Well, now that the ice cream has settled down and the credit cards cooled off, let me give my view on my first “driving” event with my fellow SCMMers! Ya know, there is no sound quite like Bill’s barking blue MINI cruising through the canyons….it makes those cool musical CDs pointless, but I’m getting ahead of myself………ah the Crack of Dawn and I’m trying to rush out of the house to meet with Craig and his CR Cobalt in Corona so we can get to Sylmar in time. Rushing all the way, I almost went the wrong way (a recurring theme it seems) and just made the 118 cutoff to the 5, meeting the group just as they were heading out, so off to our first stop, breakfast in Tehachapi.
Good food and decent service given the amount of us that dropped in on the restaurant. Here we had a quick drivers meeting and followed George to the famous “Tehachapi Loop” were the train (if long enough) will actually loop over itself as it goes up hill. We found a few motorcyclists who’ve been there for well over an hour! After about 25 minutes we could hear the distant sound of a train horn, cool we’re going to get a chance to see this happen, and happen it did. This freight train was long enough to not only pass over itself, but to travel next to the back half of itself as it cruised through the loop, it looked like two trains! But places to go, food to eat still!
Our next stop was to meet up with the group that started from Bakersfield. The official drivers meeting and the passing out of the CDs and Bowling shirts (in some weird red color) out of the way, it was now on to the driving, yee haw….I choose to stay with the “sane” Yellow group and follow one of the “Yellow Leaders” in the mid-pack since this was all new territory for me. With Tavis’ instructions still ringing in our ears of “…stay to the left at all “Y” intersections…” we went right the first chance we got. Okay, we’re a FUN group, not a SMART group! As I’m telling my wife “I think we went the wrong way”, George verifies it by uttering the words I’d hear all day “Yellow Leader, you went the wrong way”. Sooooo, a quick u-turn, back to the “Y” and now we’re back on track. I was looking to catch up with the cars in front, only to find out that two of the three stopped with Lex, and viola, I’m “Yellow Leader”..damn! Well, okay, keep an eye out for the “Ys” and go left, here’s one now, cool, everyone’s following us. This is going pretty good, Michelle is calling out warnings and I’m trying to stay in front of the DS stuck to my bumper. We made it to the flat grounds and whoosh, there went our left turn! Go ahead George “Yellow leader, you went the wrong way”….yeah yeah yeah, another u-turn and off we go to Mickey Ds. Without much more drama, we finally arrived at the stop, to meet up with the fast group. I noticed Tavis was in the back, but I swore he was the leader…..seems the “missed turn” syndrome wasn’t exclusive to the yellow group. After a quick stop, we all lined up and headed to Kernville for, yup, more food. Seems our little car club, is in fact a food club that just happens to drive the same make of vehicles. Good food, me and Michelle shared our lunch, as I had a challenge awaiting me…more on that later.
Lunch done, Roadmaster Craig made it up from Steve’s in record time with CF MINI, so he donned the “Yellow Leader” cap and we were off again, heading up the mountain where there was still snow on the ground and back to Bakersfield. Nice tight turns and cool weather made for a fun run, and oh yeah, another u-turn for yours truly. I am getting damn good at these turns on tight roads! Now I’m in the back with George following me (less chance for mistakes) and we headed to Lengthwise Brewery for more food and beer. None for me, thank you, there was some ice cream with my name on it waiting for me…..It seems that when Lex posted up the picture of Erik and his sundae, stating that “no one could touch Erik at ice cream eating”, I posted, tongue firmly in cheek, that it looks like a “piece of cake”. Mr President, of course, took this as a challenge and we’re off to the “Showdown in B-town”. For those of you who think you can put away a hefty amount of food, be forewarned, never challenge the skinny guys, they’re unnatural! So, stepping down in weight class to take on Erik, eating for all of us “non” CR MINIs, bring on “Frank Daddy’s Super Sundae”……DAMN, that’s a lot of ice cream! Oh well, let’s get on with the beating. I thought I was doing okay, getting a bit tired of strawberry ice cream (another mistake, I feel), but I think I can finish this…..then looking down the table, I see Erik tipping up the bowl to scoop the last of his desert, and presto, he’s done! After checking the floor underneath him for dropped food, I threw in the napkin, picked up the check, tail tucked firmly between the legs and went bowling!!
A big “thank you” goes to: Tavis and Angela, our hosts, for this blast of a weekend; Juan and Derek for the cool tunes (and Craig for burning them); George and Lex for their organizational skills and everyone in the club for a safe trip. Can’t wait for next year, and yes, I will share a Blondie with Michelle at Rosemary’s! Drive Safe.