Rick Wahlberg  
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 brother resides. 

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 tree!

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 Tuesday evening.

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.