Sunday, June 23, 2019

AH, it’s Road Trippin’ Season!

Road Trippin’
with Steve McCarthy

‘Tis the season to be Trippin’. Weather might actually get decent, although in SoCal, June Gloom is still in effect. On the Solstice, I though we were back in Scotland! Anyway, we’re off on a trek to Olympia, WA (I swear we’ve worn our own groove in the 101) to see Mom and hook up with The Great Race. No, we didn’t enter, not at $5k for the privilege of driving our own car on public roads, and certainly, not what amounts to a Time/Speed/Distance Rallye. All that math ruins a nice drive! 

I got a message on Facebook awhile back from my old (as in I’ve known her a long time, not that she’s particularly old, mind you) Renee Crist who manages the collection at the LeMay Museum in Tacoma (BEST JOB IN THE WORLD!). Seems the GR is ending there after starting in Riverside, and they are having a car show to celebrate! On the day before my birthday (don’t ask--but it beats the alternative). So, called Mom, asked her if she was up to making me an apple pie and set to planning.  BTW, did I mention we’d take the Yellow Submarine on its Longest Trek Yet?  

Now the planning for a Road Trip like this is easy. No massively long days behind the wheel, a nice, leisurely drive (there can be nothing else in my Froggy Low Rider): Monrovia to King City and a night in an Iron Bottom Classic Motel, Keefer’s Inn in King City. Lunch we plan on Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, and no, we aren’t, for once, leaving at the buttcrack of dawn. Like I said, Leisurely. 

Next day will take us to Clearlake to inflict ourselves on my Old (and this time I mean OLD) Buddy, Bill Morgan. We plan on some interesting roads we’ve not seen for this leg. King City to Hollister, across on CA 152 to the Dreaded I-5 (yeah, I know), through Sacramento, then through Woodland on CA 16 to CA 20 to Clearlake. Supposed to be a very pretty drive, and a new one for us. 

From there, we’ll head to Grants Pass, OR and have two options. One is back to the I-5 (which north of Sacramento isn’t as mind numbing as the stretch south to Bakersfield) and a stop for lunch in Dunsmuir, or, the more (for us) traditional route, back to the 101, through the redwoods, Eureka, and US 199 to Grants Pass. Either one are gorgeous drives. Well see which one we opt for that morning. 

St. Serendipity has blessed us again, because the Great Race is stopping for the night in Grants Pass, and parking about a block from the motel we found last time we stopped there, the Knight’s Inn. And BONUS, in the same block as our favorite place to eat there, the Happy Clam. 

From there is’t mostly a straight shot up the I-5 to Olympia, but we might veer off in Salem to follow Old US 99 to Portland. 

Should be a great trip. We have almost packed and loaded the car. Just washed and waxed the Auld Girl, and are ready to Roullez les Bon Temps!