Corvette hats off to our rail master Steve and his beautiful wife, Karen who spent many hours mapping out the route for thisonce in a lifetime trip. Dave and his beautiful wife, Kimberly took on the role of wagon master and secured every detail of restaurants and seating for all of us.
How do you write a story about a 2000 mile Corvette run that visited 6 national parks in five states with a sprinkling of state parks along the way? Get a notepad and pencil, devise a game, and interview the drivers and navigators. So here goes—
Day one. We gathered in Rancho for 50 cent coffee and a drivers meeting on May 19, 2012. Our illustrious leaders, Steve, Karen, David and Kimberly gave us the details for the day. We had already been given an overview of the goals for the next 9-10 days. There were 16 Corvettes, divided into 2 groups, for ease in getting out of town. Two additional cars (wi
th their drivers) would join us along the way.
We all know about “comfort stops”. Most were great, one was not working, and a couple were questionable.
We were “relieved” to get on the road, banter on the radio, and just enjoy the less crowded highways. Our group was on a quest to find hot dogs, since we missed them at Costco in Las Vegas. McDonald’s had to suffice for lunch, and our ever philanthropic Robert adopted a less fortunate individual to feed. Ice cream cones for all of us were on Robert, Thanks Next stop was the Harley shop and free “hot dogs”. A few of our heavy eaters enjoyed their dogs on top of their McDonalds. Yum!
On to St. George, HD shop was not open, and then we arrived in Springdale UT, with 12 radar hits, no tickets, and four pillows on our beds at the Quality Inn. Dinner was at the Bit and Spur that evening. Great choice!
Day two found us visiting Zion National Park. We rode a shuttle bus to beautiful streams and hiking trails. The first yellow car suffered a dead battery, and Randy and Glenda had to stay in town to shop. Speaking of shopping, Diana Davis was wearing new shoes that some of the ladies were coveting. Glenda, Karen, Sharon and Sue along with Martha were able to buy new shoes.
We drove a few miles out of town that evening to see the eclipse of the sun. Steve, Larry, and a couple of other guys had welders‘ glass that we used to view the eclipse. What a neat experience. It will happen again in 18 years!
That evening we had a dessert buffet of ice cream sundaes, home made biscotti, cookies, bumbleberry pie and other goodies! Let the diet begin!
Bryce Canyon National Park was our stop for the third day. Each view point held more beautiful colors and vistas than the one before. We had all purchased food for a picnic, so by 11:30 we were looking for an area to spread the table cloth. The picnic areas were either too small or taken already, so our leaders found a special black and white forest. We had plenty of room to set up our own ring of chairs. In the area stood a special Charlie Brown tree and Glenda could not resist decorating it. Good job, Glenda!
We separated and stayed at various motels that night. Scott and Nancy met up with us, dinner was at the buffet at Ruby’s or any where else you choose. Some of us had a hospitality front porch and then dinner at Bryce Canyon Pines.
That evening many PVCAers watched the stars at Bryce and played with their phone apps to identify the constellations. Someone even had eery alien music to liven things a little bit!
The driving on day four was unbelievable. Each turn was more beautiful than the one before. In Escalante, we visited an Indian Museum and had a picnic on the front lawn. We witnessed their “summer snow”. Sandy H. met someone at the museum who lived 4 blocks from where she was born. Small world!
There were many opportunities for spirited driving. For further information, talk to George, Jeanne, Kim, Dan, Juan, Jim, Randy, Doug, Larry, Jeremy, Danny and any one else that I might have missed.
In Hanksville we stopped for ice cream in a quaint store built into the side of a mountain. The little store sold 30 ice creams in 7 minutes. Some kind of a record! The movie “Cars” used the setting of the mountain store in their film. In Moab we stayed at the Day’s Inn, and dinner was at the Hampton Brewery. After dinner a special party was held in the parking lot for star gazing, although some watched Dancing with the Stars in their rooms.
Here we are half way through this adventure on day five. Arches National Park! If you have never been here, you are missing it! You can drive in your car, hike, sit on a bench, stay in the museum, everything is red everywhere! The colors’ intensity change with the time of day and the movement of the sun. Robert’s yellow Corvette had a steering wheel lock-up problem and had to be towed by a yellow tow truck into the Chevy dealer in town. Steve stayed with Robert and tried to fix the problem via John on the phone. It needed a new part, got fixed by the Chevy dealer the next day, you have to ask Robert about the details. I hope RCP paid back SS the $12.17 for the screw drivers that SS had to buy. It was also here that Glenda traded her sun glasses for a new dress and top!
