Monday, August 12, 2013

Searching for love, on twisty mountain roads

Not everything is about sailing; there are other things.

This weekend was the 2013 Dude Tour - where men of indeterminate age (I think I get the award for the oldest) take their (mostly) classic cars out and actually drive them (oh, the horror!).  And this is not just driving, but driving at (some would say ridiculous) speed thru twisty back mountain roads.  But we're not crazy - these must all be paved roads.  Nobody wants gravel rash on their baby.

And there is camping.  And adult beverages, of course (by now you must know me well enough to believe that I would give the event a pass if this were not true), campfires, and daily turn-by-turn recounts of the driving.

Here are this year's participants (from left to right):
  • VW Golf R32 (Phil)
  • 1966 Karman Ghia (Ken - my son-in-law)
  • 1969 TR6 (Adam - my son)
  • 1973 Riviera (50,000 original miles - Jeff)
  • 1968 GTO (me!)
  • Porsche Boxer (Kerry)
  • 1959 Austen Healy Sprite (with monster rotary engine, and a tiny 9 gallon gas tank - Brian)
  • 1969 Fiat 850 (Piotr)
  • Porsche Boxer (Kirk)
  • (Not shown:  late model Corvette - Brian's dad)
If you are noticing something strange about the Riviera - yes it is photoshopped in - it died along the road with a failed water pump.  We made a valiant effort to effect a roadside repair (yes, we all travel with tools...  of course), but when three of the bolts snapped off in the disassembly attempt, it became clear that this was the end of the line for the Riviera - it was going to have to go home on a trailer.   We split Jeff's stuff up amongst us (to be fair, I had the biggest remaining trunk in the GTO...) and Jeff finished the tour along with the rest of us.  As he should have.  But I lost my pace car - I have always relied on the fact that if Jeff can make it thru a corner, then I can too.  Now I was on my own.

The route - 514 miles, by Piotr's odometer
After leaving the Seattle/Tacoma metro area the route was the twistyest (sp?) road you could imagine, with lots of big suspension bottoming bumps hiding along the way.  Perhaps the most spectacular turn was the one where, with the sun in your eyes, the road made a sharp 15 MPH turn to the right (trust me, no one was going anywhere near that slow).  No guardrail (actually, no guardrails anywhere).  And straight ahead?  Empty space.  I have no idea how long the drop was I didn't have time to look), but the opposite side of the canyon had to be a couple of miles away. 

The route took us over Old Man Pass, where Adam made your correspondent pose under the sign.   Thankfully, I am assured that all copies of this photo have been destroyed.

It was a wonderful time.  All the cars except the Riviera completed the trip on their own wheels, and the GTO is parked comfortably in the garage once again. 

 We now return you to your regularly scheduled sailing blog.


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