I would think that the high desert to be the better option than up to Tahoe. More traffic but also more help if needed. The up and over can be a real challenge even without snow. Talked to VCCA member in LV today that would be available if needed for help or talk.
Might be able to cut off some miles by heading north from Alb toward SLC or west to Gallup and then across Indian country. Some interesting but lonely scenery.
Yeh, I think that he got "religion" today with some traffic close-calls..... so he wants to avoid the worst of CALIF... if you can. Ha!!
Here's a photo from yesterday!!! Be sure to read the caption.
"I stopped by this General Store in Oklahoma to pick up some Dapper Dan hair treatment for myself and some Standard 600w oil, both of which were on the shelf. They also had a good selection of Ford parts in a barrel - the owner tells me they are quite necessary for the daily repair the Fords need. He said that the Chevrolet owners mostly purchase road maps, Coke, and chewing gum - that's all they need to keep going"
I-40 is not the most user friendly highway particularly where he has been. West from Alb. is not as bad until he gets closer to LA. If he wants thinking and goat counting time then across the reservations is a good option. Problem is that there are not too many road options so may have to put in a few more hours and miles. That stretch between Vegas and Reno doesn't even have goats to count. Has more mystery wrecks (single car run off road rollovers) than any other hwy. Saw three of them last time I ran it. Got to pay strict attention to gas supply too. Not too may places to buy or beg fuel.
in 1969, my wife and i drove from cumberland md to so calif in an olds powered 50 chevy convert. in 1971, we repeated the trip in an olds powered 51 chevy woody. we still have the convert. we were really proud of ourselves traversing the country in 20+ year old chevys. our accomplisments pale in comparison to the current cross country trip in a stock 31 chevy. hats off. mike
Spelling that has is a lot harder than driving to get here for days.
I had some great experiences in the last three days. Of course, meeting other club members, talking cars, and seeing workshops has been incredible.
As you can imagine it also involves 8 to 12 hours of driving alone each day - which for me has fun, necessary, insightful, and sometime emotional. When I think of "road trip", I am not drawn to it for just the roadside snacks, or even the mechanical charm of an old Chevrolet. Its also a time to be reflective, sometimes deeply lost in deep thoughts for as long as I want to be with no one changing the subject.
But now its time to meet the guys from town here and see old iron and get breakfast.
You probably already know this, but if you are planning to head North in CA on I-5, this is the shortcut to avoid L.A. freeways and traffic. It's a good road "The Blue Star Highway" and the travel time is accurate at speed limits. Just a suggestion.
I'll second WinoWally's recommendation of CA 58 being a good route to get west of the Sierra Nevada Mtns via the Tehachapi pass from Barstow to Bakersfield. You will have some opportunities to get off of I-40 and follow old historic 66 in western NM and across AZ. I recommend that when it makes sense. From Kingman, AZ I recommend AZ 68 to Bullhead City to Laughlin, NV and then south to connect with old 66 & west through Goffs, Essex and Amboy to reconnect with I-40 at Ludlow rather than going through Needles. Old 66 from Kingman through Oatman to Needles is an exciting and fun road, but steep and narrow and not the way to make time.
I have emailed Dean Echols (VCCA member in AZ that organizes tours) about your trip but have not had a response. Hopefully the locals along your way will chime in with better route alternatives to the interstate.
We are all watching and enjoying your adventure. It was an honor to meet you and your faithful stovebolt six steed as you entered Indian Territory.
Just talked to Blaine (6:45 CST). He's in Springerville, AZ. He may be stopping there for the night. He had a really good day of visiting with several VCCA members in ABQ, seeing Jay's shop/museum and scenic driving well off of I-40.
I've added a group photo of the VCCA members that met Blaine at Hug Chevrolet in Charleston, AR on Monday December 16; and moved the 2 photos I had posted earlier to a post in the Member's Photos Gallery on the chat room. If I have the gallery & linking process figured out the photo should follow. The other photos can be found in the VCCA Member's Photos section.
This thumbnail photo shows (left to right) Jack Schwartz, Blaine Dehmlow, Ed Vann, Frank "Buddy" Hug, Sr. & Bob Strattan with Blaine's '31 in front of Buddy's workshop on the Hug Chevrolet campus in Charleston, Arkansas during his December 16, 2013 stop on the coast to coast trip.
This morning at 8 a few Rio Grande VCCA members met with Blaine for breakfast, then a short drive to Jay's shop, a lot of car talk and great friendship. Blaine's '31 started and ran like it was quite ready to go another thousand miles. We convinced him US route 60 was a good road and safer choice than I 40, and off he went into the bright New Mexico sunshine. Great fun.
If you have old Chevrolets, other old Chevrolets will find out where you live.
Re: Coast to Coast in a 31
#296552 12/20/1305:53 AM12/20/1305:53 AM
I made it to Show Low last night, and left in a snowstorm this morning - not expected - for Globe, outskirts of Phoenix, and then west to Parker.
The visit I had in Albuqueruqe was awesome - it was great to meet the local chapter of Chevrolet enthusiasts and see what they are working on. I hope that all of who have collected, restored and preserved a part of our history will someday know how it has inspired and enabled, in a positive way, those of us that are new to the scene. So thanks a heap to all who show and share their knowledge and experience with these good old soldiers - the cars I mean!
I had a great discussion with Lee last night - just catching up now as if we had been friends forever! We happened on the subject of "driver cars" and how they are viewed in the club, and at shows and meetings. Of course I have an interest in that subject, and I hope to be part of helping the club grow and expose new people to the fun and deeply moving experience of seeing the country through the windshield of our venerable tributes to a simpler way of traveling.
Talked to Blaine tonight. He's making good progress. Needs to adjust his valves tomorrow morning. Then he'll be on the road. Estimates that he might be home in two more days. Then the following day, he'll go to San Francisco for a final photo-op.
Where is he tonight? A Ha!!!! You need to check THE MAP to find out....
PS. As of tonight this thread has 3,505 views. That makes an average of 250 per day.
Bill Barker Previous VCCA CHAT Administrator (VCCA Member: 9802)
I'm in Mojave CA for the night. I noticed a noisy valve or two coming into Lake Have - uh - Sooo last night. After calling Bill, I thought I would adjust the valves first thing in the AM.
It turns out the noisy valve was due to a broken valve spring keeper on #6 intake. The pieces were lying in the spring cup, just barely wedging the valve stem to the cup.
I decided to make up a quick solution rather than to go looking for a keeper of some type at a parts store. So I got out a hand grinder and made the keeper out of a large washer I had in my supply bag. By using a thin piece of copper strand from a piece of wire, I was able to tie the valve up while I compressed the spring with a large screw driver, then slid in the keeper with a needle nose pliers - after I backed out the adjusting screw all the way to allow room to work. Normally I would expect this to take many tries, many swear words, and then drop the keeper pin down in the engine, but uncharacteristically, it went together in short order.
I might make it home tomorrow late if all goes well - going through Bakersfield and up the Central Valley. I'll let you know when I make it !!!
When you put together a slide show and go on the 'Travel Speakers' circuit, let us know where you are speaking and we'll bring our old Chevys to be inspired by your's! Even if it's just at the local donut house.
Last edited by rustoholic; 12/22/1305:45 AM. Reason: added a sentence
Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz old and ugly is beautiful!