The long awaited day had finally arrived and like all new “recruits” we had
assembled in the hotel garage at 08.00 prompt for our briefing from Steve
Roake. Steve gave us a resume of the whole trip to whet our appetites and we
then bade an emotional farewell as, after all his hard work on the routes,
ill-health prevented him from joining us.
The big adventure had finally begun !
The first challenge was to navigate our way out of San Francisco in the
morning rush hour but we soon left the city behind us.
It proved impossible to keep in convoy through the city but informal groups
soon formed through the course of the day and we were joined by the duo’s of
Peter & Pauline (Camm) and Arthur & Patricia (Edge).
A minor navigational error by yours truly resulted in this convoy missing
the first main exit but the next took us on a a very scenic drive and we
soon rejoined Highway 1 for our long journey south, 271 miles of winding,
coast hugging switchback.
After seemingly endless stops for refreshments, photos, adding/removing
layers of clothing and being buttonholed by inquisitive locals we finally
reached the 17 Mile Drive, a truly beautiful detour. More photo shoots, a
little envious house hunting around the coastal real estate before pausing
for lunch at Pebble Beach in amenable company.
We continued south on Highway 1 almost inexorably linked to the ocean and
were joined by Alan (Marsh) and Ed en route to our first overnight stop, the
Apple Farm Inn at San Luis Obispo – a twee and thoroughly chintzy
establishment, the greeting with a cup of hot cider and cakes was most
welcome !(The town was full of customised hot rods so the petrol heads
amongst us could ogle over the machines and in particular the superb
paintwork finishes in USA – we subsequently learn, Day 16 McPherson College,
Kansas, that they use substances banned in Europe ! ! - Ed)
What a great start to the tour, the only event to mar the day being
Pauline’s favourite Morgan hat blowing over a cliff.
Well done Steve, our thoughts were with you as we started the first leg of