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  • Beyond Portland

    Instead of returning from Portland, I turned the pickup south. I'm on my way to Los Angeles to spend a few days with my daughter. I'm taking 101 and 1 (staying away from I-5) and seeing a few sights along the way. In L.A., I hope to take part in at least a couple of car events. I'll try to post photos regularly, but I'm depending on my puny little netbook and free wi-fi so I can't promise a lot..

    Because there's a daughter at the south end of the trek, my wife Mary is traveling with me. She isn't exactly a fan of loud, rough-riding, confined cars, but she's being a pretty good sport about the whole long-distance Mini thing.

    Our first stop was in McMinnville at the air and space museum there. Because we wanted to get to Florence before nightfall, I promised not to linger over every P-40 and F-4 and all manner of interesting aircraft.


    Just walking into the front door is jarring, because the star of the show towers -- and I mean towers -- over everything. The scale of the Hughes Air Boat is overwhelming. It seems that everywhere you go, the Hughes' wing is overhead.


    It's real big.





    I promised not to take all day, so when I checked out the museum's B-17 and met docent Bill Jarvis, photo shooting had to take a back seat. Bill is in his 80s now, but when he was 18 he was piloting a Flying Fortress over Europe. I had him all to myself and I got lost talking to him about his experiences. The guy was bright and talkative and fascinating. I spent most of my allotted museum time chatting, but I wished I had several more days to pepper him with questions. He was worth the trip.

    The McMinnville facility is way more world-class -- and extensive -- than I ever expected. If you're any kind of fan of flying machines, you owe it to yourself to make the pilgrimage.

    More to come.

    Dan
    Dan

    "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

  • #2
    We'd intended to get as far as Florence on Sunday, but the pickup's humming and we made good time. When we got to Florence, we decided to stay on the road for a while longer. Consequently, we spent the night in Bandon.




    I had to stop in a few places for seaside shots. And at each stop there are people wanting to know about the car. You know, pretty much all the same questions.


    Of course, I had to stop for a few big-tree shots.


    As we did on our '05 San Ramon trip, I jogged over to Samoa, the nearly defunct community just north of Eureka. Here's a shot of the pickup at the Samoa Cookhouse, an historic restaurant there that's still turning out logger-scale meals.

    More in a minute.

    Dan
    Dan

    "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

    Comment


    • #3

      Here we are in front of the old Carson Mansion (now the Ingomar Club) in Eureka.

      Eureka was our goal, but again, the pickup's running smoothly and the wind seems to be behind us. We're spending the night in Garberville. Tomorrow, we'll take 1 over to the coast so we can slide through Mendocino and approach the Bay Area via wine country. The roads in that area are fantastic and I'm looking forward to the drive.

      More tomorrow, if I can.

      Dan
      Dan

      "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice shots Dan.

        I've been to the McMinnville facility and agree, it is a great place to visit if one has any interest in vintage aircraft and related.

        Comment


        • #5
          Two days without wi-fi and I'm running behind. Here's where we've been since Monday:

          Tuesday was a day of exhilaration. An incredible day. That morning, we lit out of Garberville on 101. At Liggett, I turned west on Highway 1 -- 22 miles of narrow, twisty, switchbacking road that snakes up and over the coast range through pine forest. And you never know when a loaded logging truck will come roaring around the next blind bend. When the road reaches the coast, it breaks south with another long stretch of narrow twisties, then straightens through Fort Bragg and Mendocino. After Mendocino, we took Hwy 128, which twists and turns uphill and down through redwood forestsand wine country all the way back to 101. That has to be my all-time favorite stretch of highway gymnastics. Back to reality, we rode 101 through San Francisco and spent the night in Pacifica.


          Here's the pickup in picturesque Mendocino.


          Crossing the Golden Gate.

          Wednesday was a regular ol' working-class drive down 101 through San Jose, Palo Alto, etc., to Paso Robles wine country, where we once again cut across to the coast. Stopping at a couple of wineries helped salvage some of the day.


          Typical hills of PR wine area. There's a little vineyard tucked into just about every hollow there.


          Stayed last night in Cambria. The manager of this pleasant little place was thrilled with the car. We got a good deal on the room and he gave us covered parking.

          More in a minute.

