By noon the skies were clear, the sun was out, and we were headed for Pacific Grove in the Monterey Bay area of the coastline. The memory of the previous day's storms was fading fast. When we arrived at the hotel in Pacific Grove we were given one more reminder that we had been in the worst early season storm that the Northern California coastline had seen in 50 years. The hotel where we were booked to stay had no electricity! What had been planned as a leisurely day in the Monterey and Carmel area turned into decision time for the Typhoon Tour Road Tourians. We discussed the options with the management at the Light House Inn where we were booked. They gave us an option. They offered to upgrade all of our rooms to suites with a fireplace in each room, wine and cheese was set out for our enjoyment, and they put together a barbecue with plenty of hot dogs and hamburgers. There was hot water in the rooms and we were given candles. Sounded like fun so we settled in to do a little high-end camping at a resort in Pacific Grove. It all worked out fine. By midnight the electricity had been restored and in the morning we were served a delicious breakfast in the beautiful dining area. All's well that ends well!
Thursday's route took us on one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Pacific Coast Highway follows the coastline from Monterey to Los Angeles. The views are breathtaking and the road is winding and sometimes a bit challenging for the faint of heart. We all made the two-hour drive just fine and many folks stopped for lunch in Cambria near Hearst Castle. The time had come to get to Bakersfield. It is a long straight drive from the coast inland to Bakersfield. We passed the intersection were James Dean met his untimely death in his Porsche in the '50s and arrived at our hotel in Bakersfield by late afternoon. It had been a wild week on the road and we were ready to be in one place for three days.
The California Hot Rod Reunion was fantastic. Vintage race cars were everywhere at Famoso Raceway; it was like the pages of early hot rod magazines came to life. Our Road Tour hospitality tent was in the Grove area at the end of the strip and we had a great weekend checking out the sights and sounds and recounting our week on the NHRA Wally Parks Museum Road Tour. Thanks to Tony Thacker and the museum staff for again putting together a great weekend for us. By Sunday the NHRA Museum Tour was over and the '09 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour had come to an end. It has been a wild and wonderful summer. The '52 Chevy hardtop kept me safe and comfortable.
We are now fine-tuning our '10 schedule and will be making the details public very soon. Check out www.streetrodderweb.com, the pages of STREET RODDER, or call our Road Tour hotline at (800) 664-1362 to get all the info. Make plans to join us next season, as everyone is invited to "come along for the drive."