This is a big one! Over the past weekend a bunch of owners took a long (the longest ever for many of us) trip way up the PCH (CA Route 1), making it as far as Ft. Bragg before coming back down. Here’s a map of the route:
The day started out with the 4 of us (me and Kate, Stephen and Debi, David and Heather and Clint flying solo) meeting up at my office in Fairfield. From there we drove out to the coast – first stop: Goat Rock Beach.
Then it was off to lunch in Jenner, a microscopic town with literally one restaurant. But it ended up being a good one.
After lunch we backtracked a bit to visit an abandoned DeLorean in the woods. There has been a lot of rumor and speculation around this car for years. Nearest we can tell it is owned by a hoarder (based on the condition of the surrounding property) and all attempts to contact the person and recover/rescue this car have failed. So we periodically just like to check on it and see how things are going. It’s got some very good looking stainless left on it still, but the interior has been deteriorating over the years, and a full decade of forest-floor overgrowth hasn’t done the frame any favors. It may be beyond salvage but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a visit now and then just to pay respect.
And here she is, rotting under the weight of a decade of tree droppings. The louvers are crushed under the weight and the passenger side rear quarter glass is shattered (it wasn’t the last time one of us visited). The car is up to the center caps in overgrowth and mulch, and has clearly been flooded at least once based on the mud stains on the bumpers.
After this depressing visit, it was back on the road to finish our journey up to Mendocino, where we spent the night. Most of us stayed in town at little B&B places, and Clint continued a few miles on to Ft. Bragg to a regular hotel. We had dinner before parting ways for the evening. We found the Mendocino Cafe, which was so good it warrants mention by name. The town is kind of shabby and small, but this restaurant is a hidden gem for sure. Food was delicious and the place was hopping.
Also interesting – the only gas station in Mendocino wanted $6.47 a gallon for 87 octane. Ft. Bragg was not in our original itinerary, but we had to get gas somewhere and sure weren’t paying that price for it. When we gassed up in Ft. Bragg I topped off a tiny bit (a cardinal sin in this car) and popped my fuel pump boot cover right off from the pressure. Gas pouring everywhere. Had to take apart the luggage compartment to access the fuel tank and hose everything down before continuing on. Minor inconvenience but I will definitely be upgrading that setup soon.
The next morning we fueled up ourselves and the cars and headed back down 128. We had a brief pit stop at a vista point for some photos and to stretch our legs:
After our stop on the coast we started tearing through the heavily forested 128 corridor. Nothing but giant redwoods as far as the eye can see. It was truly amazing.
This was a state park. They wanted $8 per car to come in (even though all we wanted was a few pictures) – which most of us were OK with. But David put up a stink and got the park rangers all worked up 🙂 Eventually we just paid $4 each (though not David!) and came in to get these shots. A little drama – Stephen’s clutch started slipping in the woods, Clint backed into a boulder and David hit a squirrel, though all cars, the rodent and the boulder were unharmed.
A few miles later my own clutch started slipping too. It seems that the extended use and heavy clutching/engine braking of the mountainous drive had brought to light a flaw in the adjustable clutch master linkage that both Stephen and I have installed. Mine will be gone by the end of the week. Not sure what his plans are.
After a few hours of beautiful scenery, we rejoined 101 and entered Healdsburg, our final stop before heading home. We walked around a bit, got some lunch and some ice cream, and then David and Heather headed home while the rest of us went to our old haunt, Williamson Wines. After some wine and cheese, we all hit the road and called it a day.
The remaining trip was uneventful save a major accident on the 37 bridge that had shut down both lanes and turned the whole road into a parking lot. Harrowing to be in uphill bumper to bumper traffic with a slipping clutch.
That’s that! The next event is the UBSCC Car Show in Dixon, and then at the end of May my motor is coming out again to revisit some oil leaks. I will probably also replace the radiator and fuel pump while it’s out.