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The Gang of Four

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Mystery Lunch Run – June 24, 2018

A New, and Very High, Bar has been Set

Most of us have experienced an event organized by Vickie Hackworth (with Al’s assistance, of course), so when their friends, Denise and Jeff Kilpatrick, impulsively bought a new Grand Sport and joined the club, we probably should have raised our expectations for an initial MLR, because our expectations were met and exceeded with today’s run. Al and Vickie were there for support and guidance, but Vickie said all the marvelous details were due to Denise and Jeff’s planning.

It was an early morning departure for the 23 cars and 41 Corvette lovers as we met at 8:30 and left promptly at 9am. If Bill Watson hadn’t seen us on Temecula Parkway going in the other direction, he might have missed the whole day. When they said depart at 9, they meant it, as they had a full day planned. In addition to the usual suspects, we had two guest couples. First to join us were Terry and Steve Stuart from San Marcos. The Glenores, Stevens and Webers met them May 29 at the Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo. Apparently we passed them on the road and so they stopped to talk to us at dinner. They told us they had a Corvette and we told them to come see a club event. Rob sent them a link to the website with their picture on it and we all moved on. Apparently they did come up to Monterey and saw all the cars at the MPCC event as well. We must have made a good impression on them since they signed up for the MLR and seemed to have a great time. The second couple was Gail and Randy Fitzpatrick, friends of the Hackworths, the Kilpatricks and known by anyone in the Women’s or Men’s Clubs in Temecula. They did the run in a borrowed Corvette and…..who knows?

Denise checked us in and gave us the secret instructions. Vickie, more importantly, gave us each a bag of trail mix for the road. Bob Clark loaned the Stuarts a walkie-talkie so they wouldn’t be left out if anything of real importance was said. And off we went, regrouping quickly at our usual spot on Temecula Parkway at Butterfield Stage and then heading east on 79. Let the guessing games begin – Julian? Idyllwild? San Diego? Anza Borrego? We turned on 371 so Indio was now looking like a good direction. Then we made a right onto Burnt Valley Road. You may ask where that is, as did most of us. It was a little scenic detour with lots of curves and some dust and very low traffic. The “race drivers” (Denise, Steve, Skip, Rob, and even Chuck C) were in heaven and reached pretty good speeds. Then the detour ended and we were back on 371. We turned left at the Palms to Pines Highway (74) and drove a little over 8 miles to Anglers Landing or the Hemet Market at the Lake Hemet Campground. Ever prepared, Denise and Jeff and handed out bottles of water as we all made a potty stop.

Then we hopped back on 74, turned right on 243 and headed out on the Banning Idyllwild Panoramic Highway , through Idyllwild and down into the Banning area. It sure lives up to its name as the scenery and the road are really great. So at the bottom of the hill, we get onto the 10 East and Vickie announces that in case we get separated we need to exit on 111 into Palm Springs. So all our minds are whirling and remembering that they told us to bring a jacket as the lunch restaurant was cool. Some brilliant minds figured it out and when we turned on Tram Way, even the not so brilliant minds put things together.

Just to show the excellent planning by the Kilpatrick/Hackworth team, the Aerial Tramway waived the $5 charge to park and we had a separate/private parking lot with our name on the sign and a ranger assigned to help us into the lot and onto the shuttle up to the Tramway. Our group was placed in one tram and even got an earlier time assignment. When we reached the top our ticket also gave us a buffet lunch. All in all it was a $47 value for $28, so how can you complain about that. In addition, Denise and Jeff had brought a special cake with actual Corvette models on it and our Club artwork.

For many this was the first time to the Tramway and for many more it was the first time in decades. For all of us, it was a trip to be remembered and talked about for a long time. They certainly set the bar very, very high for future MLRs. Let’s make sure to ask them to organize another one – from conversation at our lunch table, they just might be thinking about another one in the future. Three cheers for Denise, Jeff, Vickie and Al and all their hard work to make our day so very enjoyable!
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