          Dan
          Dan

          "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

          Comment


          • #6



            Toured the Hearst Castle this morning, then drove up the coast to Piedras Blancas to watch elephant seals sunning on the beach. Then it was back on Hwy 1, trying to stick to the scenic, Mini-friendly alternative to 101. Eventually, however, we were forced to get on 101 to make it to LA by dinner time. Pulled into Encino around 6 and found No. 1 daughter's new apartment. Tomorrow I'll find a place to wash about 1,200 miles off the pickup. In the evening, I plan to visit Bob's Big Boy drive-in in Burbank for some serious car-watching.

            Stay tuned for more photos.

            Dan
            Dan

            "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

            Comment


            • #7
              And I'm already in and out of LA. Friday night at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank was good fun.



              I got there late, but some people found and held a space for me so I could talk to them about the pickup. I stayed for awhile and checked out the cars (mostly hot rods) and introduced a lot of people to Minis.

              Cars and Coffee in Irvine (very early) Saturday morning was a lot of fun, too.



              Way more exotica in Orange County. The whole place smelled of horsepower.



              And one Mini.



              Usually there's a handful of Minis around (from the photos I've seen), but Saturday I had the only one there. The fact it was a pickup had a lot of people intrigued.

              Dan
              Dan

              "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

              Comment


              • #8




                This morning I left LA and set out across the Mojave Desert for the trek home. It was about as hot as I'd expected, so I kept an eye on the temp gauge as I drove the 250 or so miles to Bishop, at about 5,000 feet up in the Owens Valley.

                When I got to Bishop, it was only about 3:30, so I thought I'd continue on to Lee Vining, another hour farther up the road on the east side of Yosemite. About 15 miles north of Bishop, the road climbs steeply for 10 miles, and somewhere in the top half of the grade, the engine temp climbed over the boiling point. I pulled over at a radiator-water stop to let the little guy cool down.



                Rather than risk breaking or warping something, I waited for the temp to drop and I turned around and returned to Bishop. I'm in a hotel there now, and I'll get up early in the morning and attack the hill. This is the first hiccup in my trip, but I guess it isn't too surprising in this scalding weather.

                Reno tomorrow.

                Dan
                Dan

                "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's two weeks later and I think I'm about recovered from the trip. I have just a few more photos to post from the last couple of days.


                  This was just outside Lee Vining on the shores of Mono Lake.


                  We're well beyond Mono Lake here. This is the view from the cab while traveling through the Sweetwater Mountains on my way to Nevada. It's a good thing I filled the tank in Bishop; gas up here was $4+ a gallon.


                  The roads in this part of the country are lined with snow poles so you can find the highway in the winter.

                  I was going to spend the night in Reno and visit the National Automobile Museum, but I got tangled up in Reno's freeway traffic and decided to skip the place altogether. I continued on to Susanville (Calif.) and found some fairly lonely roads up there. From Susanville, I climbed even higher on Hwy 139 for some very satisfying cruising through pine forests. During the drive to Adin, I saw probably three other cars -- and some beautiful woodsy vistas.


                  Somewhere way up on the Pit River, I pulled over for a photo break. And even up here in the middle-of-nowhere Modoc country, people stopped to talk about the car. Amazing.

                  Dan
                  Dan

                  "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just wanted to post some more views of Cars & Coffee in Irvine. If you're ever visiting Disneyland or some other southern Southern Cal attraction and you have a Saturday morning to spend, the drive to Irvine is worth it.


                    Where else are you going to get a chance to see a 458 Italia?


                    430s are everywhere, it seems.




                    Not all the cars are super high-buck exotics, however. You'll find some beautiful hot rods as well.

                    Dan
                    Dan

                    "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Still, you're going to see some damn fine foreign cars.




                      Ultima Can Am, anyone? Small-block Chevy. Zero-to-sixty in the time it takes your heart to restart. Ariel Atom off to the port side.


                      This little kid understands C&C.

                      That's it. 2,700+ miles of Mini touring. And day after day of sunshine -- right up until I reached the slopes of Mt. Hood, where the precip began. And increased into Washington. What a welcome home! In pounding rain near Castle Rock, the car started cutting out intermittently. Closure of the Jackson Highway below Chehalis meant I was forced onto I-5, where the little truck was constanly and seriously drenched by everything on the road. It was miserable, and I limped home, getting off the freeway south of Olympia and connecting with 507 at Yelm. After letting the car sit for a couple of days, I changed the fuel filter and went over the fuel-pump circuit. It seems to be working OK now, and even those last hours of uncertainty couldn't take away from the thrill of traipsing up and down the West Coast in the pickup.

                      Dan
                      Dan

                      "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

                      Comment

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