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Discussion Starter #81
Lake Elsinore, Ortega Hwy, and the danger of Ortega

Moving through Lake Elsinore was not easy and we had to have a number of stops to get the group back together. The slow going, the extra long gas stop in Fallbrook, and the downed biker on the Plateau had got us about fifteen minutes behind rolling into Elsinore.

We got to our photo spot and got all the cars lined up for a photo shoot. Some cars needed gas and other folks needed to go to the bathroom so part of the group stayed at the photo spot while about 13 cars took off to get gas and have a bathroom break. By the time they returned and we got rolling out, we were almost an hour behind schedule. While the sky wasn't cooperating we still got some good pictures.



The good news was I had built in about a half hour of "fudge factor" into the run and getting through the rest of Lake Elsinore once we left the photo shoot much better than before the stop so we quickly made up our time. We made the right onto Ortega, formed up real quick, and then headed out on Ortega.

Again, I didn't push like I had earlier in the day in an effort to keep the group together. Even at the slower pace we soon found ourselves behind slower traffic. They did use some of the turnouts but once one would turn out we'd catch another within minutes. We got to the top of Ortega that overlooks Lake Elsinore fairly uneventfully and started through the national forest. It looked like we were in for a relatively leisurely ride through the rest of Ortega.

However, that wasn't to be. Ortega has a notorious reputation for being a dangerous and deadly road. We got a first hand reminder of that about half way to orange county. Two cars had collided and emergency workers were already on scene. While the east bound lanes were almost stopped, our lanes kept moving well. We continued on Ortega and made our way into San Juan Capistrano.

Originally I had planned on going around and trying to drive in front of the mission but since we were running behind and didn't want to miss sunset at Dana Point, we bypassed the detour (which was always a part of the plan if we found ourselves running late) and headed straight to Dana Point. While coming through San Juan Capistrano we had to wait up after the "downtown" area because the group got pretty split up with all the lights. By the time we were ready to turn onto Hwy 1 (Pacific Coast Highway), we just had to wait a short while to get the whole group together.
 

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Discussion Starter #82
Looks like we made it!

The transition into Dana Point was a tricky one. We would get on a freeway onramp to get on Hwy 1. That freeway would then immediately end and we would need to turn left a 1/2 mile after the freeway ended. After that left, we would need to turn left again using a turn lane that would hold about 3 cars at a time. Luckily this went really smoothly and everyone made the turns without issue.

We rolled down the causeway in Dana Point that was right on the ocean. We went down to the end where the road went in a circle and turned back on itself. While the road has no parking along the coast, it isn't heavily traveled and I took the chance that we would be able to stop, take pictures, and still let traffic pass by us without causing too much of a commotion.



We had made it! And we had made it right on time. We took a few pictures and celebrated the successful completion of the trip. One thing I would like to change for next year is to get more time on the coast itself rather than ending the drive when we hit the water. While dinner would be ON the water at Wind and Sea Restaurant, to drive PCH would be a nice touch.



And it would be nice to be able to take a picture with the sun setting behind our cars.

Once done here, we pulled out and drove the 1/2 mile to the dinner spot. We got to the Wind and Sea at about 7:30. We had been told that they wouldn't be able to seat us until 9 but when we went in and asked, they said they would be able to seat us in about 30-40 minutes. That worked for us. We went in and sat in the lounge while we waited. At 8 on the spot, the time for our original reservation, we got our table and settled down to dinner. Food was amazing and, as we reviewed the day, I was thanked over and over for a great run, a well organized run, and took a few suggestions on improving it for next year.

And I did decide there would be a next year. I'd like to do this every year and maybe even turn it into a regional event. For now, I have about 240 pictures to go through that my navigator took...and some are amazing, she did a GREAT job...and go through the hours of video I took. Some of it will be very rough and bouncy while other parts of it are just amazing to look at. I had the camera mounted to the rear at a couple points and then on either my driver's side or passenger's side fender while we drove and the shots from the fender mounts is just nuts. It will take me a while to put a video together but will post links to it and pictures when they are available.

After that, I'm going to pass out for a month then start working on next year.
 

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Here's what I was doing.

T-Boned. She was going 65 mpg in residential area.

I was 50 feet from my parking spot at home.

Pushed 29 feet head on to neighbors SUV. Brain ischemia and concussion with allot of soar muscles.
 

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Discussion Starter #84 (Edited)
Oh man Razz, was wondering where you were! Holy crap I'm glad you're okay. Well, relatively speaking and so much as you were "okay" before the accident. ;)

T-Boned. She was going 65 mpg in residential area.
And man, what was she driving getting that kind of gas mileage!? :D ;)

Seriously thought, did you find out why she was going that fast?

Good news is that should buff right out...<squints>...maybe...
 
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