Text and Photos By Rich Fatuzzo
On a beautiful Saturday morning of September 7th, about 50 Porsche owners, PCA-SDR members and their guests started gathering about 8:00 A.M. at the Hoehn Porsche dealership at 6900 Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad to enjoy a fun-filled, 80-mile tour to Wynola Pizza Express in Santa Ysabel. Our event host was Derek Singhass, New Car Sales Manager of Hoehn Porsche, who with his staff, greeted all arriving PCA-SDR members and guests and graciously treated us to coffee and a varied assortment of bagels and dips. And Derek, to the delight of our tour participants, unveiled, a new, white, 2014 Panamera GTS that was in their showroom.
Except for a minor leader car glitch that was easily solved, this 80-mile tour to Wynola could not have turned out any better for the PCA-SDR members and their guests in about 30 Porsches, consisting of an interesting variety of models and years, including about a dozen “Tour Newbies” who were experiencing their first PCA-SDR tour. This tour was masterfully planned and designed by Peter Dorey and the other Tour Committee Co-chairs of Dan Chambers and Monica Bockman, and was led mainly by Dan Chambers. The route was broken up into three legs: the 1st leg was about 25.0 miles and went to Kit Carson Park; the 2ND leg was only 13 miles to Bates Nut Farm; and the third leg was around 42 miles, ending at the Wynola Pizza Express in Santa Ysabel. After the initial sign-in, Monica Bockman handed out the maps and directions. The tour participants were then given some excellent instruction from Dan Chambers on “Tour Etiquette.”
We started out from the Hoehn Porsche dealership at about 9:00 A.M. in one large group, but at a slow pace so everyone could stay together. Dan Chambers led the group in Monica’s Periwinkle Blue 1969 912. I did this tour with Buck Bitting in his white 2005 Boxster, which we were able to “slot into” position number three to afford me a better opportunity to do the event photography. We first leisurely cruised down I-5, south to La Costa Avenue and then headed inland to S. Rancho Santa Fe Road. We then headed north on Rancho Santa Fe Road, making sure everyone was together, and then east via San Elijo Road, and then in the downtown area of San Elijo Hills, we turned southeast onto the scenic Elfin Forest Road, going at a slightly quicker pace since there was no traffic on this road. This road eventually becomes Harmony Grove Road, where at the east end, there is a major residential development that has made this area, currently, less scenic. We also at this point encountered a mass of cyclists, but had no trouble giving them a wide berth. However, about another mile down the road, near S. Hale Avenue, Dan experienced a minor stall problem in the 912, but in less than five minutes, we were back on the road, when Peter Dorey took the lead in his VW. Peter then led the group for about six miles through W. Valley Parkway and Via Rancho Parkway to Kit Carson Park, our first rest stop. Luckily, Dan showed up about ten minutes later, but it was decided to have Peter lead us on this Tour, to our next stop—the Bates Nut Farm, which was about another 13 miles away.
So, after a short stint on Bear Valley Parkway and Valley Parkway, the pace now started to noticeably pick up on the Lake Wohlford and Woods Valley Roads, where about a half an hour later, we arrived at the Bates Nut Farm. At this location, Monica brought out of her vehicle their two magnificent looking, two-year-old, Swiss Shepherd (brother and sister) dogs, which they had rescued—a female dog named Bali and a male dog named Gus. These dogs quickly became our “Tour Mascots” (It’s not always about the Porsches we own!).
After a short break at the Bates Nut Farm for refreshments, Dan took over the lead again. The number of “twisties” noticeably increased as we took the interesting backcountry roads that are lined with several notable casinos on the Indian reservations of this area, and then we turned onto CA-76 E. However, since we were running late, the addition considered at the meeting of driving the South Grade Road, a seven mile journey to the top of Palomar Mountain, was not included in this tour. We really didn’t need it, since after passing Lake Henshaw and before connecting to CA-79 S, we were again able to quicken our pace and enjoy some more “twisties” while experiencing very little traffic on the twelve-mile stretch of Mesa Grande Road. After only two miles on CA-79 S, we were at the CA-78 E/CA-79 S (Dudley’s intersection), and then only had to travel east for another three miles to reach our final destination, the Wynola Pizza Express at 4355 CA 78, Santa Ysabel, to relax, eat and drink and enjoy the company of our fellow, PCA-SDR tour participants. We had arrived just in time to miss a short, but heavy downpour, and some of our members had to scramble to put up the ragtops on their Porsches.
This tour was a lot of fun, and even though the attendance was light, it definitely afforded all of us a great opportunity to socialize together, especially with new PCA-SDR members or members doing a tour for the first time, while still enjoying a fun and spirited drive through scenic North San Diego County. An interesting side-note was that throughout the tour, there was not only very little car traffic, but also few motorcycle and bicycle riders, which made it a lot easier for us to stay together in one group.
Great appreciation is extended to our tour committee Co-Chairs Dan, Monica, and Peter for all their help in planning and leading the tour, and for filling it with driving excitement, and to our sponsor, the Hoehn Porsche Dealership, specifically Sean Conner, the General Manager, and to Derek Singhass and the Hoehn staff that helped out that day, and also to the owners and staff of the Wynola Pizza Express for allocating their facilities for us to have fun and socialize together.