The Redwoods Road Trip is now over.
For those who missed the weekend of activities, you truly missed one great adventure. Below is the recap and some of the highlight images from the drive. To see all the images, please see the website link to them, as including all the images here would take up way too many threads.
Redwoods Day 1:
The group met in Novato at 8:00am to do introductions as well as sign waivers and receive their map and dinning location packets. While everyone was being introduced, the topic that was on everyone’s mind was the epic rainstorm we all survived the day before. Thankfully, Mother Nature decided that she wanted to keep things interesting and provided the Northern California coast a deluge so we could have a clear weekend.
The group started off 23 cars strong for the first days of activities. As with all these drives, it was an eclectic mix of cars from Opel, Jaguar, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Caterham, Ariel, Mini, Focus ST, GTR’s and FRS duos. This is mix of cars is what makes the event fun.
The first day of the drive was a trip of the California coast, where we stopped for photos at an overlook, two lighthouses and lunch in Mendocino. The weather for the drive up was a mix of high wispy clouds and perfect driving temperature. Apparently the request for a great clear weekend reached the desk of Mother Nature, so there was no need for the rain ponchos.
Our first stop one was at Salty Point for a bio break and to take some group photos. When we first got there I was able to negotiate for everyone to get in for free, as we were not going to be there very long. As we were taking photos, the head ranger came down and said we had to pay now. Welcome to the CA state parks. As it was not worth the arguing factor, we were able to compromise with the ranger at a flat price for the 23 cars to save everyone money. Things like this, while frustrating, also make for great stories and are part of the adventure.
After Salty point we went off to Point Arena Light house to take photos. This time we were not able to work out a deal to drive up to the light house for photos, but it still was a great view of the CA coast and the light house.
Next stop was lunch in Mendocino. The restaurant we chose apparently forgot to tell the staff we were coming, which made for a bit of a scare. However, the staff stepped up to the challenge and we had a great lunch, even though it took a while.
After lunch we headed to the last light house before making the fun drive to Garberville for the overnight stop. This was also the last stop before Fort Bragg and a much needed fuel stop for some of the participants.
After the fuel stop, it was the 50-mile hoof to the hotel. This drive though was not without its fun factor. The section of HWY1 is known for its tight twists and turns which makes it a true driver’s road. Many of the people had a blast carving the turns and were even chased by a few tag alongs. The group picked up two Lamborghini’s and a Ferrari that were in the area to enjoy this last section of HWY 1 before getting on the 101 to Garberville.
Everyone made it to the hotel okay and it was then off to dinner at a great New Orleans Bistro. While most of the participants had a great dinner and turned in for the night around 9:30ish, some of the gang went off to the bar and shut the place down as we say. As you can tell, these drives are an adventure both on and off road. HAHA.
Redwoods Day 2:
The following morning the ground was a bit damp from an overnight sprinkle. We picked up two extra two cars in the morning to make the full 25 car group. The two new members to the drive were a local Focus ST owner and another GTR who made the trek from Reno. The group left from the hotel promptly at 9:00am. By this time, the clouds had parted and there was a mix of sun here and there. The group drove to the Avenue of the Giants where we made several stops to see the amazing redwood forests. In addition to the nature walks, the group stopped at one of the drive through trees to allow participants to get their customary photo of driving through a living redwood.
After the sightseeing at the redwoods, the group headed to Eureka for lunch. Apparently, Sunday afternoons in down town Eureka are pretty calm until our our group rolled through with decals and loud exhausts. After lunch we picked up another local GTR who just happened to be in the area and saw the group. We seemed to be gaining cars as we went along, which was fine by us.
The group then headed up 101 to the Redwoods Visitor center so people could hike to the beach as well as get history or souvenirs of the area. This is more of an inside joke but to those who were on the drive, watch out for those sneaker waves, that are sneekyyyyyy…..
After our time at the beach, we were off to Lady Bird Grove to take another hike amongst the redwoods. This was the longest hike of the day and a chance for people to chat more while they stood amongst the giants.
The group called it a day and took off for the hotel to un-wind before heading to dinner at the Lost Coast Brewing Company. We were able to arrange carpools for people so those who wished to drink could enjoy the great beer selection on tap. This was also the last time the group would be at full strength.
Redwoods Day 3:
The following morning the group headed for the last leg of the drive up HWY 36. On the way there, members peeled off as some of them had to decide to head home directly down 101. Those who were in for the full planned adventure made their way to Grizzly Creek for a quick bio break and to re-arrange the group into an order according to what speed people wanted to drive. This allowed everyone to go at their own pace, as well as enjoy the long EPIC drive ahead. Now when we say EPIC, we mean EPIC. This was truly a great driver’s road with such a diversity of turns, straights and amazing vista overlooks. The road was very long, so by the end of it you felt as if you should have been awarded an achievement badge from the Forza racing game. As the group was split into different speeds, the drive leader of the spirited group did a great job of picking relay points for everyone to regroup.
After the last regroup and bio break, the group finished the last 50 miles to Red Bluff down HWY 36. The last half of HWY 36 should be called Roller Coaster Alley. Along with some great turns, the road goes up and down and if you are not carful you will be in the air when you need to be turning. This section of road was worth the price of admission in and of itself.
After lunch, the group split up so everyone could make their way home. This was the end of a very fun three days where people shared stories, made friends, and most importantly had an adventure. I hope after reading this you will join me and others on the future drives we have planned.
Our next drive is the Lassen Road Trip in August, followed by Mammoth and Devils Post pile in September and then the 500 Miglia in October. If you are interested see the thread posted for these drives or the website made for organizing these adventures.
See you on the road.