Dinner that night was at a cute Mexican Restaurant in town and thankfully Steve and Mother Karen joined us. In the back of the restaurant was a big blackboard sign that customers could finish the statement “Before I die I want to……..”, Randy said he wanted to own a 2030 Vette, George wanted to reach the top line. I guess, you had to be there!
Day six and we are on our way to Mesa Verde National Park. The adventurous group left early to secure tickets for the hikes into the cliff dwellings. The not so adventurous group visited the museum and then took an easier hike to a closer cliff dwelling or sat on the deck and watched everyone else hike and sweat. Some met for a picnic lunch, and then at the appointed time, we were on our way to Durango, CO.
I just want to mention a few things at this point. Every where we went the general public took pictures of our cars, foreign visitors to the parks took pictures with our cars, and domestic and foreign peoples alike wanted to know what we were doing with our cars and why. We all (for the most part) wore PVCA Corvette shirts and jackets and we felt like we were ambassadors for our country and our club. Nothing quite as impressive as 18 Corvettes going down the highway together, getting waves and thumbs up along the way.
We arrived the evening of day six in Durango and Dave had a nice dinner house scoped out for our group. We stayed at the Best Western Rio Grande.
In the morning of day seven, we walked to the train station where we boarded a bus and headed to Silverton. Out driver/guide was amazing. He was full of information on the area and pointed out landmarks along the way. In Silverton, our mine driver/guides met
us and shuttled us to the 100 mine. Lunch was provided and after we picnicked, we donned our yellow jackets, hard hats, and got into the mine cart to take us into the bowels of the mine. Our guide showed us many of the tools that the miners used and even demonstrated the power of a sledge hammer with Kim’s help. Brave Kim! After the mine tour it was back to the town and almost time to board the train to Durango. The ride along the Anamis River was incredible. From the, waterfalls, the beautiful spring greens in trees and plants, the swaying of the train, laughter of our gang to the inviting town, it was an incredible experience. Thanks again Steve and Dave!
We arrived just in time for our reservations at the barbeque restaurant, where we had outdoor seating. After dinner some of us had happy hour, some walked through town and some just passed out! Did anyone have time to visit the train museum?
Day eight. Before we left Durango, the 42nd annual bike run to Silverton was being held. The object is to beat the train riding a bicycle! The train and riders leave at the same time at the sound of the train whistle. There was plenty of excitement at both starting places. The black of the locomotive was in stark contrast to the bright, colorful outfits of the bike riders. Over the loud speakers they were playing John Denver music, the police officers were ready to lead the pack and clear the streets. This was an added bonus to our trip!
Now we were on our way to visit the Aztec cultural center and listened to the interpretive ranger give a talk about some of the artifacts found on the grounds. She demonstrated two flute instruments that the Indians played and you could hear a pin drop as she played. (For our group, that was a first)!
In Bloomington we met up with Georgia and Jeremy, she will tell you the story.
It was breezy when we left Durango. As we headed south, the breeze became a wind, the wind picked up speed and dust particles and before we knew it we were in a full blown dust storm. It was an experience! I am sure that everyone has their own interpretation of the dust storm, suffice to say that we made it through with lighter colored Corvettes then we originally bought. We stopped about three quarter through the storm for a break. Next to where Danny parked our car, a young Native American teenager came over to the car and wanted to see under the hood. Danny raised the hood (although he thought it was going to blow off) and showed the young man the engine compartment. He was so thrilled and told us he never “seen” a Corvette and now he “seen” a bunch of them and he even “seen” under the hood.
Thankfully the wind slowed down and we were able to stop at the Petrified Forest National Park where we saw the movie about the PF. If you have not seen the PF, do so soon, because 1000 pieces of the petrified wood are stolen from the park each month.
Our goal was beautiful Flagstaff and the hotel at Little America. Black Barts was our destination for dinner this night. Before dinner and on stage at the restaurant, Randy presented Steve, Karen, Dave, and Kimberly with a card and our appreciation for a wonderful vacation! What more can we say? Thank you!
On day nine Robert C., Larry and Sharon, Sandi and Charlie and Danny and Rosemary left the group to get home on their own. The last group left for Laughlin after breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Flagstaff.
If anyone has something to add, please feel free to add your own version.
There should be an addendum to this story about Laughlin. Anyone?