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

Monday, July 23, 2007

Day five...new arrivals

We have all arrived in Pendelton. There's a plethora of stories to tell, however.
John & Judy stayed away from the main group at the Cascade Locks in a little cabin in the midst of re-modelling. The rest of the group stayed at the Best Western, and none of the rooms were under heavy construction.

Anticipating a 7AM start time, J&J arrived at the hotel early, to find no Model A-ers stirring. Will straggled into the lobby to report that the depart time had been revised to 8AM. Linda appeared, and we asked her if she had seen Bill yet this morning, to which she cheerilly replied: "I saw him earlier fiddling with his horn..." A moment passed as J & J looked at each other, before we asked: "Sparton?". We referred to our spiral-bound, official Northwest Regional Driving Schedule, but there was nothing about a new depart time, or fiddling with your horn that early in the morning...
Some of us crossed the bridge to the Washington side of the Columbia River, heading for Pendelton, while others elected to take the nice 4 lane, separated highway on the Oregon side. J & J had a flat about 30 miles out to start the morning,

Daryl is losing oil from the rear main faster than he can pour it in, Bill & Linda have been experiencing Model A hot flashes in this heat, and all of us arrived a tad testy and damp in the heat.
Happy Hour dispelled all our rancor, hosted by Daryl and Jack in a special room they paid for out of their own pocket! Nice touch, guys! We needed to unwind after a 1000 plus miles on the road!

Dave & Susan, Jack & Diana have arrived, and we were tickled to see Chris & Sharon pull into the parking lot in their Model A. We left Bill in the Happy Hour room demonstrating the Blog site to our new travel companions (Delta A's) Ed & Dianne.
As we departed for our rooms, I passed Karla while she was using her key card to open her door. Will was farther down the hall, and I told him Karla was going into a strange room back there. Without a blink, he said "We gotta pay for this trip somehow". Oh Will, oh Will...You gonna pay for that!
Maybe we're just like over-stimulated children...we need to go to bed.

Day 4 - Headin' up the Columbia river

Click on pictures for a bigger version.

From John and Judy:

Last night, the main group stayed in a sensible motel in Tillamook. We, on the other hand, stayed up the road and on the beach at the Slippery Sandy Slope Motel in Rockaway Beach. Before we get to the accounting of Day Four, here’s a copy of the e-mail we sent Patti this morning:

“You ever had really bad motel neighbors? Title this: “ Hillbillys visit the Seashore”. Maw and Paw next door had more kids between them than they had teeth. And each one of them kids slammed the back door at least twenty times last night… after midnight. They kept running down to the ocean out back, but the fierce undertow refused to take ‘em. I think Maw and Paw brought Pappy along, because you could hear him cackling and spitting out the back door over the kid’s heads. We abandoned all hopes of sleep about three this morning when one of the misbegotten little idiots began strumming on his home-made banjo…This morning, I can picture them all huddled on the motel floor, like a pack of raccoons, sniffing the air and twitching happily in sniffy contentment.”

Both groups left about 7 AM this morning in the drizzly rain, headed for Astoria and the Maritime Museum. Mel’s coupe is hanging in there, and he’s babying it along. Bill thinks the Sedan is making an odd noise, but no one, so far, can identify the malady. Joel woke to a flat tire, and Bill and Mel sent everyone ahead, while they assessed their situations. They did get to the Maritime Museum, and went on to Sea View for lunch…by 3 PM, they were still there, wondering what that new sound was coming from Jack’s car. Bill cancelled happy hour, since it will probably take four hours to reach the Locks.

When I called Bill from Jack & Dianna’s in Portland, he gave me a new name…”Ditcher John”. Think I better lay low for a few months.

The Jones’ have been staying at Jack & Dianna’s for the last few days, and will drive with them to Pendelton tomorrow.

Less than 200 miles to go to our destination…keep a good thought for our safe arrival.

Drifting around the mighty Columbia River Basin…J & J, Bill, Liz & Ron, Bill & Linda, Joel, Ed & Dianne, Will, Chris & Karla, Pat & Reiko, Chuck & Nora, Mel, Daryl, Ewert & Cathy, Jack, the bird of mechanical woes, and Bob & Patti in spirit…

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Day three…and the beat goes on, July 21, 2007

We have a truly wireless connection tonight at the Silver Sandals on the Frigid Beach Motel in Rockaway Beach, Oregon! We’ll even attempt to post some pictures. Most of us left Gold Beach and the Bot’s Dots Motel about 7 AM this morning, although Mel left even earlier. He’s running gingerly along on a motor that may not last much longer. For now, the plan is to take it easy and see how far that little blue coupe will go. Last we heard Mel was in Lincoln City with the main group about 4 PM.
Some of us stopped for a slooow breakfast in Port Orford, while it continued to rain steadily on our parade. Outside of Coos Bay we stopped for a short tour of the Clausen Oyster works conducted by the owner, Lilli Clausen…who is a dead ringer for Doctor Ruth Westheimer. She stands about four foot nothing, but she sure knows her oysters. It continued to rain steadily as we rolled out of there and continued on toward Newport. Chuck and Nora, Jack, and Ron and Liz all waited patiently at the Firehouse Restaurant for lunch with the rest of the group, but schedules were running late and the others decided to skip the date.
It rained all day, and by this time I remembered what I forgot…a toothbrush and the windshield wiper arm for the car. Spent the whole day peering through the dancing rain drops on my windshield. We ran into a gigantic traffic nightmare in Lincoln City. The whole freeway to Eugene was completely closed down and the traffic heading to Astoria and Tillamook was detoured off the main road. We wound up taking a “scenic” route up through a pristine lonely forest…no other vehicles to be seen…real Bigfoot country. And we never did find out was the disaster was that closed down the entire freeway system for miles around Lincoln City.
The main group plans to have oysters tonight in Tillamook . Bill couldn’t pass up buying a sack of them from Doctor Ruth back there in Coos Bay. Bill & Linda hosted the first night’s happy hour back in Bragg, and Will & Karla did the honors last night. Its called happy hour because we’re all so happy we made another day in that Model A!
Let’s try some pictures tonight for the sensible folks who stayed home.

