When you live in San Diego, it is very easy to take days with perfect weather for granted. Yes, we suffered through a “brutal” winter. It rained for an entire day! But as soon as spring arrived, we were back to days of sunshine and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. On Sunday, April 2nd, the weather was perfect. And we took full advantage of it.
As most of you are aware, Lisa and I belong to two car clubs. We’ve been in COCSD for over 23 years. (We were both very young when we joined.) It is, and always will be, our “first” club. But a few years ago, we were invited to join the San Diego Miata Club. Actually, they told me they were tired of having me attend their meetings as a guest, to talk about Main Street America or to challenge them to kart racing, and it was time for us to become members. The cost is only $35 for a couple and no, you don’t have to own a Miata. So it was an easy decision to make. SDMC is larger than COCSD, but there are so many similarities between the two clubs. The biggest thing both have in common is wonderful people. We truly enjoy hanging out with members of both clubs.
Another common thread is the desire to drive our fun cars on twisting, winding roads. SDMC president Gene Streeter and I decided to lead by example and plan a run through the familiar, but oh so fun San Diego County back country. Lisa and I had been introduced to a family-owned and operated restaurant in Jamul with excellent burgers and a large parking lot, so it seemed to be a perfect destination.
Gene and I spread the word to the members of our respective clubs and did a test drive of the route. Based upon the response we received, we anticipated 40 to 50 others would be joining us. We ended up with close to 80.
COCSD members and guests Alan Atha and Nancy Oeh, Joe Beland and Betty Maving, Lee and Pat Caudel, George Dauphine, Lisa DiSabatino, Rick and Janet Hefter, Joe Huvar, Leah Johnson, Howard Kendall, Jim Kistner and Lydia Zulia, Jim Mellos, Lee and Margaret Olson, Nick Pavle and Marsha Otto, Gilbert Peet, Brent and Anne Randall, Stuart and Lisa Robertson, Bill and Lin Siepert, Jim and Robin Sperling, Alan and Catherine Stewart, Rod and Linda Weissenberger, Napoleon White and Lydia Duro and Lore Young were joined by approximately the same number of SDMC members at our gathering point in Rancho San Diego. From there, we headed east, through Descanso Junction, Guatay and Pine Valley, to a short break at the Buckman Springs rest stop.
Lisa and I had led the group through the first leg. Gene and wife Bonnie took over for the remainder of the route. Although Gene had driven the route when we checked it out two weeks previously, he let Bonnie convince him that he needed to turn right at an intersection where he should have gone straight. So roughly half of the group took a slight detour before realizing their error and returning back to the proper route. The Club radios allowed us to communicate and minimize the consequences of the error.
From the rest stop, we went south to Campo, then west on 94. After a short distance, Margaret and Lee had pulled to the side because of a check engine light on the dash of their C5. We stopped to check on them. After verifying that all of the gauges were reading normally, we concluded that it was not something critical. But rather than try to catch the group and follow them around Lyons Peak and Phelps Corner, we decided to head straight to the restaurant to make sure they were ready for us.
Brody’s Burgers and Beer is located in Jamul, at the intersection of 94 and Steele Canyon Road. It’s in the strip center behind the 7-Eleven on the corner. It’s owned and run by the Broderick family. They have a large party room with a few regular tables and two long picnic-type tables. The room is easily large enough for 40 to 50 people. But with around 80 of us, several had to be seated in the main restaurant. They were prepared for a big group, with extra staff. But trying to fix food for our group, plus the others who came in, did result in delays. Everyone took it in stride, but it does point out the need to respond when someone hosting a run asks participants to do so.
Howard was one of the last to leave, so I got the chance to check out his brand new Admiral Blue Grand Sport. It’s an absolutely beautiful car. If it were a convertible, it would be as perfect as the weather on that typical San Diego day.
(Photos by Mark Booth, SDMC)