Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Great Darby Road Trip - Days 14 & 15

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.

We made it!  We’re in Oregon now!  If our blog posting has been sparse the past several days, it’s partly because we’re a little road-weary, but also because we’re having such a fantastic time.  We can’t stop remarking how lucky we feel…

Yesterday we left Fortuna for our last day of driving up the Pacific coast.  A hazy morning fog made for a cool Northwest atmosphere.  We passed low marshy spots and lagoons as well as more groves of incredible Redwood trees.  Nancy tested the water with her toes – just as cold as it was further south!  At Patrick’s Point state park, the views from rocky cliffs were superb.  Mike hiked down to the water’s edge to get splashed by lively surf.   Heading inland, we admired river gorges and the sun returned.  A herd of grazing elk surprised us around a bend – they impressed us with their size, grace and confident alertness.  We were equally impressed by two bull elk a few miles further along, both sporting striking velvety-fuzzy antlers.  

As we crossed the Oregon state line and neared our destination in the MGA, we discussed the list of things needing attention.  Top priority was the clutch slave cylinder – fluid leaks from it constantly leaving a huge slick overnight.  It also causes difficulty engaging first or reverse gear, not to mention fast shifts on mountain switchbacks.  Also on the list:  the running lights, brake adjustment, oil change, and valve adjustment.  Not much if you say it quickly…!
Nancy’s brother John and his wife Joyce, welcomed us in style with a great seafood dinner and plenty of space to relax.  It feels nice to park the car and settle into bedrooms we’ll occupy for longer than one night. 

Today we enjoyed the luxury of doing laundry (!), sunbathing, and using a roomy garage to replace the clutch slave cylinder, check the steering and front disk brake pads, and adjust the rear brakes.  The oil change will be easy with the spin-on filter adapter fitted specially for the trip.  Over the next few days there will be time to accomplish the other necessary tasks – much more comfortably than in a motel parking lot or on the roadside.  Despite needing some attention, we think Madge has done quite well for having covered 3400+ miles over the past two weeks.
Whilst we’re here with John and Joyce we’ll also enjoy the opportunity to explore Oregon’s coastal and mountain scenery.  What’s more, they’re both excellent cooks with a keen appreciation of good food – so we know we’ll eat well too! J  We feel happy to have arrived here in one piece and to get the chance to spend fun time with family.  (We’re not thinking too much about the route back to Alabama just yet…)


  1. Katharine McDonnellJune 5, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    Loving the photo on the state line! And Nancy, paddling in the Pacific?! You crazy people - how is it I'm related to you?!?

    Wish I was taking the trip with you, but love reading along. Love to all of you xxx

    PS Say hi to John and Joyce for me x

  2. Will do! Would be wonderful if you were here too of course. xx

  3. Am loving reading these blogs. You're all looking as though you're having a great time. Love it that you're all paddling in cold sea! Have a lovely birthday Stella, give hugs to everyone from all of us here in W. Yorkshire, especially my little brother!!! xx

  4. Thanks Liz! Will do! Yes, having a brilliant time - very much enjoyed my birthday, thanks. Xx


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