With fresh new oil we hit the road.
We were on our way to the Goodguys Autumn Get Together in Pleasanton, CA.
My plan is to take The Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles up to Monterey, then I’ll cut over to the 101 and head up to Pleasanton for the show.
We left LA early and made it to Pismo Beach Oceano Dunes State Park before 10am.
It’s the only California State Park where vehicles are allowed to be driven on the beach.
My “America The Beautiful” National Parks Annual Pass didn’t work here, so I paid the fee and headed out on the sand.
Our next stop was in Cayucus.
Then up to San Simeon where we spotted some Zebras hanging out with the Hearst cattle.
The Zebras are descendants from the zoo William Randolph Hearst had at San Simeon.
Then out on the sand again.
PCH north of Hearst Castle has been closed for a couple of years because of a massive mudslide that took out the road, but it’s recently been reopened.
I’ve taken PCH up as far as Hearst Castle – San Simeon but I’ve never taken it any further north.
It is spectacular.
And virtually empty of traffic.
Miles and miles of two-lane blacktop and breathtaking scenery.
The Bixby Bridge.
I refueled in Carmel by the Sea then went to Pebble Beach.
But not to play golf.
I had to drive on 17-Mile Drive.
I didn’t realize, if you’re not a resident, they charge you $10!
The Lone Cypress has stood there for over 250 years and is the symbol of Pebble Beach Company.
Sunset at Pacific Beach.
17-Mile drive is worth the $10 entrance fee.
I had dinner at the Bulldog Pub.
Best seat in the house – what a view!
After dinner I looked on my map for places to sleep for the night.
Tioga Road in Sand City dead ended at the ocean and was 20 minutes away.
Until the police woke me up at 11pm saying there no camping there.
So I drove up the road to the closest WalMart in Marina where I spent the rest of the night in their parking lot.
After taking care of business in WalMart the next morning I was off to Laguna Seca Racetrack.
I knew it from Grand Turismo video games and watching racing for years, but I had never been there in person.
When I got there the gate was closed, so I drove around to the other entrance and saw there is a Laguna Seca recreation area and went in.
I initially just wanted a picture of The 55 with a Laguna Seca sign.
Then I saw a car drive up the hill.
And then another.
What the heck – I drove up the hill too.
When I got to the gate, it was open and there was no one there, so I kept on going.
Then I read a sign that read that the pit lane and paddocks were to the right.
So I made a right.
Just before taking a bridge over the track I saw a guy sitting in an official looking truck.
I backed up and asked him where he thought was a good idea to take a picture of The 55 at Laguna Seca.
He said: “How’s about on “The Corkscrew?”
Yeah… Follow me.
Turns out I talked to the right guy at the right time!
Rick is the Senior Facilities Manager at Laguna Seca.
We got 2-Laps around Laguna Seca in The 55!
The 55 on The Corkscrew.
It drops 7-stories in 150 feet.
Video games and television do not do it justice.
Thank you Rick!
It’s an experience I’ll never forget.
After all that excitement I rested for a bit then I hit the road to Pleasanton.
Just in time for the fires.
The next morning was The Goodguys Autumn Get Together.
I got there bright and early and got a little quiet time with CSX3170.
The 70th Cobra built by Shelby.
Not a kit-car.
Not a tribute-car.
Not a continuation-car.
A real, 427 Shelby Cobra.
And it’s still owned by the original owner!
Not only is it a cool car, but they autocross it.
That’s right, this thing gets autocrossed!!
It is a thing of beauty to see it racing around the track.
It’s even better to get to hear it and smell it.
Scott Fraiser won the autocross in the Cobra in Pleasanton.
He’ll be Scottsdale the following weekend for the Goodguys autocross finale where 32 cars will go head to head at the Dual in the Desert Shootout.
In my last post I wrote about this Camaro belonging to Nick Relampagos.
After sitting still on the SEMA show floor all week, Nick put it in its trailer, towed it up to Pleasanton and he beat it relentlessly.
Nick made it onto the sweet-16 shootout!
After the Goodguys I drove up to my buddies place in Mill Valley for the night where they surprised me with a birthday diner.
The next morning I planned to take PCH down from San Francisco, but I had to stop at Vista Point first.
Then across the Golden Gate Bridge and on my way to Mavericks in Half Moon Bay.
I’d seen it in the movies and on TV but I’d never been there in person, until now.
Mavericks is a world renown surf spot that has a deadly reputation.
After Mavericks I hit Pinnacles National Park.
For those of you keeping score, I’ve driven The 55 thru 8 states and 12 National Parks so far this year.
From the top of Pikes Peak to the bottom of Badwater.
From the Bonneville Salt Flats to The Corkscrew at Laguna Seca.
And we’ve got to go to Scottsdale, AZ next.
I’ll tell you all about it in my next installment.
Until then, safe travels and I hope to see you out on the road.