THE BEAUTIFUL COAST OF CALIFORNIA

Volume 7 No 2  

 

May 29, 2005

 

 

It doesn't make much difference when you decide to take a trip down Highway 1, rain or shine it still is probably one of the most beautiful rides any place on earth. Across Bixby Bridge , the winding and hilly road that hugs the cliffs and coastline keeps your eyes on the road for sure.

 

The Memorial Day weekend was probably not the best time to go motoring, but believe it or not, the traffic was not as bad as we thought it might be.  It was a great day.

 

We mustered at the Bank of America parking lot at the Crossroads around 10:00 AM. One by one everyone started to show up. Here was Dick Gibson in his beautiful JAG convertible. We let him tag along since he was in a British car after all. So the Obbinks, Vandergrifts, Dick Gibson, Jackie Dombrowski, Ferlitos, and Gibfrieds all headed south.

You are always prepared for something to go wrong on one of these trips but there were only had two minor problems. We had some walkie-talkies for everyone to use and soon we heard the Vandergrifts telling us they smelled something burning. So off we pulled. Turned out it was nothing except some hot brakes from someone else and with the tops down you heard and smelled everything.

 

Soon we came upon Hugo Ferlito at hurricane point.pulled off to the side of the road. It seems his hat flew off and as luck would have it the hat was in the parking lot.

 

 We pulled into Julia Phiffer Burns Park . We expected the parking lot to be full but low and behold there were five parking places side by side We trucked back to the picnic tables by the little stream and guess what? No one was there. So we set up shop and squeezed together on one table and had lunch. It was great fun. Couldn't believe all the stories everyone had about this and that. After about an hour or so, we took the lunch leftovers back to the cars and walked along the trail to the other side of the road where you could see the waterfall. Bruce was nursing a sore back so he sat on the bench half way and the rest of the gang marched out to the point. We all had questions about the old house that used to occupy the end of the trail but no one had all the details. When we returned home, Di Vandergrift did her homework and the following is her report on the park and that house:

Judy, I went on the internet, and found out some interesting history about the "Waterfall House"...yes, that is its name, and it was actually owned by Lathrop and Helen Hooper Brown. Helen named the land around it after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, her very dear friend. If you want to read more, go to the Helen Hooper Brown website, and also go to the Julia Pfeiffer Burns website. There is more about the State Park trails on that website, but it does talk a little about McWay Fall. The Helen Hooper Brown site has more info. The history of the house isn't as "romantic" as I thought it to be. It was torn down in 1965.

When Helen Brown deeded the Saddle Rock Ranch property to the state is was with the understanding that the house was to become a museum for Indian relics, flora and fauna. If it was not turned into a museum five years after the deeding, it was to be torn down. Guess no one wanted to bother with a museum there so down it came in 1965.

For some it was back into the cars and head for home. The Gibfrieds and Vandergrifts  stayed back to walk some more of the trail to the south of the park entrance. The ride home was very windy and a lot cooler on the way back but again a beautiful ride.

 

On another note this month signals the departure of a very good friend, a loyal club member, and a renown expert on antique cars. Paul and Emily Woudenberg are leaving the area for their new home in Cape Cod near their children and grandchildren. Paul's void on the Peninsula will be felt by a lot of people. Those of us with an antique car hobby will certainly miss him as will the participants in the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Paul has been the voice of that world famous event for 25 years. We certainly wish Paul and Emily the best. Judy and Bruce Obbink will miss seeing Paul at lunch at Spanish Bay and his standard 1/2 order of Chinese Chicken Salad.