We spent three nights at the Solage resort in Calistoga, and each morning Wendie and I were able to pound out a 5k to get our blood going before a day behind the wheel. We had a few hot laps at Infineon Raceway and at Thunderhill, and got going just fast enough for me to wish for a racing harness and roll bar.

From California, it was a off to the Keels and Wheels concours in Houston, where I was the emcee for the third year. The weather was about 85 degrees and not crazy humid, although I definitely knew I was no longer in central California.

The nearest Starbucks was two miles from my hotel, and being without a car, I decided to jog over the bridge to the boardwalk in Kemah for my morning shot of caffeine. This seemed to confuse some Texas drivers (particularly those in large pickups), one of whom called out as he passed, “Hey, what are you running from, buddy?” Apparently, a person on the roadway not in a car is an unfamiliar site.

The concours was a great success. Indy cars were the feature, as this year is the 100th anniversary of the 500; on the boat side, the gull-winged Century Sabres were showcased.

Back at work today, my morning was spent shuffling our B Team MGs around for the final fettling before the trip. My lunch will be spent inspecting — for the first time — the 1984 Euro Turbo Diesel Land Rover D90 I bought on eBay. The shop that has it told me, “It has potential.” Which sounds like it’s going to start costing me money right away – like all the other old cars I’ve got.


California Mille 2011


Keels & Wheels