Day Two in the Can, July 20, 2007

We’re in Gold Beach, Oregon tonight. That is, most of us are here. Bob & Patti are in Crescent City on an unscheduled layover, alone, with a broken Model A. It doesn’t even matter much what went wrong. The sad news is that the mechanical problem is so bad that they can’t continue. But the good news is that they are safe, in a good-size town with a U-Haul trailer reserved to carry the old Coupe home Saturday morning. Bob had the great good sense and experience to recognize the problem, and stop in a civilized place before they found themselves disabled on a wind-y, two lane road in the wilds of the Oregon coast. Sometimes, the old Model A DOESN’T get you there, so it helps to be smart…
Mel is having some problems with his “A” as well. Won’t be sure if he’s able to continue until later tonight or tomorrow morning…sure hope the trouble can be repaired. Two of the top mechanics in the club having problems tonight. Makes you stop and think. Long touring is a lot of fun, but it’s also real serious business with some consequences attached to all those primitive miles…
On the fun side, we started out this morning fresh, and ready to drive 270 miles after a continental breakfast at the Holiday in Fort Bragg. We drove through the rugged coastal redwood forest to Leggitt and paid $5 for the privilege of driving your car through a giant redwood …this one is named the “Chandelier” Redwood. Then we ferged on to Forndale to explore the shops and emporiums on Victorian Main Street. Another marathon lunch occurred at the Samoa Cookhouse today outside of Eureka, where many over-ate anonymously. We took a group picture outside the eatery. Some of us kneeled for the shot, and were unable to arise gracefully afterwards. Patti was heard to ask Bob for assistance after a loud “OOMPH”
From here, we took the sinuous, unforgiving two-lane up the 101 coast to Gold Beach. Magnificent scenery and a clear day to enjoy the rocky coastline. The farther we drove, the misty-er it got, until we drove into a rainy motel called Jot’s Resort in Gold Beach.
After some calls back and forth to Bob & Pattti, in an effort to forestall the inevitable, Bob called at 10:20 PM to advise that they are definitely heading home tomorrow morning, which is going to make the party less cheery. Dang…
On to Tillamook and beyond.
Ps: since Rot’s Resort only has wireless WIFI if you trot your computer down to the office and sit nicely at their station, we’ll send this tomorrow from a more civilized venue.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Day 2 – Raining on my parade.

Click on any picture for a larger version.

Bob M: Departed at 7:00am, at 7:15 got a call from Darryl, Jack’s battery was completely dead and they were still at the campground 15 miles south. Bob M gave some shade tree advice, “when you get it started, bang on the cutout, and if that doesn’t get it to charging, put on the alternator which Jack is carrying.” And the group kept on going in true SCVC fashion.

Several calls later, they were at our motel with a battery charger on the car. Except now they are 2 hours behind the pack.

Drove the twisty turny route 1 to Leggett and took pictures at the drive-thru redwood tree, and then made a break for Ferndale on 101 which compared to hwy 1 is a straight and level boulevard. Averaged 55 mph most of the way.

Ferndale is a Victorian town, very quaint, lots of gingerbread on the houses, main street right out of 1920. Great shops, old time soda fountain, general store with stacks of boaters, penny candy for $2 a bag.

12 miles to Eureka, gas is low, Patti claims the gas gauge is no longer bouncing, Bob says no problemo. The tank only took 9.27 gallons, see, lots of gas left. We ate family style for an hour and a half at the Samoa Cookhouse, and Jack and Darryl showed up in time to eat. Afterwards we all decided that we were not going to have dinner ever again, and pushed on north on 101.

And then the fun began, Bob’s little engine rattle became a BIGGER engine rattle. Stopped about 15 miles out of Crescent City to take a closer listen to my engine, and that’s when we decided that we were not going to make it to Pendleton. At 4:45 we passed a U-haul dealer in Crescent City, made a U-ie and got there just before he closed for the weekend and made arrangements for a truck and dolly. Meanwhile, Chuck Elderton came by and stopped to listen to the rattle. He immediately identified it as a broken piston, sounding just like the one he had a couple months ago. Chuck’s advice was to go have a nice dinner and forget about it. Good advice.

Checked into the Super 8, cancelled a bunch of reservations, and decided to go look for some food after all. We walked about a half mile down the road and went for a seafood dinner. As we were sitting there looking out the window, what else, it began to rain. Did we bring an umbrella? What do you think. This was the week that was, so far.

And here is a Jack story. Jack and Darryl met a guy taking pictures of the old cars, turns out they have mutual friends, asked about any cheap motels in Gold Beach, guy says I have a house that I am working on, you can stay there for free. So there they are in this old house, which now that it is raining is leaking a little. Jack is thinking of putting up his tent. But you gotta admit, the price is right.

John Guzzetta is hereby designated as the official blogger for the rest of the trip.

Bob m