This was actually a two day journey, overnighting half way in Casper WY, but I will cover it in a single blog as there were quite a lot of boring stretches in there !! Wyoming is a big state with wide open plains and cattle, but fortunately there are always surprises to keep you interested along the way.
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
During the LOCO meeting last night, amongst many others, I had met William Taylor, an expatriate Englisman now living in Denver, and he had kindly invited me to his house / office to see his collection of Lotus memorabilia and photographs and books that are probably second to none. Nothing could have prepared me for my day. After a lazy morning and a visit to Starbucks for coffee with Doug, I headed off to William's.
Fancy a run up a 14000 ft hill while the Mrs is in doing the grocery shopping ? We should be back in an hour. Pikes Peak, perhaps one of the most famous Hill Climbs in the world, is just down the road from the nearest shopping centre near Colorado Springs !! And I was here to drive up it !
Monday, 26 March 2012
Start the day with a snow storm and minus 2 deg C, then have blue sunshine and some canyon carving, then high winds and 28 deg C temps, then blinding sandstorms, and finish off the day with an 11,312 foot pass over the Rocky Mountains into Colorado Springs ! Oh, and never go lower than 2000 metres / 6500 feet in 500 miles / 800 kms. Enough to make for a fun day ?
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Yes, slept like a log. Yes, very stiff this morning !! Ha ha. Packed up camp while having my breakfast -Had finally found some Earl Grey tea yesterday (I had left the packet I bought to bring with me in Australia !!!), and it was so nice to have instead of coffee ! It is quite a long process to fit everything into Elsie, and takes about 1 1/2 hours to complete to where I am ready to drive away - At a leisurely pace, of course !! Wanted to get moving as I had to get some miles completed today, but went through town to check email first. While sitting outside the wifi enabled shaved ice shop, a couple came up and asked if they could take a photo - Of course they could. Got chatting, Walter and Carol, and it turned out that had owned 3 Lotii in the past, a Europa, a Seven, and one other - I forget which. Anyway, had a lovely long chat with them - From Illinois ?? Woops, forgot to write it down. Anyway, fun start to the day.
Woke up to a cold but sunny morning in Zion NP, had my breakfast of cereal, a banana, and a yoghurt, and started preparing myself clothing wise for a hike in the park. I had been told that Angel’s Landing was a spectacular hike, but was classed as “Strenuous. 4 hours, 5.4 miles, long drop offs, not for young or anyone fearful of heights. Last section is along a steep, narrow ridge to the summit, may b snow covered and icy.” Right, nothing to fear for a young, fit, seasoned hiker and mountaineer like myself then !!
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Missed a couple of days because I found Las Vegas pretty seedy, sordid, OTT, and generally depressing, so I took no photos and had nothing to say about it. Seemed a cross between the touristy heart of Surfers Paradise and modern Dubai, times about 50 !! And the fact the one of the few tent camp sites was not only in a VERY seedy area of town, but also next to a military airbase which had jet fighters and bombers flying in and out all through the night (yes non stop) was enough to make me pack up the earliest I could on the 20th and head out of town. And as soon as I did, I was much happier !
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Boring, Boring, Boring !!! Well, I guess they have to have some straight bits to link up all the wiggly ones !!! But the road from Death Valley to Las Vegas will not go down in the annals of history as one of the “must drive” roads in this world !! But considering that was the first boring bit I have encountered, I will forgive it.
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Woke up early as I had heard the sunrises were spectacular, and climbed up to the top of the nearby dunes to get a good view. Cold, about 6 deg, and a wind blowing to make you realise you were in the desert ! But then the dawn came up, and the sun slowly illuminated the snowcovered tops of the mountains, and then quickly rolled down the blinds of darkness until they were fully awake ! And when the sun suddenly hit my back, you realised that despite the cold temperature, there was a bite to this sun, even in winter. It must be incredible here in summer.
I think I have started this way before – WOW WOW WOW !!! I do not know what else to say. I left the very plain Bakersfield at about 10 am after doing my blog and making some phone calls to friends. After the rain of the last 4 days, the skies were blue, the air was cold (6 deg C), and the forecast fine. And I checked the road conditions due to the recent snow and the one road I planned to travel on (Hwy 178) was open – No restrictions.
Sunday, 18 March 2012
It had rained heavily again during the night, but when I awoke it was blue sky - Mostly !! But bitterly cold for San Francisco - 7 deg, and a cold wind. Storms predicted for San Jose and Bakersfield today, so Elsie's roof stayed on for the 4th consecutive day !! Must be a record. But set off at about 10.30 am, expecting a 3-4 hour boring drive to Bakersfield.
Saturday, 17 March 2012
Well Friday was another wet day - VERY wet day. More storms rolled in dropping non stop heavy rain on the coast, and snow up in the Sierras. But you can't sit in a motel room all day when you are on a trip like this, so Elsie and I set off in the rain.
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Wet Wet Wet !!! Who says it never rains in Southern California ? (I know, I know - I am in Northern Caifornia now, but that is not what the song says !!!) Started raining as soon as I left Laguna Seca and has now been raining for 3 days while the rest of my route out through Colorado is basking under 70 degrees and blue skies with all mountain passes currently open !! Hope it stays that way next week when I get out there.
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Monday, 12 March 2012
Having enjoyed a number of laps of the track on the Saturday, Monday was a full on track day organised by Dave Mills and Luc Noel of Northern California RacingClub. It was way over subscribed, but they promised me some laps during the lunch break again, and also some passenger rides during the day (In the US, passengers are allowed in the cars on track days, like in UK).
Saturday, 10 March 2012
Friday, 9 March 2012
Nice sunny day again, even if it was still cold, so once packed up I headed off towards Monterey, following Highway 1 up the coast. Not 5 miles from Big Sur I passed the Captain Cooper School - Don't have a clue what it was, but I had to get a photo, didn't I ?
Thursday, 8 March 2012
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Well today the drive started in earnest. Left LA at 9.30 am to avoid the worst of the traffic and headed north on 101 / 1, being the very scenic coastal highway. And what a perfect day - Cool at about 10 deg C to start with, but clear blue skies, and it reached a high of 17 deg C, but still clear blue skies. Just perfect topless driving weather !!
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Bit late posting due to local internet problems, but the ship arived inLong Beach early on Monday 5th March. Louise, who I am staying with, kindly ran me down to Long Beach about an hour south of where they live, but about 5 minutes before we got there the shipping agent rang and said "Don't bother to go to the docks today Giles, they are still unloading" !
Saturday, 3 March 2012
Wow !! What a fantastic morning ! Picked up by Andy in his red car at 8 am, we went half an hour down the freeway on a magnificent Southern California morning to meet up with some others for a morning run.