NORCAL NEW YEAR’S DAY RUN

The following is another short article I wrote and photographed for ESSES when I was the art director and designer. Good times!

The full read posted with permission – ESSES, Volume 19, Number One, March 2009, Spring:

It’s New Year’s Day morning and I feel nauseous. I’m not hung over. I’m carsick. How can this be? I’m not a passenger – I’m the freakin’ driver! Eighteen miles into the NorCal New Year’s Day Run on Skyline Drive and I’m white as a sheet, which is a considerable pigment change considering my heritage. Feeling the urge to hurl, I suddenly pull over to the shoulder. I was second behind the lead driver, Jason McCandless and his super planted 356. The rest of the twelve pack decide to join me. I tell them I’m not doing so well and need a moment to, literally, chill in the cool air. I suggest catching up with Jason and wait at the next stop. Richard Diehl stays behind and chills with me. Damn – another eighty-four miles of this. I can’t believe I got carsick as a driver!

We catch up with the pack about ten miles down the road. They all check in on me as I am feeling better. What a great bunch of guys! Onward. More roads get consumed with hairy twists, twisting switchbacks, switching weather conditions, conditional visibility, visible elevation changes and changing scenery. We hop from canyon road to canyon road as we make our way from the Oakland hills down south to Sunol then east to Tracy and back up north to our destination at the foot of Mt. Diablo in Clayton for lunch. We’ve covered Skyline Blvd., Niles Canyon Rd., Vasco Rd., Morgan Territory Rd., and Marsh Creek Rd. – all without incident – almost. Dave witnessed a football size rock roll down the hill and bounce off the side of his car while at a rest stop. Luckily the tire took the impact without damage to the rim.

Then there was the Tito “incident.” He broke down in his ‘69 Soft Top somewhere on Morgan Territory Rd. It’s a bit of a story perhaps better told by Tito in a possible future submission. As of this writing, I would imagine his two best friends are Jorge Carpio and James Hurst for rescuing him after I received a call from Bob Diefenbach along with his better half, Laurie, who happened to be out on their own run and came across a non-functioning Porsche on the side of the road. We took a vote and unanimously agreed that next time we are going to tell Tito the starting point will actually be the end. This was not Tito’s first “incident.”

Overall, it was a great way to spend New Year’s Day and I’m sure we all look forward to making it an annual event. Next time, I’ll have some Dramamine in the glove box.

The caption as it appeared in the publication:

THE “TWELVE PACK” FROM LEFT TO RIGHT IN ABOVE PHOTO:

Jason McCandless, Tito Young, Richard Diehl, Harvey Weidman, John Gray, Bob Tilton, Mark Setzer, Dave Sperow, Ron Wolfe, Neal Boysen, James Hurst and Jorge Carpio

Both photographs were taken on Vasco Rd. The location was pre-planned due to the rows and rows of windmills in the background. It would have made for a great shot but the fog was damn thick that morning – oh well, another time.


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