Even with our little stop, we hit our lunch Spot at Lake Henshaw right on time. Roundup BBQ has a large parking lot but is a small place to eat. Unfortunately, the Corvette club and their ride that day got there before we did. While they had taken up the main table, we got to park together front and center...and still got to sit relatively together.
We actually met up with one more car who had decided to meet us here! That was a nice surprise but this was how the run was designed, so that people could meet up with us and leave when they wanted to. The principle I designed this run under was this run is what you make it. Want to go the whole way with the rest of us crazy people or if you just wanted to do one leg of it all were welcome.
To Roundup's credit, they handled the unexpected rush with professionalism and did so quickly. They actually wound up getting us out of there with over 40 minutes to spare! We would be running slightly ahead of schedule. This was a good thing since we heard our Fallbrook meeting place was packed and the gas station, the gas station many would need to use, was slammed.
So we got out to our cars and headed up Mount Palomar. We turned off 76 and onto S7, known as East Gate road. Again the road in front of me was clear and there were no places to merge on or off the road, mostly, so I took off again. The higher we went, the colder and closer to the clouds we got. I kept pushing, no one in sight behind me, to the top of the mountain. By the time we got to the top, mist was moving across the road and only the slightest traces of the snow that had been on the ground the previous day remained. I was wrapped up in enjoying the quick sprint up the hill but had slowed my pace a bit but the intersection came up to turn onto S6 and head down the hill still came up quick.
I got on the radio to tell everyone I'd be waiting in the left turn lane to turn onto S6 but got no response. So I waited. About a minute went buy and finally the Black Redline came up behind me. We continued to wait. Pretty soon, an SUV came up and went by beside us. We continued to wait. A little while later a Prius came up behind us before continuing on S7. The Redline and I, both with coms, questioned where the rest of the group could be. I realized I had made a major mistake and outran my group way too far. I should have slowed down long before I did.
After waiting a minute or two and seeing the other two cars pass, the rest of the pack came...and came all at once. Some of the lead cars tried to pull in behind us but others went flying by on S7 only to make a U-turn on the other side of the intersection. jgasser, our tail end sweeper, stopped behind the hill to stop any other cars coming up behind them from running into the pack of stopped cars in front of him clogging both lanes. He couldn't see the cars ahead of him but called out on the radio for folks to let him know when we started moving so he could move out. Well, no one heard him. Everyone turned and I radioed back to jgasser to see if everyone had made the turn. I swear that I heard that English accent of him say "Everyone made the turn, we're good to go." and other's claim they heard it too. So we went down S6, a dangerous windy road where everyone had been told to watch using your brakes.
jgasser was still sitting at the turn. As we headed down the hill someone reminded everyone to watch their brakes, use low gears, and go slow. When jgasser heard this radio call he realized we had made the turn and were headed down the mountain but no one had told him. So he moved out around the corner...and forgot which road he was supposed to take so he went straight on S7! Well, S7 dead ends about 7 miles away at the observatory and that's what jgasser soon discovered. He promptly turned around, came back to the intersection, and proceeded to turn on S6 to head down the hill.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group had continued blissfully on unaware that he was not with us. We went the 7 miles down S6 without much troubled and merged back onto 76 towards Fallbrook. We traveled on for about a half hour and just as we reached Pala casino, someone finally mentioned that we had lost our sweep and they hadn't seen them for over a half hour. We promptly pulled over and started to try and get him on the radio. No luck. We pieced together that we had to lose him sometime after the turn onto S6 since some of us had heard him call out the all clear. I didn't have his cell phone number but skersfan was on his way to meet up with us and I knew he had his number. I called up skersfan and told him what was going on. He tried to call jgasser but got only his voicemail.
As it turns out, skersfan was behind us on 76 and only about 2 miles away heading in our direction to meet up with us in Fallbrook. He got up to our group and tried jgasser again. This time he got in touch with him and we found out he was also on 76 headed our way so we told him we'd wait. About 5 minutes pass and he joins up with us. There was some confusion though as people thought we had lost TWO cars. After referencing the photos above and counting cars, we determined all were there and we continued on to Fallbrook.
Even with the delay we rolled into Fallbrook on time. At Fallbrook we met up with more members bringing our total number to 23 cars and picking up our third Solstice Coupe! A few months back I hadn't seen one and now I was looking at three. Because of the delay and the gas station being swamped I made the decision to change the route a bit. A few got gas while I planned our alternative route which would be easier and feature a gas station that was less well used and was much larger.