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GoF West 2009

June 22-26, 2009, Squaw Valley, California

Page One of Six

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Day One

Another year gone by and time once again for our favorite car event!  For the first time in several years, I had the TC ready to go with time to spare.  No brake parts on the floor the night before departure, even the tire pressure had been checked a day ahead of time.  Linda however was busy baking care packages for the friends who were joining us for the drive to Squaw Valley.  She had set a precedence and was now paying the price!

Departure morning started with a short drive to our meeting spot where goodie bags were handed out to the delight of the crowd.  After greetings were finished (as were a lot of baked goods) we set off in two groups (a slow group and a slower group) for our first night’s stop in Three Rivers.

The drive was uneventful until (there’s always an ‘until’ isn’t there?) a TF pulled to the side of the road with trouble.  He had developed a pinhole leak in his radiator, so sealer was put into the cooling system and several bottles of water were used to fill it back up.  It was then that we found the cause of the problem – his water pump had developed quite a lot of wobble and the fan had just barely worn through the radiator.  We had a modern car in our caravan who happened to have a spare TF water pump in the back, but we felt it best to tow the car the remaining 15 miles to Three Rivers and deal with it there, as well as look for someone who could repair the radiator properly.

The well-prepared modern car’s owner had also brought a tow bar, and to fit it to the TF would require the bumper and badge bar coming off.  After all that work the tow bar still wouldn’t fit a TF so a tow strap was utilized and the TF was pulled into town by a woman who had never towed a car before, especially not one on a flexible rope!  All went well and everyone arrived safely.

In Three Rivers, the TF’s owner decided it was too much to deal with and left the car there, to be picked up on our return trip home.  They hitched a ride in the modern car the rest of the way to GoF West.

Day Two

Day two was far less eventful as we headed out of Three Rivers toward gold country.  After a coffee stop early in the route, we stopped in the outskirts of Fresno, our last major city along the way, to have an early lunch before heading into the hills.

Later on, a stop in Coulterville was an excuse for ice cream, a staple of our on-the-road diet, and allowed everyone to regroup after the drive through the hills.  The roads in this area are spectacular as they travel along the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada Mountains.

We reached our destination of Angels Camp in good time.  After a brief rest at the hotel, the group gathered for dinner and to celebrate a birthday.  Afterward, we walked down the road to visit with some friends, also on their way to GoF West, who were staying in a different hotel.  Their car was older and slower than ours so they were making a longer and more relaxed trip out of it.

On to Page Two…