Oct 4-13 Southwest Caravan – Albuquerque Balloon Festival and National Parks
Now is the time to make your plans and reservations for this special road trip.
Interest list is available.
Planning meeting TBA.
A sense of fun was the air as eighteen members with ten cars gathered on a pleasant Monday morning at the Newhall IHOP for our pre-trip breakfast.
Once we were well-nourished, we held our customary drivers meeting, and immediately after that the cars rumbled to life. Following the usual radio check, we lined up for the trip that would take us several hours south on the 15 freeway to our first destination, Old Town Temecula.
In Temecula we arrived with some extra time for some pre-lunch shopping before gathering around the table at The Bank of Mexican Food restaurant for some of our south of the border favorites.
After lunch a we took a short stroll along Main Street where, wouldn’t you know it, we found an ice cream shop! After everyone was well stocked on sweets and treats, we headed back to our cars for the next leg of our journey, our hotel near Alpine, California.
Predictably, as we got closer to San Diego, we ran into some heavy traffic due to a couple of accidents, but our road captains, Dave and Karen, did a great job keeping us on track.
During the drive we also ran into more than a couple of idiots who were doing their best to generate some road rage, but it didn’t work because we are superior drivers with superior automobiles. We win!
Before we knew it, we arrived at our destination, the very impressive, Viejas Hotel and Casino. Parking was easy and check-in was a breeze. After a short break to freshen up, we gathered in the lounge before heading to the Café Restaurant in the casino for dinner.
Our first dinner at the hotel was a lot of fun, and as is usually the case, it was not without its share of entertainment. It all got started when our waitress informed us that if anyone had a Bronze Card, we would receive a substantial percentage off of our meals. So, Ed Shaver was quick stand up for the group and start digging for his, only to learn that he had misunderstood, and that she wanted a Bronze card, not a Vons card! In Ed’s defense, others in the noisy din of the restaurant also heard her to say Vons card, but hey, an “A” for effort!
It was right after that we learned they also offered a substantial discount for veterans, of which we have several, and the discount extended to everyone at the table. So, through our service members we were able to get our official Vons card discount anyway! All was good.
Other dinner highlights included Steve Hilton who ordered a tall glass of salad that arrived cleverly disguised as a Bloody Mary, and Jo Ayers who ordered apple pie alamode as her entree. Who doesn’t love these people!
As for the rest of us it was mostly salads and sandwiches, with a few potpies thrown in for good measure.
At the end of the meal, everyone was pleasantly surprised when Dave and Karen Jewett announced that they were picking up the check for dinner! Such unexpected generosity, and their actions further prove we that we have the most amazing people in our club! Thanks again to both of you, it was very much appreciated by all.
Before calling it a night, many of us stopped at the cashier’s kiosk in the casino to get our official Bronze card, as we didn’t want to make that mistake again.
The next morning, we awoke to overcast skies, light drizzle, cool temps, and the promise of wind and rain later in the day. Undaunted, we gathered in the Café Restaurant again, this time for coffee and a hot breakfast ahead of our day’s adventure.
After a quick stop to give our cars a fresh drink of T-Rex juice, we ascended up into the clouds along Hwy 79, through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park for the short, yet amazingly beautiful, thirty-five-mile trip to the little town of Julian.
Along the way the clouds had settled low into the valleys, and misted out across the lakes and into trees to make for an incredibly beautiful trip. The steep, winding road was a pleasure to drive, and felt like it was designed specifically for our Corvettes.
Once in Julian, we found it to be a charming, turn of the century gold mining town from the 1800s. Normally a busy southern California destination, it was not very crowded. Of course, it was the middle of the week, and in the off-season, and with the drizzle and unexpectedly cold wind, the weather felt like a scene right out of the movie, Ice Station Zebra. Maybe I exaggerate a little on that point, but it was darn chilly. But still undaunted, we braved the elements to make our way on foot along Main Street where many of the shops had their wood stoves going, so the warmth of the fires was very welcoming.
Lunch was at the Miner’s Dinner, a 50’s themed café located in one of the town’s many historic buildings, this one dating back 1886 when it was first opened as a general store. The food was good, plentiful, and included an old-fashioned soda fountain. They did not take Vons cards.
After lunch the plan was to go someplace and enjoy a slice of the famous apple pie that Julian is known for. But we had discovered there were many choices in which to get apple pie in Julian, and that caused what we might call some inde-slice-iveness about where we should get our pie! But in the end, we all had a piece of the pie – some had their pie at the restaurant, while others had at this place or that one, but none of the pie lovers went away pieless. Some of us even got pie to take home – yum!
