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NorCal Sonoma County Mini-Cruise
2004-05-15
The sun arose to another BEAUTIFUL Northern California Coast spring day as eleven NorCal Kats prowled in for the first (of many future!) gathering at Krispy Kreme's new Santa Rosa location. After a traditional POA opening ceremony (coffee, donuts, and gas!), the Kats and friends (including one of the local Chrysler dealership's PT Cruiser convertibles), the cruise was on through some scenic Sonoma County horse and wine country. A midway stop at Ledson Winery in wine-fabled Sonoma Valley provided some great photo ops (and a 10 am 'refuelling' ... for passengers only, of course!). Heading out for a Santa Rosa bypass (city streets clogged with events...), the Kats wound their way through more hilly horse country before purring into Fred's All-American Old Car Classic auto show. With 'front row' seats reserved for a Kat Korral at the entrance, drivers and crews were celebrated as special entrants and spent the late morning checking out some great cars and Fred's 'Old Town' buildings (and GIANT oil can/container collection...couldn't find any Mobil 1, though...). A short drive up to Bob and Holly Harder's home in Windsor and the Kats gathered for a family photo in the driveway, along with the Harder's Mini-Kat go-kart (which soon was heard and seen racing throughout the subdivision!). A delightful lunch and surprise birthday party for POA's own Linda Johnson ('01 Silver from Healdsburg, CA) added to the festivities as everyone prepared for the afternoon cruise (accompanied by a Commemorative Cruisin' CD that soon was tapping the toes - easy on the gas pedal! - of all the drivers). The Mini-Kat then roared into action as some adventuresome drivers and passengers tried their hands at dodge the speed bumps, leap the rolled curbs, and beat so-and-so's time down the straightaway! (We couldn't find anything SPECIFICALLY in the CC&R's that prohibited this PARTICULAR type of rowdy behavior...!!!). Gathering down the tree-lined street for a quick getaway (someone might have snitched on us about the Mini-Kat...), we prowled on to downtown revitalized 'Old Windsor' for some candy shoppe 'inspections' and then up for a slow prowl around nearby Healdsburg's upscale revamped old town square. Cruising through H'Burg, Dan ('The 1019 hp Viper Man' - and does HE have a new wild story to tell!!) Mosier and Susie joined us (in his remaining working vehicle...) for the pm prowl. Shaking the urban dust from our tailpipes, we headed off through the Russian River valley for more wine and redwood country, the ever-luring sun-drenched coast our next destination. As we spilled over the coastal crest to a vista of multiblue seas and foaming whitecaps, the Kats headed for shelter from the 'playful' wind (read: random, blustery, and hat-stealing) at coastal Goats Rock beach. After a short visit (and training in 'leaning into it' and gaining sea legs onshore), the Prowlers snaked their way along the rolling ranch lands (to the east) and the towering cliffs (on the west!) along the coastal 'highway' (I thought you needed at least two full lanes to call it a 'highway'...???). Finding rest and shelter (including a 'defuelling' stop and more shopping) at the Tides Wharf in Bodega Bay, the Kollection of Koastal Kats prepared to head inland for the final leg of the journey. After a winding leisurely cruise through Freestone (great brick oven bakery!), Occidental (fabulous Italian pizza and pasta!!), Graton (both buildings!!!), and Sebastopol (Sonoma County's ONLY 'Nuclear Free Zone'....don't ask!!!!), the Prowler Posse pulled into Cotati for a final round of gas, grub, and goodbyes. After a final POA 'salute' (drivers pointing out to their spouses the neat mod's on the other cars that they just HAD to have...), the NorCal Kats headed for points north, south, and east (we discouraged much westerly driving without water wings...)...until NEXT TIME!
The Kats gather...
Prepping to Prowl...
Photo Op at Ledson Winery in Sonoma Valley...
Red Karpet rolled out for the visiting Kats...
Classic lines from any viewpoint!
Sonoma Wine Country...Just like home!
Seconds before the Kats arrived in force...
Phil and Jane Horvath
Dan ('The Colorado Adventure Story Man') Anderson and Fiance Melissa
Ellie ('Island Prowla') Aliga
Dick and Sue Osgood (Check out them new wheels!)
Doug ('Digital Panorama Man') Crandell
Linda Johnson and Al Collins
Bob Harder
Rich and Karen Sandvick
Scott ('Obi-Wan') Curtis
Walt and Nelli Pusch
Wendell Chute and Shirley Roth
Santa Rosa Chrysler Jeep's Larry and Son Michael with New PT Cruiser Convertible
Kat's go Kountry at Fred's All-American Old Car Classic auto show...
Prowlers Park in Preferred Position for Picturesque Pose...
Kat Korral keeps koncregating krowd klammering for kool klassic kars...
Gas still posted at only 25 cents a gallon...!
Oil Can General Store...
What do you mean you don't carry Mobil 1???!!!
Always another mod in the works...
Fred's 'side job'...refurbing antique gas pumps...
Klassic Kars...Prowler Prototype?
Beautiful...period!
Time to head out...
Kats Kluster at the Harder Homestead...
Prowlers Parked for Perfect Pose! (Note Dick Osgood's American Racing rims on his Orange Kat...)
'Birthday Girl' Linda Johnson (and Pit Crew Mate Al Collins!)
NorCal Kats enjoy the birthday celebration after lunch...
Nelli Pusch checks out the Mini-Kat before road trials begin...
Phil ('NorCal Coordinator') Horvath after successful laps up and down the strip...
Scott ('Obi-Wan') Curtis planning the next series of mods for the Mini-Kat...Bob Harder calculating size of second mortgage needed...
Headin' out of Dodge after Mini-Kat drags...
Future Prowler Owner compares his own Klassic Schwinn 'Retro' Stingray with future vehicle of choice...
Kats Kruise across the Russian River at Wohler Bridge...
Heading down to Goat Rock...Sonoma County 'Rural Pavement'...
Prowlers parked at Pacific pond!
NorCal Kats in Victory Pose!
Last coastal stop for defuelling, refuelling, refooding, and returning...
Postscript: Birthday Girl and Die-hard Mini-Gang party the night away (well, it EVENTUALLY got dark!) at Black Bear Diner...
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