch.
"Careful not to hit anything!" one of the Corvette owners called out as the pizza delivery car gently backed out of the lot. "It's expensive!"