Thursday, November 01, 2007

San Diego Endurance Run

This year, Ed Archer organized a contingent of cars to attend the San Diego Model T Club Endurance Run which was held on October 20-21. From our club, Archers, Meneelys, Bob and Mark Edwards, Ron McKenzie and his brother, George and Don Azevedo made the trip. We were joined by John Kent and his family and Dave Agliotis and Don Mirassou, so we had a total of 7 cars from our area.
The trip down was uneventful but long. There just is no quick way through Los Angeles on a Friday afternoon, lots of 5 lane parking lots. You might as well wait until late evening or night.
The San Diego club does their Lowland Tour on Saturday, and this was a leisurely warm-up tour of about 30 miles up to the town of Alpine and back. This was followed by tech inspection and a BBQ in the evening at the host hotel. The Phoenix club had brought 10 cars and with our 7, there were about 26 speedsters out in the parking lot. Lot’s of tire kicking and stories.
The Sunday endurance run was another story, as the day turned out to be high adventure. The speedsters departed at one minute intervals from the starting line and headed into the high country east of San Diego. After 10 or 15 miles, we began to encounter a lot of Border Patrol cars and passed a Border check station and pretty soon we saw a sign that said 2 miles to Tecate. "Whoa, isn’t that in Mexico?" "Let’s not make a wrong turn here, I don’t have my passport and we are dressed in funny clothes and driving a funny car!"
The route took us east on highway 94, and we were climbing up and up when we noticed a little column of smoke up on the mountains to the left. As we climbed higher, the column of smoke got bigger and the wind started to pick up. We knew that a Santa Ana wind had been forecast, and as we climbed higher, the wind intensity really picked up. We kept an eye on the column of smoke which was getting bigger by the minute.
By the time we reached the town of Portrero, smoke was blowing across the road and the visibility was way down. We jammed on the accelerator and ran through the smoke. As it turned out, we were the last car to go through Portrero, as the CHP closed the road and the last 15 speedsters were turned back. Now that we were on the other side of the fire, we were really buffeted around by the wind which had to be gusting to 60 or 70 mph and was really cold.
As we pressed on to the east, we finally made it into the town of Campo dodging tumbleweeds and sand. You know it is really blowing when the low profile of a speedster gets pushed around, you don’t trust the chin strap on your hat, you can’t hear the engine and you can’t talk because the wind takes your breath away when you open your mouth. In Campo, I noticed that the wind was actually peeling the paint off the Campo store sign. We caught up with Bob and Mark Edwards, and Bob was hatless, wind burned, sun burned, sand blasted and grinning from ear to ear, "Isn’t this a great run?" Ron McKenzie noted, "I promised my brother an adventure, but I didn’t think it would be hurricane force winds, forest fire and sand storm!" We all agreed that we were definitely having an adventure. Heading north out of Campo, we passed lots of fire trucks heading back the way we had just come.
At Pine Valley, we turned back west on old highway 80 and put the wind at our back, for an easy run back to the finish and steak at Sizzler. Since less than half the cars finished the run, they elected to select a winner by drawing a number from the hat. One of the guys from Arizona was declared the winner, but we folks from northern California know who had the best time. John Kent from our group hit all the checkpoints almost dead on. Mark Edwards was the youngest driver, finishing his first endurance run and what a ride it was for him.
It was a great adventure, new country, new faces, we all had a good time and we will always remember the San Diego run of 2007.
by bob meneely
Epilogue: The fires driven by the Santa Ana winds turned into a major disaster for the San Diego area. Over a thousand homes were lost. Both of the organizers of the speedster run had to evacuate their homes. On the way home, we saw an 18 wheeler laying on its side, blown over by the wind which had measured gusts to 100 mph.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Race for the Barn.

Late on Tuesday nite, the debate raged on what to do about Nicholson’s engine, leaking water into #2 cylinder. Final decision, put a bunch of stopleak in the radiator, run it around a bit, and then drive it home, concensus was that it would probably make it, although it might be on 3 cylinders.

