by Rick Wahlberg, Redwood Region Member
I've owned my 1986
Carrera for about 3 years now, so I decided it was time for a road trip
- in this case, a foray to see my brother in Corvallis, Oregon. First
things, first: a visit to Deven at Hi Tec to have the car checked out
for the trip. The "safety check" uncovered a number of maintenance
items, not the least of which was an alternator on its way out. Great
timing to have these items tended to; better than being stuck on the
road in the hinterlands someplace.
I decided on the "express
route" for the northern trip, which included I-80 to I-505 to I-5. I
departed Novato at 9:00 a.m. to avoid the rush hour then fueled-up at
Chevron in Fairfield to save a few cents on the Bay Area gas prices.
It was beautiful
weather and comfortable temperatures until approaching the Redding area.
No surprises for August 10: Redding was just "hellish", with
temperatures approaching 100 degrees and a traffic jam due to road
construction. It was a good test for the car though, with oil
temperature up but still well under the red area. Now I know what the
car can take at the extreme. After Redding, there were Dunsmuir and
Weed, two rather old and, honestly, run-down towns...especially
Dunsmuir. Scenic though, with lots of older buildings. As I planned this
to be a leisurely trip, I stopped at Yreka for the night at a nice air
conditioned hotel (thanks--I needed that!). I
grabbed dinner at a small café frequented by the locals. Interesting
folks, would say a cowboy type.
I was on the road again in
the morning, while it was still rather cool, and I headed over the
Siskiyou pass into Oregon, enjoying beautiful rolling green meadowspast and
mountain scenery in the Ashland area. The Carrera is just remarkable at
25 years-plus. It runs like a top and powers over the long grades with
no problem. Most of the time I just left it in 5th gear, cruising at 70
to 75 mph.
I stopped in Medford for 15
gallons of petrol and then I was off again up Oregon I-5, with its
beautifully-maintained roads and what seems like more rest stops than
California, with local service organizations providing free coffee at
many of the stops. One of the rest stops was a nice, cool and very green
area along the Rogue River at the State Park, where I spent an hour just
resting on the grass.
My next stop was the Seven
Feathers Gambling Casino in Canyonville. I don't gamble, but this just
seemed like an interesting place to stop and cool off. I didn't stay too
long.There are no non-smoking areas at this place, and there was a blue
haze throughout. I ducked out soon as I could for some clean air!
The last part of my
northbound journey was off of I-5 at Eugene to 99W as a change of pace
to the freeway. Lower speeds and some stoplights, but a more relaxed
pace for the last 50 miles. 99W feeds right into Corvallis, where my
Corvallis is a beautiful
college town, home of the Oregon State Beavers. The downtown area is
very walkable, with the Williamette River running along the river walk
area. There are quaint shops throughout.
I stayed in Corvallis for
the weekend and took a side trip 25 miles south to Junction City, an
enclave of Scandinavian people, to attend a Scandinavian Festival, where
I enjoyed culture, cuisine, costumes, and entertainment.
Monday morning, bright and
early, I started the trip home. I retraced my route down 99W to Eugene
and I-5, but this time I headed towards the coast on Highway 199 South
out of Grants Pass. This was to be the "cool" part of the trip (at least
part of it), along the coast. I bedded down at the Curly Redwood Lodge
in Crescent City. This is an older, quaint place with carports at each
room. The wooden construction of this motel all comes from one redwood
On Tuesday, I headed down
101 South. It was foggy and cold in the morning, but that was a welcome
change. I stopped for lunch at the Samoa Cookhouse, just north of
Eureka, over the Humboldt Bay Bridge. This cookhouse once served a local
logging operation, so there was a lot to see, including a museum with
old logging equipment along with old accounting machines! The food is
cooked family style: lots of it and seconds for the asking. I ordered
short ribs, which were to die for! It's not a fancy place (picnic
tables) but the food sure is good. Stop there if you are ever in the
area - it's well worth it.
I spent part of the
afternoon in Old Town Eureka and then I was on the road again, through
the Avenue of the Giants Redwood Preserve, which stretches about 30
miles through the redwoods. This part of the drive was a lot of fun, and
I spent most the drive following a Boxster driven by a young couple from
Canada on a summer vacation. Nothing better than a couple of Porsches
bobbing and weaving on "Porsche Roads"! We came to a flagman, who
stopped us to let us know of some road work going on farther ahead, with
gravel and tar. Due to his good advice, we both turned around and headed
back to Route 101. Now that is a nice guy!
Finishing the trip up and
re-entering the "heat zone", I stopped at the Benbow Inn for a breather
and to check it out (I did not attend the recent Redwood Region trip
there). It was very nice. I hit the road again and made it through more
90-degree heat in Willits and Ukiah, arriving home at 7:00pm that
What a great car, and a
great trip! The car performed flawlessly, thanks to Deven's (Hi Tec)
attention to detail. It got 25+ MPG and was a blast to drive. Driving
the Carrera is "Rick's addiction", and I'm sure many of us share it.