Once lunch and pie-time were over, and with the forecasted rain approaching, we didn’t hang around to let any grass grow under our cars. It was a really nice ride “home”, and everyone agreed that it seemed much faster going down the mountain, then going up. Perhaps it was because we were going faster going down the mountain, then going up, just saying.
Anyway, back at the Viejas Resort, we had some time to relax and unwind before dinner at the highly touted, Grove Steakhouse located inside the casino. But wait, what’s this? Closed on Tuesdays? Okay, who does that? This a major resort, and they close their marque steakhouse on the very evening that we planned to dine there. Honestly, who does that? The other restaurants don’t close. The steakhouses in Vegas don’t close. So why this one? The audacity of these people.
On the plus side, The Buffet at Viejas was open, and provided a wide selection of items, including slow roasted beef, tacos, chicken parmesan, crab legs, and the best dessert bar this side of the reservation. Sadly, they didn’t take Vons cards. But the remainder of the evening was spent roaming the casino, enjoying some drinks, and relaxing before a good night’s sleep before the trip home the next day.
On our third and final morning, the clouds and rain had set in as we met for a pre-trip breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast most caravanned home together, while a few used the opportunity to stop and see friends, or take a short side trip. Regardless of the route home, it was a great end to a fun, enjoyable, and well-planned trip.
Fourteen Corvettes gathered early on a Saturday morning at our pre-launch site in the parking lot of the Copperhill Walmart in preparation for what turned out to be a beautiful day for the drive north to Buellton, CA.
The trip up was great, and as usual it required some experienced coordination between Mark Ware in the lead car and the tail gunners, Tom and Elke Couples, to keep everyone in formation as we made our way through some coastal traffic along the Ventura and Santa Barbara stretch of the 101. But once we cleared the traffic it was time to set the cruise control and enjoy the ride.
The museum, for those that have never there, is an amazing private petroliana collection of gas pumps, signs, and racing related memorabilia, much of it from the central California region. It is also home the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame.
The museum was gracious enough to let us park inside, where we spent the next couple of hours getting a private tour by our hostess, Misty, the daughter of the owners, Mark and Vicki Mendenhall. She was not only very knowledgeable about the collections on display, but she shared many family memories related to growing up around the museum that was originally started by her grandfather, a Buellton gas station owner, and himself a land speed record holder.
After our visit to the museum, we took the short drive to Morrell’s Farm Fresh Dining where twenty-seven of us descended on the restaurant for brunch. Parking had been pre-arranged in front of the restaurant, and our tables were ready and waiting.
The relaxed brunch was excellent and offered a wide range of menu choices from traditional breakfast items to locally selected specialties – either way, we could not go wrong.
After brunch some of the group headed off to the casino to try their luck, which I understand went well, while others went shopping in Solvang, and a few of us caravanned home along the Chumash route through Ojai, bringing a close to another great run.
With all of the rain that we’ve had we’re looking forward to a green spring. Let’s take advantage and make a run up the 101 to Buellton to visit the famous Mendenhall Museum! After that, we’ll have lunch and then it’s all up to you! Wine tasting! Casino! Solvang!
Meet at the Walmart at the corner of Newhall Ranch Road and Copperhill.
* 07:30 am – Depart Walmart
* 10:00 am – Arrive Mendenhall
* 11:45 am – Lunch Morrell’s Farm Fresh
Contact Mark Ware for more info at VetteBro@ymail.com or 661.993.8128
Join up with Simi Valley Corvettes for an All-day event on the base where our Corvettes will be one of the main attractions! Sign-up at the SCVCC November 1st meeting!
Edwards Air Force Base Winterfest ~ SCVCC will be meeting at Kohl’s parking lot on Golden Valley Dr. at 8:15am on sign waivers and go to 2nd meeting spot (Costco, 1141 West Avenue L, Lancaster) to meet caravan at 9:30am. On base, you will take a shuttle to the tour stops along the way. Sign-ups at the November Business Meeting must be done to inform our guide of our attendance numbers.
The open road is where we want to be and when it leads to the Central Coast for a weekend away, even better. November included severe fires throughout the Calabasas and Malibu area, fortunately not in our area this time and our scheduled getaway to San Luis Obispo on November 9 to 11 allowed a great number of our members to observe the tremendous cloud of smoke streaming out across Ventura County and west to the ocean as we traveled on Friday morning in our caravan on CA 126 and north on US 101.
Our route bypasses the fire and resulting congestion and included a lunch stop in Buellton at Morrell’s Farm Fresh Dining on McMurray Road. It’s an American food place with excellent ratings where we were all welcomed and well taken care of. The restaurant staff was excited to have us all pour into their place and photo’d us leaving. We apparently were the guests of the day. Our caravan of 23 Corvettes was spectacular as we headed north and all the way into SLO and took over the Best Western Plus on Madonna Road for the weekend. Naomi, the manager, was gracious and she and her staff all treated us as longtime family friends, like her buddy Don Ceo.