Wednesday morning, we got up at oh-dark-thirty, quicky breakfast and on the road, Nicholson’s car doing okay, adding a little water now and then, the Alumaseal did its job. Course, the cars are pulling out of the motel and I (bob m) hit the starter button and nothing. Either no contact in the switch or the starter has totally died, whipped out the crank and crank started and raced after the group. We had 11 cars as we wound down the Feather River Canyon, very scenic drive, but lots of trucks driven by sports car drivers. As we left the canyon, we disbursed a bit into a couple of groups, and got serious about getting home, fast food and gas and that's it, go, go, go. As we got to Sacramento, at least 3 cars opted for freeways all the way and headed out. The rest took a short stint on I5 until we could get on the river route down to the Antioch bridge, a very nice and peaceful drive after I5 through Sacramento (where are all those people going?). Fortunately, it was not real hot today, and the two groups played leapfrog all the way down the river. We arrived home about 3:30, banished the A to the garage and collapsed on the couch.

Mechanically, this tour to Pendleton has taken an unusually high toll on the cars. Buenos are on their 3rd alternator, Darryl could be tracked from Pendleton to home by following the oil trail. Nicholsons limped in with a leaking head gasket. Bill Rose has a clack, Melvin has a clunk, Ewart used up two bendixes, Meneely lost an engine in the first car and then a clutch arm and a starter in the 2nd car, Jack shed a fan blade and made a nice new hood dent.

In the minor category, John and Judy lost their speedometer, tachometer and temperature gauge and had a flat tire, even Chuck Elderton had to change a condenser by the side of the road. And I almost forgot, Will Lancaster had a flat tire. The winner of the maintenance free no trouble car prize is Ed Simpson, I want him to work on my car.

At breakfast, somebody brought up driving to Dallas in 2008 and got shouted down, it might not have been the right time to bring it up.
by bob m

The Very End

We all departed the Best Western Motel this morning at 6:30 AM. The same West Bestern in Chester with the frustrating so-called wireless connection that crumbles in the middle of a thought.
Linda & Bill decided against doing major surgery on the Vicky this morning, believing the car could make it home. We left town with crossed fingers, light hearts, and full tanks of gas...invincible. We passed the southern shores of Lake Almanor wrapped in the fragrance of the pine woods, headed down the road to the Feather River. We attempted to run Hwy 70 along the Feather early in the day to avoid the traffic on this two lane route. We succeeded in getting there early but did not succeed in avoiding the traffic.
Truckers there delight in crawling up your rear bumper and breathing on your rear view mirror.
Took a break to watch a train of 100 cars or more squealing along the tracks across the river doing about 40 mph on the craggy hillside. So far, the Vicky was running well, and we longed for home.
Next stop was Yuba City for fuel and a stretch. Someone said that there was a possible fire on Bill's ranch, as he flew by us sitting at the Quickie Snack & Gas.
We figured that was the last of Bill, but the rumor must have been false, because we saw him not long after as we tried to tack down Darryl's new top along the side of the road.
Things were deteriorating...Bob & Patti's starter wasn't doing what it oughtta, their oil was vaporizing in the morning air. Darryl could see daylight where his top should be, and announced that he could not go over 45 mile an hour. Our clutch wasn't clutching so well, and it was getting hot...upper nineties. Plus, we hadn't seen the Vicky in awhile...
Running along the River Road in the Delta, we suddenly saw Bill's, Mel's, and Linda's A's parked for lunch in Isleton. Up, over the high arched Antioch Bridge we ran, on toward the killer Vasco Road, full of crazed drivers and roadkill. Then, over the top into the Livermore Valley...we could see Bill's ranch off in the distant hills, glistening in the hot afternoon sun. By the last climb up the Sunol Grade, we'd lost Patti & Bob, but kept in touch by phone.
Home at last, we called Bill & Linda to make sure. They arrived home under their own power. There were lots of mechanical problems, and a bit of fun. The real miracles were Bill and Mel...Mel had a coupe that by rights should have been dead and buried back in Gold Beach, and Bill's sedan was making terrible mysterious rattles, yet they both made a 1500 mile side trip to Grand Coulee Dam, and kept on running strong all the way home. Now we can all patch and repair for next time.
Thanks for going along with all of us on this 2400 mile trek. See you up the road.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

