Friday, March 25, 2011


Day 6 Thursday, March 24, 2011  Click on any pic for a larger version.



Our last sunrise in Death Valley





All the A’s turned out way before departure time and all pointed towards home.


12 Model A’s and 4 modern cars said good bye to Death Valley at 9 this morning  after we sang Happy Birthday to Lee DalCanto.   John and Lizanne Polland waved as they had to wait for the AAA truck to tow them to Bakersfield. It is always hard to leave a Model A friend behind. But we knew that we would meet them in Bakersfield in time for dinner.  Everyone was instructed to go up the 8 1/2% grade to Towne Pass (engine eater) in second gear and 20 mph.  No lugging the engines and no high rpms, and everyone made it just fine.

The weather was beautiful with bright blue sky and white fluffy clouds. Our tail gunners in the modern cars have done a fantastic job keeping us on the road and not leaving anyone behind. Thank you bunches.

We headed to Ridgecrest for lunch. By the time we arrived Charlotte the yellow phaeton was getting more and more unhappy. Chuck Elderton kept adding water but finally decided he needed to get the radiator repaired. He found a radiator shop in town so they stayed behind for repairs. Ted and Susan Kafer headed to San Jose in their rental car because they needed to get home so they could return to Bakersfield to pick up their Model A with the blown engine. More good byes. While we ate lunch, we checked the Caltrans 800 number for road conditions over Walker Pass, especially since we could see a lot of snow in the distance.  The Caltrans recording advised that chains were required.  Drat!!  We kind of felt that the recording was wrong so what we did was proceed to the turnoff for Walker Pass and flagged down the first car we saw.  He informed us that thTDSC04329e pass was absolutely clear, which was great for us because this was definitely the shortest route to Bakersfield.

So we took route 178 over Walker Pass, past Lake Isabella and down the canyon  along the Kern River. This was a beautiful drive with wild flowers, boulders, rushing water and mountains with some snow.   Here is a little video in the canyon.

Arrived in BakersTDSC04340field just in time to browse through a 3 story antique store housed in an old 5 & 10 store.  Hurried back to the motel to rest up for a Basque  dinner. John and Lizanne were waiting for us. Followed John and Judy to Noreiga’s on Sumner St. which is kind of an industrial area and makes you wonder how a restaurant can survive there in what has to be the worst location in Bakersfield.  We had 30 people at a long longTDSC04341 table and the food and wine were very good. Of course we ate too much. On the way back we stopped at a Pep Boy Club for a few essential things for the A’s. When we came out Bob Beaman tried to start his car but kept blowing a fuse.  It had something to do with the headlights so finally we disconnected a few wires and jury rigged the ignition with some alligator jumpers and sandwiched him without any lights between two little black coupes that did have lights and led him back to the motel. And yes, our tail gunner Wilkinsons stayed with us.

The parking lot seminar went on until 10:00. The problem isn’t really solved but he doesn’t need lights tomorrow, and the jury rig jumpers will get him home.  And we thought we were going to have a day with no problems.  Just one more day to the barn.



Is that Bob Meneely surreptiously taking his carburetor apart?


camicia said...

It has been raining here by the bucket loads for days. Hope you guys make it home without anymore problems.
Mike and Nadine

Anonymous said...

Mark & I jump on the computer every morning to get the latest news of your travels. We have enjoyed reading the blog and we are very glad to hear that you are almost all home safely. We were wondering if we were going to have the members add up their repair receipts so we could decided who will deserve the "Hard Luck Trophy" Drive safely! Rest up...We will see you Tuesday.
Jill Barrett, SCVC

Anonymous said...

I guess you can't trust CalTrans to give you the correct info. Glad you make it over the pass into Bakersfield to enjoy your Basque dinner and antique shopping. Sorry to hear that Bob & Mary had another car problem. I bet they will be happy to see their driveway on Friday. Safe travels to all. And thanks for the call.

L & AG

Anonymous said...

Yahoooooo! We made it home! Thanks for such a great trip. We had so much fun and we have great stories that will last us for a few days. Bob has white knuckles from that last 20 miles coming home on 101. We thought the carb had coughed it's last cough, but we made it by feathering the choke all the way home. Thanks again great trip,
Mary & Bob

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Good job to all the intrepid Model A-ers
Looks like a fun trip!
Glad you're back home!