The ALC West Coast After Tour 2018
Southern Delights and (Lynn’s Frights…lots of curvy but spectacular roads!)
Dick and Judy Buckingham, Eric Lynn and John Young, Alan and Shellagh Hornsby, Jeanne and Steve Katzman, Hank Koning, Kjell Nelin, Lynn and Steve Peterson, Paul and Vicki Tullius
Day 1:Hank Koning put together a fabulous “after tour” for 14 of us that took us from the sometimes foggy, chilly coast to the heat of the desert, traveling around 800 miles over a period of 5 days and nights. Our group and several other reunion participates left Lompoc and headed to Buellton for a fun lunch stop at Industrial Eats.
We said arrevaderci to Tina, John Richards and the Schutzbergers and headed down the road towards Port Hueneme for an overnight. On the way Hank lead us through some of the devastating mudslide area of Montecito and then to his friend’s lovely beachbeach cottage in Mussel Shoals for drinks and snacks.
An evening seaside dinner saw us early to bed .
Day 2: Our first stop was in Simi Valley at a fascinating folk art collection called Grandma Prisbey’s Bottle Village. A light rain stopped our idea of a picnic lunch but we luckily found a great little authentic, family Italian restaurant in Sunland! The curvy roads began here! Up we went through Big Tujunga Canyon to Angeles Forest Highway to Angeles Crest Highway down Lone Pine Canyon Road and up again (with an unexpected detour) to Crestline. What a drive! Our overnight in pretty cold temps found us in a tavern eating freshly smoked dishes and enjoying each other’s adventures of the day.
Day 3: Oh boy more of those roads ahead! CA 18 and 38 take you through awesome country with amazing vistas .. sometimes high above the clouds. Down we headed to the apple growing foothills of Oak Glen and Riley’s Farm for a colonial repast. We arrived in time to witness a mock recreation of the 1775 Battle of St. George’s Tavern being enacted by hundreds of students. A big bang for our buck!
We then drove to Rancho Mirage in the Palm Springs area and gladly welcomed the pool and AC at our hotel. Bill and Marlene O’Sullivan invited us to their lovely artful home for a Mexican buffet that evening.
Day 4: We now were 10 having said goodbye to Eric and John and Vicki and Paul. Up and over the Banning/Idyllwild Highway then down to Temecula with a lunch stop at a taco shop and more driving up a twisty road to the iconic facility of the still functioning 70 year old Palomar Observatory. Wow!
Down, down to the desert we arrived in Borrego Springs in time for a quick dip to cool off before a nice evening dinner.
Day 5: Up early with a cooler temp drive to Thermal where Lancia member Rico Varge and Chris Bergsma entertained us with morning coffee and donuts and a tour of Rico’s garage full of interesting cars! We said goodbye to our Aussie friends Alan and Shellagh who were headed to Europe for the sliding pillar meet in England! We stopped at Oasis Date Farm for milkshakes and picnic supplies before driving through Box Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park where we picnicked. Yes, it was hot , but the temps hovering around 90 were about 10 degrees cooler than expected.
Hank finally used his self-designed Lancia car swamp cooler! Car envy! A stop at the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Art Museum held a few of us in awe of what Noah accomplished with sculptures entirely from junked materials on the desert floor.
We headed on to our final night at the high desert historical Pioneertown. A true western meal at Pappy and Harriet’s and then star-gazing and conversation concluded the fantastic , fabulously fun, the one and only Hank tour! Such a great group and so much fun! Thank you Hank for making this happen! (Hank, the Katzmans, Kjell and the Petersons drove the same way home for a bit and stopped in Lucerne Valley for breakfast. Café 247 is a hoot!)