Monterey Car Week is cancelled. The SCM 1000 is postponed to 2021, along with nearly all other car activities at least through July.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking forward to using our cars again — perhaps as early as this August — in controlled, thoughtful circumstances.
Before the virus took hold, I had planned a week’s adventure with Bradley that included Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Crane Hot Springs and the Alvord Desert Scenic Highway.
Assuming that the little hotels and restaurants that serve those areas are open, I’m resetting my plans for August.
I think a small group of three to four cars, (6-8 people in all), could maximize their safety and still go on a tour.
The challenge with bigger events, such as the SCM 1000, is finding a safe way to feed and house 80 to 100 people. Social distancing becomes very difficult at smaller establishments.
I’m not interested in doing anything stupid or putting myself at risk for no reason. At the same time, living through this pandemic is like driving on ice. My “avoidance alert” radar is on high.
When I go to the local Safeway, I find myself studiously avoiding contact with others. I wipe down the self-serve checkout terminal before I push any buttons.
When I’m outside walking or riding my bike, I’m constantly scanning ahead to make sure I can avoid being in proximity to anyone.
All this caution is not as good as a vaccine. But until a vaccine comes along, it is our only option to try to have some semblance of the lives we used to know.
I’m itching to be on the road, especially with Bradley. The brief day trips I’ve taken in our Volvo 122s and our Jaguar S3 V12 coupe have simply whetted my appetite to be on the open road.
More than one person has suggested this might be the perfect year to go to Monterey. Hotel rooms will probably be discounted and readily available — if hotels are open. The same with getting a reservation at your favorite restaurant.
Monterey and Carmel are fantastic areas to explore; even more so when not overwhelmed with thousands of classic cars and their admirers.
Depending on how the virus plays out, a Caravan to a Virtual Concorso might be a possibility, if we can find food and lodging in Eureka and Novato on the way down.
I’m just tossing these thoughts out. Perhaps the New Normal is tours with three to four cars. Perhaps Monterey this August is a good idea.
Do you think it’s time to start planning these types of things?
I look forward to your suggestions.