“It was an Elan. A delightful little thing famously made of Kleenex and unicorn farts.” ~ Sam Smith
DAY FIVE –
MAGIC! That is what today was.
The day dawned with rain lightly and the sky was completely overcast and so was my mood. I was stuck with a clutchless car and a rainy day for what I had planned would be a special day on the Pacific Coast Highway. What I didn’t know was that I had several magicians waiting to perform.
The first magician was Jay Makwana who had been so helpful yesterday. Today he called in a favor with a shop owner down the block to take in my car and replace the clutch slave cylinder ahead of all his scheduled work. I don’t know if a wand, a bribe or just paying it forward was involved, but Jay lead me to the second magician. At 8:15 I took my Elan to a Honda repair shop called DiMauro’s Independent Honda/Acura Service where I met Dan who took the bag of parts provided by Jay and said he would get started right away. It turns out the real magician was not Dan, but Robert the owner who actually worked on the car while Dan worked on another Honda. Meanwhile, I went back to JAE where Jay had gone to McDonald’s to get breakfast while Joe made me a cup of really nice tea. Then we told stories to each other about old Lotus friends and racing and cars and stuff. It was a wonderful diversion from the worry about the car. By 11:45 Robert had not only replaced the slave cylinder but made a heat shield to lessen the likelihood of another failure. I walked down to his shop to pick up the Elan and settle up and then drove the block back to JAE to say goodbye. That’s when Joe magically showed up with a gourmet lunch conjured by that magician Jay. What a wonderful, kind, thoughtful gesture!
Now confident in my invincible little car, I struck out to meet Kiyoshi at Morro Bay. But first, I had to reach the southwestern most point on the continental USA, Jalama Beach Road. I drove up highway 1 to the turnoff pretty quickly as it was four lane most of the way and I could do 65 or so. But when I turned onto the narrow beach road it was 14 miles of gnarly driving. The road rose and fell, turning on the crests of hills then diving down to a creek crossing then up again to a tight blind corner…in other words a perfect Lotus road. When I got to the beach though, I found perhaps a hundred motorhomes and huge travel trailers, which had somehow navigated that gnarly road, and were enjoying a day at the beautiful sunny beach. That’s right, Jay had said the morning rain would be gone up the coast and magically it was!
Once I had documented the reaching of the southwest point, I charged back on that Mr. Toad’s wild ride of a road to Highway 1 and headed north to the Morro Bay Coffee Co where I would meet Kiyoshi, When I got there it was closed and shortly thereafter he texted me that traffic had delayed him and he would be late. So I went next door to the gas station, filled up and waited. When he finally arrived, fueled, and refreshed we started up the coast on a beautiful spring day. Then Kiyoshi magically removed all the traffic from the north bound lane, conjured spectacular scenery and a smooth road and then, to top it off, let me lead for a while. Then when he took the lead, he set a brisk yet smooth pace that was probably just cruising for him in the Elise but was quick enough to be interesting but not so fast as to be stressful. I think he was respecting his elders.
All the way north we were road dancing on the most perfect day you might imagine, The photos don’t do it justice because there are too many colors, shades and textures that the camera misses. Oh, and there was one more magician involved in the making of the joyous day…CalTrans. Now, I haven’t heard a lot of good comments about them from my California friends, but they deserve kudos for the trick they pulled out of the hat this time. They repaired the huge slide area that effectively closed the Pacific Coast Highway earlier this year in a few months making it possible for us to have this delicious experience. As I said; today was magic.
Impressions from the fifth day:
• If you have a Lotus and it fails you along the way, as mine did, make sure you are near RD Enterprises in the east, or JAE in the west and see if a little magic rubs off on your car too.
• The people in our little tribe of Lotus are the best. Kiyoshi never said a negative word about all his plans being thrown in a cocked hat, rather he proposed alternatives and was willing to head out to our meeting point even before the repair was finished because he knew I wanted to make it to Marina as I had originally planned so the rest of the week wouldn’t be altered. So, we put in a full day drive in half a day by going late.
• I have now touched three of the four corners and two of the other points with but one and two to go.
• I am too blessed to have had all the support I have had from some of the nicest people in the country and they have all gone out of their way to provide that support. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.
Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!
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