Besides getting to SLO all together, there was no set agenda for the weekend, but despite that we all dined together at Tahoe Joe’s nearby to end our day. Our club is one that likes to stick together, and this getaway was no different. After Saturday’s leisurely breakfast, most of us lined up for another caravan, outbound on Los Osos Road to Morro Bay, then north on CA-1 to Cambria where one of our own, Chuck Negri suggested a stop at the little known Nitt Witt Ridge house. It was at least worth a drive-by.
With the Nitt Witt detour in our rear-view mirrors, we continued north on Highway 1 past San Simeon and on to the gateway to Big Sur, Ragged Point. There were plenty of photo ops there and the fresh ocean air was a welcome change from our hot summer’s end.
The caravan then continued, back south to Sebastian’s in San Simeon for lunch. The Corvettes rolling in all together were an added attraction for the many tourists at the café and my chili burger was especially good.
Onward south to Cayucos was next for a mandatory stop at the Brown Butter Cookie Co. for our favorite cookie selections and for some a look at the other spots of interest in the great little beach town.
Our caravan splintered into several smaller groups through the day, but we all made it back to SLO in good order in time to once again assemble for another “group meal”. This time the location was the nearby and infamous Golden Gong Chinese Restaurant. It was a close walk from the Best Western.
The hotel lobby lounge transitioned after dinner into the SCVCC Acey Ducey casino where some were lucky and some, not so much. The words of Kenny Rogers seemed to echo through the room saying, “You got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run.” For some, if it wasn’t for bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck any all!
Then, almost as quick as the weekend started, it drew to a close. For some, Sunday morning had an early drive home in store and others had local stores to visit. With the ongoing fire situation in our home area, the route home was a consideration for all and there were several options discussed and taken, but we were all in the same accord, the Central Coast Getaway was another great event for the SCVCC!
Several of our Santa Clarita Valley Corvette Club members have attended the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School in Pahrump, NV, while many more have not. General Motors picks up the majority of the tuition for new owners of C7 Corvettes to attend the two-day Corvette Owners School during the first year of their ownership.
To date, I haven’t read any reviews about the school written by our club members in our Newsletter, so I thought, why not share some of my experiences for others who have not yet attended and maybe even for those who have gone? So, here goes.
I bought our 2017 Grand Sport in August of 2017 and looked forward to attending the school and somehow, life prevented me from getting signed up right away. We all have things going on and priorities are just that too. Additionally, you might remember my torque tube bearing issues and another warning light advising me to “service rear axle.” Then there were great club events I wanted to participate in and all of a sudden, it’s August 2018!
A year of C7 ownership has almost passed and my time to claim the tuition saving GM offered (which we all probably actually paid for) was about to expire. Not wanting to miss out or to pay full price for the school, I called the reservation number for Ron Fellows hoping for a reservation but understanding the problem was on my end and not theirs. What a relief to hear after pleading my case that GM granted me an extension and that I would soon be attending the school. They even offered me a class date of November 5th, after the summer heat was over and the desert temperatures were ideal. “I’ll take it” was my response.
So, now I was scheduled and I wanted to be prepared. I have been to Las Vegas and Reno, but never to Pahrump. I really don’t even like the desert after having spent way too many National Guard training periods and “summer camps” at Fort Irwin, but this was different. I knew of no one else attending during my dates although there were other more recent C7 purchasers in the club who had not yet attended, so my own research began.
I went over my acceptance instructions and found the route to Pahrump was outbound on I-15 then left onto CA-127 in Baker and north across the desert to Shoshone and then a right on into Pahrump. Tuition includes breakfast and lunch for two days, so all I had to be concerned about was supper, but having been in the Army in the desert, I knew I could survive that.
Instructions read that attire was optional, so I opted for shorts, polo shirts and a light jacket just to be cautious. I also read about the advice to wear driving shoes during training. I own plenty of shoes and have operated many Corvettes with no problem, but I had my eye on the Piloti driving shoes that were recommended. To get me focused on the training, now that my preparations phase was fairly complete, I spent some time reviewing YouTube videos posted by several past attendees. In retrospect, I think that was time well spent.
Our November SCVCC meeting on 11-1 was the biggest distraction facing me with the Ron Fellows class date coming just 4 days later. The November meeting was my first one at the helm leading all of you fine members following our change in leadership. You told me it went well, so the following Sunday, Judy and I headed by the prescribed route in the Grand Sport to Pahrump.
