NorCal Caravan to SLO

Hopefully next year I'll join in the fun.  I did a 140-mile trip from my house to St. Helena in the speedster this morning/afternoon (for work).  The weather today was great and I managed to avoid traffic.  The entire time I kept thinking how great it'd be to drive down to SLO.
Napa Valley has terrible cell coverage as well.  I always make sure to bring a few "emergency" cigars with me in case I break down and have to wait awhile.

I hear that concern. Last year I prepped for that exact circumstance.

I printed off copies of my AAA card and basic instructions for passers-by to help me out if I’m stuck somewhere without cell service. Along with a pen to draw a map to my car. I figure AAA can handle a dozen people calling about my emergency if it came to that.

I’m adding “emergency cigars” to the kit this year. Great idea @Kevin - Bay Area.

Here's last year's NorCal Caravan route —

Last year we met up at a Chevron in Hollister at 11:30am for a spirited drive down the amazing Airline Highway to meet the SLO locals at Pier 46 Seafood around 1:30pm. This put us down in SLO in plenty of time for @Teby S's Happy Hour.


Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 4.06.40 PM


I may join you all again this year, but weather-permitting, I'd like to try a 2-day route this year, with a layover in Monterey.


Photos (1)

We are hoping to shake the bad weather off this year 😂

Besides we might be stuck with the "nowhere near as cool car" if my back doesn't heal on time to get the car back on the road. New clutch is in, a new crank ignition system is now installed but needs be wired to the battery and ignition switch. Last but not least put all the bits and pieces back on the longblock and do a test drive  🤦‍♂️

Ryan, my brother and I just returned from a motorcycle/Vespa trip to Santa Cruz (to see Larry Carlton, awesome show, Kuumbwa Jazz Club). 

We took back roads all the way north until jumping on the 1 in Seaside up to S.C. 

Our return trip was down the 1 through northern Big Sur to Kirk Creek where the Naci/Ferfguson road takes you over the Santa Lucia/coastal range to G-41. We took that road for 5 miles where it forks (south/right) at Lockwood and continued all the way to Paso Robles where my brother took 46 west to Morro Bay via Old Creek Road and I continued south on back roads to Atascadero.

There's heavy traffic on Hwy 1 from Carmel to Big Sur since the northern bridge opened up and unusually heavy traffic over the Naci/Ferguson road since the naive think it's a "short cut"'s not, but it's a wonderful speedster/Vespa drive.


@Will Hesch, thanks for mentioning the beautiful detour south of Lockport. It adds 5 miles and 30 minutes to the drive. Not bad at all. And I can skip the 101 altogether!

@Rusty S and I did Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd and the PCH last year, in-between the landslides. We had the whole road to ourselves!

I knew that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I can't help but try again.

OK here is a meeting point if anyone would like to connect. Phil Watts and I are planning on meeting in Salinas. We will be connecting at a yet to be determined dining establishment at 1200 hours. An hour and a half for lunch, so anyone that would like to meet there please let us know. Phil is coming from San Carlos (via 101) and I will be driving down Hwy 1 from SF and over to Salinas from Castroville. The restaurant I am checking out is the Steinbeck House. If anyone has in feedback on the place I would appreciate it. Looks really cool and it is just off 101 at 132 Central Ave. This is the birth place and boyhood home of  John Steinbeck. He also used to caretake a house in South Lake Tahoe while attending College at Stanford. 

We will then take the normal route to SLO down 101 from there.  I hope some of you can join us or meet along the way. 

This is going to be a great event. Thanks for putting it all together Scott!

PS Ryan I think they may be a lettuce field you could string up your hammock.




I have the 1:30 lunch at Pier 46 in Templeton on the schedule, but I'll be driving down PCH starting in Monterey. Hopefully I'll be there in time for lunch, but I'm not looking to break any speed records on this particular stretch of road.

If plans change for you all, I'll be watching the thread to see where I can meet up with the caravan.


Paul and I are on for lunch at Steinbeck’s in Salinas at noon. Probably departing around 1:30pm. Maybe you can hook back in with us where you cut back to 101. What is the app we used before for tracking progress? May not help with the coast cell service. It is about 2 1/2 hours from Salinas to SLO. 

Any of the rest of you NorCal folks want to meet in Salinas for lunch? 

Hey Rick @Rick99GSX! I'll meet you and Vanessa at the Starbucks like last year (which one is it again?) between 8-8:30 and we'll run down 680 - 101 and meet Bob @Bob Hampton at the Chevron station on San Felipe in Hollister like last year, at 10 - 10:30. We'll head down Hwy 25 to King City, 101 to Paso Robles (for lunch?) And on to SLO. @Dave Mitchell! Are you out there?

My cell is 530-305-1836.

Alan Merklin posted:

Well shyt Will !....... I thought you were talking at me   re : Beer :~)

Have a great time with good friend!

ALan  aka Drclock

Will Hesch posted:

OK, you twisted my arm, I'll have one for you too Alan  

This is turning into quite the party. It's not even happy hour yet. Any one else joining in?

Add Reply

Likes (1)
Bob Hampton