Hi folks. It’s been a while. We’ve been on the road. We’ve been on a LOT of roads. In fact, Anna and I in our ’33 Fordor and Bill and Sabina in their pink-pearl ’64 Riviera each traveled more than 4000 miles on our way from L.A. to Bartlesville OK to participate in the excellent “Gathering at the ROC” invitational event staged at the Woolaroc preserve and museum. Now if you have your cell phone handy, you can check that L.A. to Bartlesville is only a little over 1400 miles, making a 2800-mile round trip. We obviously did not travel in straight lines, nor stay on Interstate highways. Sabina had never seen this part of our country, so she and Anna plotted a trip that included vintage hotels (Winslow, AZ), classy/creative dining (Santa Fe, etc.), local museums and art (Tulsa, Wichita) and similar diversions. Bill arranged just two car-oriented stops, one at Mark Warrick’s multi-building, overwhelming collection of cars, parts, racers, signs, toys, ad infinitum in Amarillo, and the next day down Texas 2-lanes to visit Bob Owens’ vintage car salvage yard in Wellington TX, along with his impressive collection of pristine early rods, racers, motorcycles, signs, and so on.
But the real point of this trip was to spend three excellent days joining with some fine rods and customs and their owners while at “The Roc” in Oklahoma, and then experiencing the sights and wonders of the Western U.S. on the trip there and back.
So, after clearing the familiar Mojave and crossing the Colorado river (for the first time), we saw Arizona high desert, the Painted Desert, Red Rocks, Arches, Hoodoos and Goblins, Canyonlands, the Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase/Escalante, and Bryce pinnacles in the snow, just to name a few. We went from 100-degrees to sub-freezing. We encountered pouring rain, sleet, hail, and finally thick virgin snow as we crossed three 10,000-ft. mountain summits.
It would take a book to recount all we did and show what we saw. Fortunately you can find plenty of good coverage of the “Gathering at the Roc” event elsewhere online. And those of you who follow Bill’s Instagram and Facebook have seen his excellent in-progress photos of us in numerous settings. My personal indulgence on this trip was not bringing a camera.
So what follows is a truly amazing and beautiful barrage of images, both still and in motion, taken by Sabina, mainly from the seat of the Riviera. She sent these to me yesterday, and I felt wonderfully inundated. So I’m going to pass them on, as-is. They’re not complete or comprehensive. They’re not even in order. But I think you’ll be as impressed with them as I was. It was an excellent adventure. At times fantastical, or magical. Words fail.
OK, after a trip like that, you have to take a few documenting photos. I call this one “Earned its stripes.”
You’ll have to check Bill’s Instagram (South City Rod and Custom) to see the beautiful, well-deserved, hand-engraved trophy he won with his Riv at the Roc for the Steve Cook Creations Pick. But after 3 days of cleaning, some repairs, and a little rest, Anna and I headed up to Santa Maria for the West Coast Kustoms shindig where we were quite surprised–and obviously pleased–to win a Top Three Early Rods award. But this final photo is mainly to show that even beaters can polish up fine, and the two of us are still smilin’. See you somewhere on the road.