Now, that WAS a Drive!!
Date April 15, 2017.
We had a beautiful day, dry and mild temperatures. We first met at the Starbucks in Manteca, convenient for a caffeine top up and comfort stop before the start of the drive. Everyone was on site early and we left a couple minutes before the published depart time, 8:30.
We ran down Hwy 5 to the Patterson turn off on Diablo Grande. There our caravan picked up the Enos group at Del Puerto Canyon Road: Kathryn and her father, Bill Enos in their beautiful silver 356, and Jack and Sally Wilson in their BMW Z4. To everyone’s peace of mind, the road was in great condition, and traffic was pretty light. Of course, there were frequent encounters with bicyclists and, happily, no animals on the road!!
The road was quickly in wide open foothills with some interesting curves, but nothing that our array of cars couldn’t handle. And, as far was rolling stock, we had a range of Porsches, including Jack/Kathy’s 356, the Kuhn’s lovely early 911, several Carrera’s, both coupe and cab’s, a pretty rare 968, and several mid-engined Boxster and Cayman’s.
The road turned “up” within about 10 miles of the summit. Our safety briefing was that the pace would be brisk, but not fast (speed limits ranged from 35 to 45 mph with some of the corners posted at 20 mph.) Though I think everyone was happy with the pace some may have hoped that the posted signs would be modified for the day! I had “pre-run” the drive up to calibrate the Google estimate of time from Starbucks to the observatory (Google estimated the leg to take 1hr 50 min.) and we took exactly that 1hr and 50 minutes. Clearly, we really didn’t take too many liberties with the posted speed limits though we had no problem catching up with a trio of (track prepared) Miata’s near the summit.
Once at the observatory, everyone parked in the visitor’s parking lot, enjoyed the view (and found the reststop in the observatory building. Here is a view to behold, Silicon Valley in the distance
and Kathryn’s 356 in the foreground!!
Then we organized for the (obligatory) group photo. To our surprise, it was one of the Miata drivers that offered to hold the camera so everyone (ok, so I) could get in the photo.
After a short stay at the summit, off we went “down” the hill for our reservation at the Poppy Ridge Golf Course restaurant.
The route took us down Del Puerto Canyon road and onto Mines Road toward Livermore. Mines Road has not faired well after the winter rains. There were streams crossing the road and areas where the road fully washed out (repaired with steel plates).
There were also many more cyclist on the road — closer to Livermore and not as much “up”.
Lunch at the course was “ready” for us and we had plenty of time to enjoy lunch and good conversation. We left Poppy Ridge and returned via Tesla Road (and yes, Hwy 580 was congested!). All in all, a totally fun day.
For sure I had a good time!.
See you all on our “next” DRIVE !!