May 22


Woke up this morning to a dreary, rainy day, and the forecast is for three more days of the same. Are we lucky or what? We must have stayed just ahead of this weather system all across the country. Except for the rainy day when we left Portland, OR (no surprises there), we had mainly terrific weather, wearing shorts and tee-shirts nearly every day. We had almost always sunny, mostly warm days with some cooler ones, and only a few brief showers from time to time. Most of the mud on The Warrior came from construction sites, with the brief showers serving to glue the accumulated dust to her body, giving her that crusty patina.

I wish I knew how far we went, but—I don't think we mentioned the car's odometer: We knew that it was reading a little high, due to tires that are lower profile than stock. But it seemed to be reading higher than we expected, so we starting comparing it to roadside mileage markers. Surprisingly, the results were inconsistent, sometimes 10% high and other times 30%! Then, on one stretch that was 30 miles according to our map, we clocked 80! So we started watching the odometer closely. Most of the time it was fine, but then the "ones" digit would suddenly start spinning as fast as the "tenths" digit on the trip odometer!   "Aha!" we said, thinking we'd witnessed the whole problem. But then, a short time later, we saw the "tens" digit flip all by itself, i.e. it went from xx455 miles to xx465 miles! According to the odometer, we drove almost 9000 miles; actuality is probably half that, but we'll never know. We'll also never know how many miles the car has traversed in total, but that doesn't matter to me, since so much of her has been recently restored.

Anyway, however far we went, we had a safe and fun trip, and got to see a lot of the US and Canada that we'd never seen before, all while driving our exciting little Alfa Romeo. Even on the last couple of days of the trip, I was still looking forward to getting up and driving a few hundred miles! Part of the fun is doing whatever it takes to keep a 27-year-old Italian sports car on the road. That includes the 500-mile detour to Portland, Oregon for the repair of our failed brake master cylinder. And speaking of which...

Vote for Doug Zaitz!We want to once again thank the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon club for coming to our aid and offering us their hospitality, and especially for the Herculean effort of Doug Zaitz. We won't list again everything he did for us, but it's all there for you to read in the previous pages. We're so inspired that we're considering the purchase of a car trailer of our own, partly to haul our own cars, but also to be ready to assist other Alfisti should the need arise. Thank you, Doug, thank you, thank you, thank you. AROC members: You'll never find a more dedicated guy to vote onto your Board of Directors that Doug Zaitz, so please cast your vote in his direction!

Tech Corner: So what's the car like? I've written up a summary, which may not be of interest to all of you, so click here if you want the nitty-gritty.

Finally, for those of you who are curious, the railroad locomotive with the engineer who waved to us was firmly planted on the ground. So was the Canadian army tank. So were the fighter jet and helicopter, via pedestals that we choose to remove for aesthetic reasons, in order to eliminate clutter from the scenes.

Thanks for traveling along! Until next time, here are a few parting photos:

Developing Patina
Compare how our lovely Warrior looks in this shot taken on the first day in California along the Pacific Coast Highway...

...with this one, taken in Wisconsin.

Looking back, parte una
Hey, wait—is he asleep? He's supposed to be driving...

Looking back, parte due
The roadway whizzes by and stretches out behind us.

U.S. Route 2 East
Route 2 was a theme for a large part of our trip. We pretty much stuck to it all the way from Spokane, WA through Michigan's Upper Peninsula, probably 1500 miles or more. One can see a lot of the northern part of our country from this American back road.

Beer(s) of the Day

Long Trail Ale
Long Trail Brewing Company, Bridgewater Corners, VT

Besides being another fine microbrewed pale ale, the name of this beer is as appropriate to our journey as any could possibly be.

Culture Feature

Here's a culture shot we had in reserve—cute little raggedy-ann dolls made of current-technology hay bales. Can't remember where it was taken, but it doesn't really matter—it could have been practically anywhere along our way.

Alfa Spotting!


Day 1


(Except for a bunch while still in San Francisco)

Day 2


(No Alfas, but one Fiat X-1/9 parked, but standing on its own wheels)


Day 3


(No Alfas, no Fiats, but one Corvair that looked like it might have run)


Day 4


The Milano parked in Doug Zaitz's driveway when we pulled in.


Day 5


That's 20 or so on the Wine Tour, plus the three in Doug's loft.


Day 6


(All of them in the Veloce Motors garage.)


Day 7


Hey, we were in Idaho and Montana.


Day 8


Hey, we were in Montana and North Dakota.


Day 9


But we've got something up our sleeves for tomorrow—stay tuned!


Day 10


We didn't actually count them, but there must be at least this many at Alfa Heaven.


Day 11


Ah, back to normal.


Day 12


Our expectations were high, it being a sunny Sunday afternoon but, alas, it was not meant to be.


Day 13


A semi-legitimate Alfa sighting! Driving out of Burlington, we saw a boattail Spider on a used car lot, painted the same yellow as my '74 Spider, so it's not its original color (I don't think) but nonetheless attractive (in my book).





The final tally, but all of them have asterisks associated with them for one reason or another.

The address is now defunct!  (This was a temporary address while we were en route.)  Thanks to all of you who took the time to write—it kept us connected with all of our friends, family, and fellow Alfisti. Sorry if our replies were non-existent or terse—the time in front of our laptop's tortuous screen and keyboard was too long as it was.

The End


May 2001


Back to the Road Trip 2001 title page