2008 Run to the Rockies

 

'Vettes on the Rockies

 

Links to many pictures

Oatman Pictures

4 Corners Pictures

Colorado Pictures

Registration Pictures

2008 VOTR "Show 'n Shine" Pictures

Route 66 Pictures

Durango Train Pictures

Breckenridge Pictures

Funkana Pictures

Utah Pictures

 

 

The trip planning began back in December/January 2008 as a result of a few members of The Vette Set expressing an interest in going to the 2008 'Vettes on the Rockies event.  I had attended 'Vettes on the Rockies 2006 and had a great time.  Now a few others were interested.  Interest grew in both The Vette Set as well as Southwest Corvettes.  We quickly had 12 cars and 22 people ready to do the trip.  As a result of this interest, I took on the task of planning a route to get us to Colorado and back.  See the route map below.

 (ignore the numbers- they just helped me get the map correct).

 

When we were finally ready to go, one couple had to cancel due to health reasons.  Although not with us physically, I know Dick & Pat Malley were following our travels through their copy of the "trip book".

 

The group of Corvettes left LA as planned on Saturday, July 26th.  The “final” destination for most was Breckenridge, CO to participate in the 35th Annual ‘Vettes on the Rockies event hosted by Looking Glass Corvette Association.  The route would include a portion of Route 66, travel through the 4 corner states, a train ride through a portion of Colorado, and a finally, a long secondary road tour from Durango to Breckenridge.

 

After 3 stops along the way to meet up with the participants, we left Barstow, CA with 10 cars and 18 people.  Dave & Katherine Grant would join us in Flagstaff to complete the group of 20 people and 11 Corvettes.

 

After a little rain storm just outside of Needles, CA we were on our way on the 1st part of our journey.

 

 

Our 1st real stop (besides gas and “potty” stops) was Oatman, AZ.  The rain left our Corvettes just wet enough to absorb most of the dirt and dust of this little “ghost” town.

 

 

In Oatman, we acted like most tourists; shopping, eating, and feeding the Burros.

 

  

Out of Oatman we followed Route 66 towards Kingman, AZ.  The old road is windy and “paved”, although a little uneven at times.  However, the road gave us some beautiful views of the surrounding area.

 

 

Just outside of Oatman on the way to Kingman is an old style garage.  This area, called “Cool Springs”, was a great photo opportunity.

 

After a brief stop in Cool Springs for some photos in front of an old gas station we were back on the road again and into Kingman, AZ via Route 66.

 

As we came into Kingman, we made a point of stopping at the “Powerhouse”.  This building is home to the Route 66 Museum.  We wanted to be sure everyone knew where it was.  Out Motel was about 3 miles further into town.

  

 

After checking in, the group made various plans for dinner.  Some went off to a recommended steak house while others wandered across the street to a Chinese buffet.  This motel offered a full free breakfast which most took advantage of the next morning.

 

 

The trip plan called for a “quiz” each day.  Using the trip material giving to each car about a month before the trip there were 5 questions each day about the area that the group went through the prior day or would go through that day.  First person with a correct answer to each question won cash!!!  There was some reluctance at first, but it became clear that this was a competitive bunch, and soon everyone was gathered around with their trip books open and ready!!!  The biggest challenge was to get this group together at any one time!   We did the quiz for about 3 days and people really got into it!

 

 

Sunday had us driving Route 66 through Arizona.  With the exception of a small section of Route 66 in Ash Fork, AZ we travelled all of the "usable today" Route 66 between Kingman and Flagstaff. The longest contiguous stretch of Route 66 today is in Arizona between these two cities.

 

 

When travelling Route 66 through Arizona, you have to stop at the Hackberry General Store.  This old store was once a striving business before Interstate 40 was built.  Like many stories about old Route 66, many businesses died when the new road was built and these small towns were bypassed.  However, some enterprising people revived a number of places and now have a good business with people (like us) travelling the “Mother Road”.