The courteous and helpful staff made our check-in smooth and we moved into very nice condo accommodations for our two-night stay. The second night was an optional add-on but well worth the minimal added cost to be up and running when instruction began at 0800 hours that Monday morning. I obviously had to check out the Piloti driving shoes and did so after registration in the gift shop area. Yes, I bought a pair and found that they run a bit small, but the shop had my needed size 12½ in stock. I worried a little that I would be the dork in the class with the new Pilotis, but about half of the class was sporting them the first morning and throughout the two days.
We have all attended meetings and training where the hours are posted we experience down time and eagerness to be done, but that was definitely not the case at Ron Fellows. Both days were full days, from 0800 to 1600 hours (8 to 4 civilian time). There was time to shop for souvenirs at the gift shop after training.
Our class of 20 all received training in Corvettes matching their own, Stingray, Grand Sport and ZO6, auto and stick. Attendees were in all ages and experience levels, from novice Corvette owner just learning how to put gas in to a couple with designs on breaking the course record. I might have fallen into the top third. The training gave us all a greater confidence in ourselves as well as the capabilities of our fine automobiles as well as hopefully making us more capable drivers in a very short time. The course is not one about speed, but it is about handling with speed being an element.
Guests of attendees are welcome to participate in all classroom training sessions and are equally welcome to ride as passengers with instructors during track sessions. My co-pilot, your new First Lady, was initially a bit apprehensive about donning the helmet to experience the track but ended the training with a desire for more along with a greater appreciation for Corvettes in general and our Grand Sport in particular.
Graduation was included in the program and personally, I am proud of my certificate of completion and hope any of you who can, will find their way to Pahrump to understand your Corvette more fully and to be an improved driver. The only drawback I have found after the course is experiencing how mundane regular roadways feel and am always looking for my next apex!
This mid-week trip will start early because we have a lot to do. First we’ll head up to Cold Spring Tavern and enjoy a hearty meal at this famous stagecoach stop on the San Marcos Pass in the mountains north of Santa Barbara. Here you can appreciate the true ambiance of the Old West because, as if by magic, time stands still. Savor the traditional American fare made with fresh local ingredients including our famous Cold Spring Chili, tri-tip barbeque sandwiches, and delicious steaks and ribs. After our meal, before heading back home we’ll have the opportunity to either go wine tasting in Santa Ynez at any of the dozens of wineries or gambling at the Chumash Casino. If you like, do both!
We’re meeting at Walmart on Newhall Ranch Road at 08:45 in the morning to sign waivers to be able to head out by 09:00, we have a beautiful drive to Santa Barbara planned out by your leader Mike Woodings.
SEE YOU THERE..
The twelfth annual Corvette Car Show at the Courthouse Plaza in downtown Prescott, AZ, has been on the calendar for many SCVCC members ever since last September. Their enthusiasm about a road trip to Prescott has been right up there with that of a caravan to Bowling Green and it was contagious.
Over twenty Corvettes and their associated drivers and co-drivers were raring to go on Sep 20th when the trip began its first leg to Laughlin, NV for an overnight stop and then on to Arizona for the event which promised to showcase seven generations of Corvettes dating from 1953 to the current 2019 models. 250 cars were scheduled to be on display representing customized, restored, and current models, along with a variety of vendors and exhibits.
Our own Tony and Kathy Munshi and John and Linda Noble have recently departed California for a better life in Arizona and were anxiously awaiting our members’ arrival to help with the lay of the land and word is that several others are in the process of relocating soon and others have begun looking at real estate. But that will have to wait for another article.
Although the attendees have missed the deadline for this Gazette article, my detective work has uncovered some pics of their smiling faces and rumors that they had a terrific time and our people were trophy winners, to boot!
It was great to have the travelers back in time for the latest SCVCC All-Corvette Car Show just days after the Prescott Run.
HISTORIC PRESCOTT CORVETTE CAR SHOW
September 20-23, 2018
For those of you who wish to join in on the weekend run to Prescott in September.
The following links will help you to get started:
Prescott Car Show entry form
Prescott hotel Information,
We will be leaving Thursday, Sept. 20, for Laughlin, NV. Staying one night, then on to Prescott Friday morning for two nights Friday and Saturday night. Meeting place and starting time to come later. Then should you wish you may extend and spend more time in AZ sightseeing.
In Laughlin we suggest you check out …
Aquarius Casino Resort, 1900 S. Casino Drive, Laughlin, NV. 702-298-5111, ask for California Tower.
In Prescott we suggest …
Prescott Resort and Casino, 3453 Ranch Dr., Prescott, AZ. 928-433-5500
Should you wish to join in we suggest you make your reservations SOON.