This summer I made the trek to DriversFest 2000, the annual VW-hosted show. My going there came up by chance, actually. You see, I got married last July, and our honeymoon was planned for a cross-country road trip (something I've always wanted to do) to California. Then I get this letter in the mail from Volkswagen telling me about DriversFest in... Anaheim, California. Right smack in the middle of my trip, no less! We left town about 4:00 pm, and drove straight to Boulder, Colorado. The easy (and normal) route from there is to stay on I-70 to I-15 to Los Angeles. That’s no fun. We took I-50 through Nevada instead. Never heard of it? They have a sign that says ‘The Loneliest Road in America’. There’s Ely on the East edge, Reno at the West side, and one dilapidated gas station in the middle. It rained, believe it or not, and we saw a tumbleweed or two tumble by. We even saw herds of wild cattle roaming around! On to California…
One of the many Californian places we visited on the way was Laguna Seca Raceway. This was also a first for me; it was my first visit to a real professional racetrack. It took awhile for me to find it because of a lousy map I printed off of the Internet. You have to drive up a steep mountainside to get to the track, and once we got over it was a sight to see! There were no races scheduled while I was around (sniff) but I did see the Skip Barber racing school driving around the track.
On the way to Los Angeles, we drove down Highway 1. It was beautiful, scenic, and a bit scary. Going South, the mountains sky to your immediate left. To your right, the ocean resides about 100 feet down the edge of the cliff. And the road twists and turns the whole way. Again, gas stations are few and far between. We paid $2.60 a gallon in Big Sur, (that was not high-octane, by the way) and we ate at a quaint little restaurant overlooking the ocean. Going through Santa Barbara, New Beetles and Porsche Boxters are a dime-a-dozen.
Finally, DriversFest... They had just about everything there to see and do. Live music all day, various tents set up with all kinds of things to do - you could take a survey on what you thought of VW's marketing strategy, check out the new Trek bikes, get your picture taken with a VW and put in a key chain for free, and more. Remember that Golf ad where they tie the mattress to the car at the stoplight? You could do that, and they'd time you. You could test drive any new VW on an autocross style track, and even get a ride in a Beetle Cup Racer! They even had electric Golf slot car races. I won my race, by the way! I signed up for the VW Club, and got a free key chain and a VW Club CD case. After the show, the Barenaked Ladies performed inside the arena.
All in all it was a great day, and the highlight of my trip. But, oh, the drive home! Let me tell you, I was not looking forward to it. Except for a traffic jam in the desert (114 F) and a tornado WARNING in Iowa (very scary) the rest of the drive was uneventful. The entire trip took no less than 5,000 miles, but it was worth it. I can’t wait ‘till next year!