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Spring Fling Is Full of Many Surprises

All is well as 40 energetic Roamin Angles finish their donuts and depart promptly at 8 am for a glorious day cruise to the Delta. We arrive in Auburn as planned and proceed down Hwy 49 toward Plymouth. At the bridge right out of Auburn, Ed and Nancy are surprised to find out that they have a flat tire. No problem they will put the spare on. Well it’s in worse shape than the flat on the road. Here comes the Hook for an early ride home. We arrive in Coloma for a scheduled pit stop, park and proceed about our business when we are accosted by park rangers demanding that we move NOW...what else, we are in the middle of a planned Easter egg hunt...opps… we move across the road and take care of business. We proceed to Placerville and on to Plymouth when it appears that Landon’s fearless GTO is starting to smoke, (what’s a little smoke?) Minutes later no one could see him to follow...a James Bond Smoke screen has engulfed the road. After 20 panic calls from all cruisers Landon figures he better pull over and check things out. What a surprise...Oil is gushing from the transmission directly on to the headers. Looks like no more cruising for Landon and Karen...but wait…they’re the leaders. So, the decision was made to leave the car behind and proceed on the trip with Joe Weathers as their chauffeur.

On to Plymouth, Lodi, and finally the Delta’s famous Giusti’s for lunch...surprise we just lost 45 crucial minutes, meaning that our strict reservations at 11 am for 40 were in jeopardy. Mark, our host would only take us if we could be there before his heavy lunch crowd arrived. Well I figured we would just wing it and hope all goes well. Surprise, just out of Plymouth our leader is preoccupied with AAA trying to arrange for, in his mind, what was a simple tow job. Thirty minutes into a getting nowhere, negation with the dispatch operator in Las Vegas, who was an idiot, I lost cell signal with no resolve. Another Surprise, at the same time just out of Plymouth and Ione, the Mapquest instructions seemed to fall apart, and lack of clear directions start to scramble about half of the cruisers throughout the Foothills. Panic on the radios, 2 cell phones ringing out of control and our leader is nowhere to be found. That is right he is talking to 3 AAA. Karen’s frantic, she has no clue where we are or where we are going…this trip was Landon’s thing. About 20 minutes later, we start to get fragmented cell service back and the phones start ringing again.

One by one, Landon started to redirect each car back on track trying to get them through Ione, to Lodi, along Highway 12 to Interstate 5, and to the exit onto Thornton -Walnut Grove Road. Then onto the correct bridge and then the quick, I say quick right turn to Giusti’s. I said it would be fun, but not easy to get there. For the next 45 minutes, after Landon’s arrival at a 12:15, already an hour late, the Spring Flingers started arriving. Mark, Guisti’s owner, was very accommodating, and seated everyone except the last group, headed up by our fearless member Bill Robinson, who was still about 30 minutes out. When they arrived around 12:45, the place was slammed, requiring them to wait for a table. Oh well, we’ve had enough surprises. After lunch, we all proceeded to Bogle Winery for a private tasting, with all having a great time.

That’s right...Landon’s car is still in Diamond Springs with no positive results from AAA yet. Calling the 800 number again, to my surprise I was told that I had to be with the car to have it picked up (only 100 miles away). After another 30 minutes of pleading with the dispatch operator somewhere in the world, I was finally transferred directly to the tow company in Placerville. What a difference, their operator said no problem; we will pick up the car and deliver it to your house. What time would you like it there? I figured we would be home about 5:30 and said 6 would be good. Promptly at 6:15 the truck backed into the driveway and proceeded to help me get the car off the truck and directly on the lift. What a surprise, there are still humans on earth. Karen and I would like to thank all for going on the Spring Fling (really the Spring Mystery Tour) and hope everyone had a good trip…even Bill, Karin, Justin, Pat, Denny and Gai.

Story & Photos by Landon & Karen S.

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