Monday, June 3, 2013

The Great Darby Road Trip - Days 12 & 13

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.

Yesterday’s trip to Ukiah farmer’s market was a great way to get a feel for the local area.  Our hosts, Nancy’s cousins Dennis and Peggy, sold tasty organic produce alongside other producers at the weekly event.  After a tasty lunch we headed back up to Smart Mountain Farm and helped out a little bit with collecting eggs, picking strawberries and minor vehicle maintenance.

Mike left a Toyota pick-up running on a piece of household wire in place of no. 3 ignition wire – not up to his usual standards, haha, but it worked (as a purely temporary fix of course!).

We all enjoyed the beautiful mountaintop setting and the good company, not to mention the delicious and nutritious meals Peggy made.  It was hard to tear ourselves away this morning so we weren’t on the road until 1pm.

The route today gave us plenty of coastline views, but we also loved the golden mountain scenery, river valleys, and incredible giant redwood trees.  A friendly hitchhiker joined us for part of the journey including a stop on the beach. 

The driving along both coast and mountain bends kept Mike on his toes in the MGA.  Electrical gremlins are still alive – Mike used a jumper cable across a brake light switch to ensure bright taillights for the last stretch of road to Fortuna, where we’ve stopped for the night.

Tomorrow will be our last day on the coast road, destination Oregon!


  1. Mike - Thank you for that 'quick fix' on the Toy pickup! It's not so much the miles on the vehicle, but the years. An '86 with well under 1000000 miles. - Dennis

  2. Is there anything that Mr Darby is not capable of fixing!? Safe travels, Charlotte

  3. Well, anything with a computer gets him a little more stumped...but he's doing a great job! Thanks xx

  4. Dennis, you're welcome. Please don't expect to put another 900,000 miles on that plug wire.
    Charlotte, thanks for your compliment, and you can call me Mike. (Formal address makes me feel old, haha!)
    - Mr. Darby :)

  5. Haha! when in the USA - I thought you had to be all be Mr and Miss ;) Hope you are having a happy birthday Stella - you are missed here! We are going out to celebrate Tom's birthday tonight with Indian food, and this year I have no one to share with. Have a great day. Charlotte xx

  6. Haha! Thank you, had a lovely birthday here with homemade cake! :-) xx


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