There's always something

Before we explain why we're posting so late, we ought to run down the day's activities and start on a positive note. We left Alturas in two groups this morning early, around 6:30 AM...that translates to a 4AM wake up call, by the way. Winding along Hwy 299, the scenery gradually changed from high desrt chaparall to Scrub Oak, Jeffrey Pine, and Manzanita as we climbed in the crisp morning air toward the Lassen National Forest. Some stopped at the first antique store spotted in Fall River Mills, run by a skinny old biker guy who parked his Harley right inside the front door of his store. Bob and John bought big old cow bells, and some Model A tools. Then, not yet weary of the hunt, we stopped at another rust yard outside of Burney.
We all took a nice side trip to Burney Falls and spent an hour enjoying the peace and beauty of the place. But then it was on to Lassen Park, and a climb to over 8500 feet...some like it hot. Temps we're definitely on the rise as we rode through the park,learning about the catastrophic eruption of Lassen in 1915. We stopped at some sulphur springs and admired the crystal clear Lake Helen at the botttom of a steep winding ribbon of road.
Driving on to Chester in the 90 degree heat, there were casualties. Bill & Linda's Vicky is blowing water out of the manifold and bubbling up a storm in the radiator...all indications of either a cracked block, or hopefully, just a bad headgasket. The consensus is to wait until morning, and either leave, hoping the engine will get them home, or pull the head and change the gasket. More than a few of us are running a little rough, and we're like a band of road warriors straggling home after the barbarians massacred us in battle. One way or the other, we come home today....
John & Judy

Monday, July 30, 2007

Alturas on the Rebound

With heavy hearts we departed Burns, OR this morning. It was windy overnight, and the sun came up over a cloudy, chilly plateau. Most of the group decided to leave early (around 6 AM by most accounts). Ron & Liz stayed behind to install yet another alternator with the help of Chuck and Will. John & Judy took the point about five minutes ahead of this late group, as we headed down Hwy 395, through the high desert. No sooner than we were on the lonely road out of civilization did I notice that my temp and tach gauges were doing odd things and reporting impossible readings. Since these two electrical gauges share a common ground, it didn’t take too long to figure out why my RPMs were gyrating between 0 & 6000, and it was a relief to discover that we really weren’t boiling at 235+ degrees.
Hwy 385 out of Burns is a lonely, desolate road…all desert paintbrush and tumbleweed. Very little traffic frequents this route. About midway between Burns and Lake View, a foolish little girl flipped her junk car off the Highway into the jimson weed. She was ok, but the junker will never be the same. We came on an Enterprise Moving Van the day before out in the desert that took a flip or two into the brush. Upside down cars in the desert sand are always an eerie sight. These roads are narrow and monotonous, and the shoulders are treacherous, just waiting for you to make a mistake.
Once in Lakeview, we planned to wait for the group behind us at the “Perpetual Geyser”, so we checked in at the visitor center to ask where this amazing local attraction might be found. The helpful lady told Judy that the geyser was closed because of the water shortage…? I guess they shut down the geyser to save water. But if they shut the geyser down, then it’s not perpetual…right? Is there a secret perpetual valve on the perpetual geyser? Who decides to shut the geyser down? The nice lady at the Chamber of Commerce? We never did see Chuck & Nora, Will & Carla & Chris, or Liz & Ron, but I bet they’re just as disappointed as we are about that geyser. Maybe they ought to change the name to the Periodic Geyser, or the Insert Coin Here Geyser…
We rolled into California, and stopped to take a pic of the big “Welcome to California” sign at the state line.

There was a rustic old building full of junk/antiques on Stateline Street, and when the owner saw us stop, she promptly locked the front door and drove off to lunch.
We’re going into town to see who’s here in the ritzier part of town.
Guess What? You’ll never believe who just rolled up to our door at the Broken Spokes Wagon Wheel Motel…BOB MENEELY!!! Patti’s here, too! Whoopee!!!

John & Judy

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Last Day in Pendleton

The car games took place yesterday, and one of the travelling group from the Touring A's won in that event...I believe they spell their name "Speers"...Ewert and Cathy.

A lot of us caught up on laundry or tried to eat at one last restaurant or see one more attraction we'd been meaning to experience all week. The Banquet was set out at the Convention Center and began at 5:30 PM. Good Prime Rib, friends, and liquid refreshment made the ensuing 4 hour event almost painless. Liz Bueno took Best of Show in fashion, our old friends, the Richards, took home an award of Excellence with that beautiful '28 Blindback of theirs.

