Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Great Darby Road Trip - Day 20

Mike Darby, well-known British car restorer and SABCC'er is on the road his newly-restored 1959 MGA roadster with daughter Stella, undertaking the dream trip of a lifetime. The Darby duo will be traveling from their Alabama Gulf Coast home to Southern California, then up the Pacific Coast to Oregon and then back to the Heart of Dixie. 

Stella has kindly agreed to send along a daily report of their progress as well as observations of the people and places that make up our nation.

Today we’ve driven about 540 miles to Elko, Nevada.  We’d planned to stop in Winnemucca but wanted to get a few more miles behind us.  John and Joyce fed us up good last night with home-fried shrimp and scallops.  (We’re still salivating over it.)  John front-doored us all the way here on his route elsewhere; this was much appreciated given the desolate country we’ve passed through – over 200 miles with not a gas station and hardly a dwelling in sight!  Elko is the only town of any size in miles.  The casinos’ lights flash all night and most of the motels boast no vacancies...but we found one (finally). 
Early in the day we had a freak occurrence with the starter motor.  I pulled the start switch with the car in gear (accidentally) and the extra electrical load on it caused it, bizarrely, to meld together.  The car stalled but the starter motor wouldn’t stop running.  Dad reacted quickly and jammed a screwdriver between the contacts to keep it from burning out, then put it back to normal…but it sounds, and feels, a little worse for wear.  Fingers crossed we’ll make it home without having to resort to the crank handle or bump starts! But never fear if so.

We had a bit of heavy rain near the state line and rode with the top up for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  It proved doubly helpful, keeping out not just rain but also blowing sand later in the day.  Gusty winds, a constant on this journey, are still with us.
It’s over 15 hours since we left Oregon, quite sorry indeed to say goodbye, and we’re knackered.

That’s all for tonight folks!


  1. Mike and Stella -
    I will try again. Did you folks see this story? http://news.yahoo.com/1-man-dead-27-car-nevada-sandstorm-pileup-181920988.html - Dennis

    1. Hi Dennis,
      No we didn't see the news but we met a man on the road today who told us about it; he had been riding his motorcycle. He said it was an awful wreck, and a very scary storm. Sad news.


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