 

 

 

Next stop was Seligman, AZ.  This is another old Arizona town that has been revived as a Route 66 mainstay.  If one does research about old Route 66 you learn about Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive In and Angel Delgadillo’s Barber Shop.  Angel is considered the "guardian angel” of Route 66.  We had the opportunity to meet and have photos taken with Angel at the Drive In.

 

 

 

 

 

From Seligman we continued east through Williams, AZ and finally to Flagstaff for the night.

 

 

 

Back in Oatman, I had an issue with my 62 'Vette.  Smoke came out from under the hood when I tried to start the car.  I got it running and did some minor repair back in Kingman.  However, from time to time we needed to "push start" my car.  It seemed that the starter motor has some issues.  To be sure the car ran properly throughout the trip, Ken Ficquette and I took the time do a “proper” repair in the parking lot of the hotel in Flagstaff.  On Sunday night, before the auto parts store closed, Ken and I went off and bought a couple of starter motors (not sure which would be correct), a set of jack stands and jack, and a few other parts.  Letting the car cool overnight, we started working on the car as it began to get light Monday morning.  At one point the project looked much like a government job with one person working and many “supervisors”!  At least Dave Grant got me a coffee!

 

 

Repairs completed successfully, extra parts returned to the parts store, a ‘gift” of jack stands and jack given to the motel, and away we go; on time and on schedule!

 

Our route Monday took us through the lands of at least 3 Indian Reservations as we travelled through what is known as the "4 corners" to Durango, CO.  This is beautiful country with many Mesas and Buttes.

 

  

  

 

Lunch on Monday was a picnic!  Not knowing where we might find places to eat as we went through the Indian Reservations, we planned ahead and bought sandwiches and stuff in advance.  There were many more eateries available than we anticipated but having found some picnic tables beside a gas station, we proceeded to follow our picnic plan.

 

 

 

 

Bellies full, gas tanks full, bladders empty, off we go towards Durango.  Completely unknown in the planning, we were passing right by the “Four Corners Monument”.  Tom Nagle asked the group if they wanted to stop.  No question about it - this became a stopping point.  How often can you be in 4 states at one time?

 

 

 

From Four Corners we continued on to Durango, CO.  As we approach Durango we get another little rain storm.  Just enough to get the cars dirty once again.  In the lead position, I'm not getting any "spray" from the other cars so I just continue with the top down!  Of course, there was some "side spray" from the big trucks.  We could wash the cars later!

 

Tuesday is our day on the famous Durango to Silverton Train.  As a large group, we had booked a private, first class car.  With our own dedicated hostess and narrator, (as well as toilet in our private car), this was definitely the way to go.  We have many photos of this part of our trip. The ones that follow are an example.  Here is a link to the photos of the train ride.

 

 

  

  

 

Following the train ride, we had a great group dinner in Durango.  Everyone was back at the hotel early for good night’s sleep and to get ready for our longest driving day; Durango, CO to Breckenridge, CO.

 

Wednesday's 343 mile day began at 8 AM and was travelled using only 5 ½ miles of freeway!  The remainder was secondary roads, through a bunch of road work, over mountain crests up to 12,000’ and ending at the Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, CO at about 7:30 PM!!!  We had a number of stops, including shopping time in Aspen.  The scenery was awesome as we travelled the Rockies through Independence Pass and crossing the Continental Divide.  I think everyone was ready for their pillows that night!

 

  

   

 

 

 

 

Thursday was for the most part a “free” day.  Registration for the actual ‘Vettes on the Rockies event opened about 1 PM.  However, everyone in our caravan really “did their own thing” from this point through the weekend.  Many of us took some time Thursday morning to wash our cars.  The hotel and our hosts, Looking Glass Corvettes Association, provided hoses, buckets, and towels throughout the weekend so everyone could keep their cars clean for the Sunday’s “Show 'n Shine” Car Show.

 

 

Over the course of the 4 days in Breckenridge, some took the time to see the town and other local areas.

 

 

 

The actual ‘Vettes on the Rockies (VOTR) event spans 4 days.  It begins with registration on Thursday and ends with the Car Show on Sunday.  In between, there are events like a Funkana, Autocross, a formal picture taking session, dinners, visiting vendor booths, etc.  On display was a new ZR1, as well, a ZR1 without the body!!!  Also in attendance were various GM officials who could talk about the Corvettes of the past as well as the future.