Chris Lancaster took 1st in Hubleys and also made a fine showing in the Youth Awards program, taking home a grant of $75 for all his hard work and dedication to the hobby. Patti Jones also figured high in the Fashion category.

Speedy Elderton walked away with a nice plaque, and Lucky Linda won the centerpiece. We may have forgotten someone, but we'll get it straight by next meeting.
We all left breakfast at the Center this morning headed down Hwy 395.
The rolling plains transformed to an alpine system as we wound up into the piney woods of Battle Mountain in the Malheur National Forest. Gas stations were few and far between...none in Long Creek, and then a long stretch into John Day, Oregon on an empty tank, with a Model A running on memories. Nice ride into Burns with a few climbs and lots of trees. It's been hot up here, but no where near as hot as we expected.
Looks like we're all here in Burns/Hines, working our way down the map toward home. Tomorrow, we aim for Alturas. If you have any comments, feel free to put in your five cents worth right here.
John & Judy and a bunch of other Model A-ers

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday's Events

Car Judging: Jack Richard and Diana, entered their '28 blindback.

The Swap Meet, know Ted Kafer found something, door handle, and Darryll Coe found watches, but there was nothing we found. Ray, lots of rust!

Went to the Pendleton underground tour.
Wool on an actual scale donated by the Pendleton Mills

In the 20's and 30's, the Empire Meet Market used the underground to bring in pig and steer to their meat market. Cut it up underground and brought it upstairs for selling.

The Saddle up your A's committee arranged for a free bracelet, along with a model a charm in the goodie bag,to get one started and reeled in, in collecting the charms. We perused the town for charms in search of different charms for the bracelet. ie:Charm at the underground is a colt 45. Each of the different merchants all over Pendleton offer a speciality charm, for the bracelet the Chamber of Commerce offers.

posted by John and Judy

Were here-- were here. Wednesday's Events

The Gravity Drag event- Chuck E car was loaded for weight!
The Tama'stslikt Indian Cutural Center:
On the way...lots of A's

And the cattle feed Welcome BBQ and show.

posted by John and Judy

Thursday, July 26, 2007

And the Fun Continues....Tuesday Evening

Tuesday Night at the welcome ice cream social-We were treated to an Indian Dance from the Umatilla Indian Dancers in the City Park.

posted by John and Judy

Everybody's All Over Pendleton...

At The Hill Climb??? on a runway...Bob you could've flown in!!!and beat them all.

More speed trials.

Chris and Sharon Pelikan our Colorado Members

With everyone going in all directions~~~ Here are some pictures that most of are participating in.
Tour to the Rohde Farm:
On The Way---
And this is their road to the Farm House of Glenn & Joyce Rohde, about 15 miles from Pendleton or 44 roundabout miles via backroads.Her collection of Era Shoes, more like Victorian collection.
We parked in their driveway, about 40 cars.The Rohde's wheat fields as far as the eye can see. Darryll Coe's car at the edge of the drive.

posted by John and Judy

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Adieu Aufwedersien Ciou...

Can't spell those foreign words. We're going to put the blog to bed now that we're in Pendelton. We are dispersed in all directions, doing many different activities. The Saturday Departure Group, Ted & Susan, Don & Judy, Ron & Liz and Jay & Jeannie have just arrived, so we are all present and accounted for. Saw Patti & Sam at the Convention Center and Clair & Philippa just came in from Medford. Nice day today in the eighties...but still no sign of Bob & Patti...DARN! Some of us took a 72 mile ride down the road to Echo,
where the Rohdes Family lives in a beautiful home overlooking many acres of their wheat fields...downstairs they have a mini museum of era collectables from old model trains to a 1903 one-of-a-kind vintage car. We've included a few pictures of the tour and one picture of Linda washing the Vicky for the second time in as many days!

The return trip ought to be uneventful as far as day to day reporting, and you all are probably sick of hearing about us, so we'll see how it goes on the return side of this adventure with the Model A gremlins.
Thanks for riding up with us vicariously, and regrets that the creators of the blog were not here to report...
John/Judy and the rest of the mob, July 24, 2007