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Nestled among the coastal pines of the central coast you will find the Cambria Pines Lodge. This lovely, old rustic hotel was the hub center for the tour.
Sunday was a day to register, explore the town of Cambria and take a short late afternoon tour along Moonstone Beach. At our first stop Leffingwell Landing Park, the shoreline was full of jagged rocks formations. Our next stop featured a beach area of very dark black sand. Moonstone Beach is noted for a rich marine life and coastal reefs. We were lucky enough to watch an otter float along the rocky shoreline.
Monday we drove out of town on Santa Rose Creek Rd. toward Paso Robles. In many places the trees provided a canopy over the narrow country road we followed. Along the way we saw wild turkey. But the most amazing view was the valley and the hills that surrounded it. They were rich in varieties of green grasses with some hills doted here and there with wild flowers. You truly felt like you were in Ireland.
Nearly 15 miles up this valley there was a steep switchback that a few cars had trouble climbing. Bill Ottemann’s 1908 Rambler came to the rescue and was able to pull 2 cars up the hill. At the same time John Manifor was able to help the third car with engine issues get back on road. These two men are a tribute to the kind of people who belong to this club. “Kuddos” to you both!!!
One of our objectives for the day was to go to the Estrella Warbird Museum in Paso Robles. Upon arriving we were escorted behind the buildings and onto a runway.
They took our picture and then opened up their museum for a private tour. The focus of this museum is memorabilia from WW1, WW2 and a recently open building on cars. Outside are airplanes from many eras on display. We are very grateful to the volunteer crew for their willingness to not only open the museum to us, but to graciously talk with us and guide us through each building.
From there we “tootled” our way to Paso Robles Town Square where we had lunch in the park. After lunch we ventured back to Cambria via several wineries and once again more amazing countryside. It was truly an incredible day.
Tuesday we took a short drive up Hwy 1 to Hearst Castle. We had a fantastic guide who was a plethora of information about Randolph Hearst and the castle itself. After the tour people were free to wonder up the coast to Ragged Point or visit the Elephant seals. However, only a few made the trip as strong winds forced most of us to go back to Cambria.
At 5:45pm we all gathered for a group picture before sitting down to a banquet dinner. Marvin Brown, who comes on many car tours, took the group picture as well as many pictures during the tour. He is an excellent photographer and we thank him for sharing his pictures with us. At the dinner we gave out two awards:
People’s Choice and President Award. By an almost unanimous vote Bill and Anne Otteman’s 1908 Rambler won the People’s Choice award. The Bugotti, owned by Alan and Mary Travis won the President Award. Everyone was having such a wonderful time and it seemed like no one wanted it to end. Now that’s a good party!
Wednesday was our final tour day and we drove down the road to the town of Harmony, population 18. We pulled in and parked on the main street, which consists of a pottery shop, a glass shop, a creamery and a historical Post office.
On the hill just as you enter Harmony there is a winery. Everyone headed for the glass shop. We watched the glassmaker melt, add color and shape the glass. Needless to say he had many incredible pieces. We also took in the pottery shop.
The two hours that we had to take in Harmony flew by. We all returned to Cambria to check out and head for the Bakersfield Swap Meet.
In closing I would like to say that the one thing that made this tour very special were the people. Everyone was just incredible and appeared to have a good time doing whatever was in the moment. The encouragements we received from people were most appreciated. When you put on a tour, of course you want everything to go well and for everyone to have a good time. However, the real success of a tour is what comes from the hearts and souls of those on the tour. So “Kuddos” to all of you who braved the Treasures of California Tour. You are etched in our memory forever.