 

 

In the evenings, VOTR included dinner and dancing for Thursday and Friday, as well as a desert feast and awards on Saturday night.  It was all very well done and well organized.  Our group chose to have a “final” dinner together on Saturday night.  As of Sunday, we would split up and people/couples were proceeding in various directions.  In fact, Al Barber & Diane Prior had to leave Saturday morning to be sure to get back in time for work on Tuesday.  I spend some time each winter in Breckenridge, CO, doing some skiing (sometimes) and partying (all the time).  For dinner Saturday, we used the hotel Shuttle to go to a restaurant called The Whales Tail.  This is my local winter hangout for the past 20 years.  The management know me; the bartenders know me (very important), even the cook knows me.  In fact we were able to get the cook to prepare his personal "pepper sauce" for those who wanted it.  Everyone had a great dinner.  We were back at the hotel in time for desert and to see Carl Cewinski get an award for the Funkana.  “Minnie Mouse” also got an award for “Congeniality”.  It seems everyone was impressed with how Minnie did not complain as she was literality “thrown” into the car at each Funkana station!

 

 

Sunday brought on the Car Show, called a “Show 'n Shine”.  There were about 500 Corvettes lining 7 blocks of Main Street in Frisco, CO.  It was an amazing display of Corvettes.  Separately a set of car show pictures are available for viewing.  In this article, I have only included an overhead picture of the event.  Click on the picture below to link to all my Show 'n Shine Car Show pictures.

 


 

Sunday was also the day that the group began to go separate ways.  Al Barber and Diane Prior had to leave Saturday to get back to work.  Others like Dick & Toni Whitford and Paul & Elaine Benthuys extended their trip to include Colorado Springs and Hot August Nights in Reno, NV.  Others had their own plans.

 

Returning as a caravan were only 4 cars;  Dave & Katherine Grant, Walt & Bonniegay Bacon, Jim Masaki, and myself.  These 4 cars grouped up in Green River, UT Sunday night to begin a tour on Monday of some of the UT State & National Parks.  Of course, even this part of the trip had some “adventures”.  Coming into Green River, I had a flat.  No big deal except the wheel of the spare would not fit over the 62 brake drums!  I've driven my car around this way for 5 years!  So, after waiting 3 hours for AAA to show up (not a fun time), the car was flat-bedded ¾ of a mile to a truck stop that had the right size tires in stock!!!  No delay in the trip – the car was ready to go in the morning.  The other event was someone backed into Jim Masaki’s Corvette while we were parked at a museum in Escalante.  They hit his front fender, chipping the paint and causing a crack.  The car was fully drivable so after exchanging information, we were on our way again.

 

On our return, we drove through the back roads of Utah, seeing some amazing scenery.  This was completely different from the views of AZ, NM, and CO.  We drove to Bryce Canyon, then on to Zion National Park where we were able to drive through the park towards St. George, UT.  Again, there are too many pictures of these areas to publish within this article.  A few are included and you can following this link to more pictures of Utah

 

 

 

 

After the drive through Utah, our last night on the road was Tuesday night in Las Vegas.  Some of the group went off to do some gambling while others just took the opportunity the rest for the final trip home.  In fact, each car left Las Vegas on their own, each one having different plans.  One could say this was the end of the journey although everyone did get home eventually.

 

This was one very fun trip!  I'm not sure how to identify the highlights.  I suspect each person has their own.  Judging by the picture count, I have to say the Durango to Silverton train ride ranks near the top.  Of the photos I collected (1,639), at least 550 were of the train ride.  Route 66 was next with about 120 photos.  Every indication is that everyone had fun.  We had fun individually and as a group.  Although it might seem this trip was very planned and orchestrated,  a founding principal was that people were on their own to do what they pleased each and every day and night.  There have been many comments on how this attitude made the trip each person’s own vacation.

 

A fun run  --- maybe we do another (different one) next year!!!!!!

 

"Save the Wave"!