Overnight Tour to
Benbow - June 18-19, 2011
by Mary Neidel, Redwood Region Member
photo by Vern Rogers, Vice-President Redwood Region
weather was wonderful for our overnight trip to the Benbow Inn in
Garberville on June 18. Garberville is about a 3-hour trip north from Santa Rosa. Twenty-two of us gathered at Kal's
Kaffe in Santa Rosa
on Saturday morning. Before we left, Porsche trivia questions were
handed out to the drivers and it was announced that a prize would be
given away at dinner that night for the most correct or most creative
answers to the questions. Some examples: Who was Porsche's first racing
director (Fritz Huschke von Hanstein)? Where is Porsche Parade this year
GA)?. Then we were on the road.
Highway 101 is such a nice drive north from Santa Rosa that we took 101 all the way to
stopped for lunch at a new restaurant in Ukiah called Branches. As
members tried to guess the answers to the trivia game and talked about
events both past and present, we munched on sandwiches, salads and
pizza. Donovan and Rosemary Albright, Redwood Region members who live in
Ukiah, met us at Branches and joined the Tour for the drive.
us decided to drive the majestic "Avenue of the Giants" before
checking-in to our rooms. This 31-mile scenic drive parallels Highway
101. The road is lined by the world's largest trees, and it is just 6
miles north of Garberville. We turned around at the visitor's center
about halfway up the road as some had to get fuel, but plans were made
to go back and drive the road again the next day. We had cocktails,
dinner and jazz waiting for us back at the hotel.
Benbow Inn is set above the banks of the
River. It opened to the
public in July of 1926 and soon became a popular destination resort.
Hollywood elite like Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Alan Ladd (to name
a few) and dignitaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover
visited, as well as motoring tourists traveling up the newly completed
Redwood Highway. The Benbow Inn was placed on the National Register of
Historic Places in 1983 and after eighty years it remains a popular and
memorable stop between San Francisco and
freshening up a bit, some of us met in the bar for a cocktail before
going into the "Hunt Room", the private dining area reserved for us just
off the bar. We were able to order from the regular menu of fine meats,
seafood, salads and pastas paired with just-picked herbs and vegetables
from the restaurant's very own garden. The Benbow Inn's wine selection
is impressive; it has won the Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence" for
ten years. Some of us enjoyed the wines from the menu while others
brought a special wine from home.
There was a fair amount of dessert and wine on the table when we
announced the winners of the trivia contest. Craig and Sandy Steele
earned that honor with four correct answers. My husband, Rob Neidel,
presented the Steeles with a piece of his very own artwork as the prize.
the sumptuous dinner, most enjoyed the jazz band either outside on the
patio or from the lobby as we sat in comfortable antique chairs and
talked excitedly about club events, family, and--of course--our
Porsches. It was a late evening and fun was had by all!