PCH, Fort Collins, Grand Canyon, NY and Toronto

Our Elans were built to be driven and not all of us want to to use them on Track Days. If you use, or plan to use, your Elan as a Grand Tourer and have completed or are planning some great trips then inspire the rest of us with the details.

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PCH, Fort Collins, Grand Canyon, NY and Toronto

Postby GeoffSmith » Thu 12.05.2011, 22:03

The flights are booked and the van (that's right, all three kids decided to come on holiday with us this year) is being investigated. My hidden agenda is to spot as many Feds as I can. :twisted:

It is still very flexible, so if anyone has got any suggestions about must-see places, useful tips on car hire, hotels, cell phones, wireless access etc. or wants to try and meet up then feel free.

The latest Itinerary is at the end of this thread.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby tigerdog » Fri 13.05.2011, 17:18

Geoff, this is great news! You'll have a wonderful road trip doing more miles than you thought possible. :)
Be advised, on July 8 my family and I will be up to LA and back picking up an exchange student from Germany who's staying with us this summer. Looks like you plan a few days here in SD so we'll have time to get together.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby superbad » Fri 13.05.2011, 20:00

We should do an M100 drive up Mt. Evans (the highest paved road in North America). You'll see marmots, pikas, big horned sheep, and snow in June. Rocky Mountain National Park is also pretty spectacular, and very close to you in Ft. Collins.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby GeoffSmith » Fri 13.05.2011, 20:05

:smt023

Excellent news Doug and thanks for the PM - I'll get back to you. We fly from LA to NY on Tuesday at 09:00 so hopefully I'll get to spot the green beast. :D

Sounds interesting Scott. After a conference in Colorado Springs in the 80's, I did Pikes Peak a couple of hours before my flight to Denver. It was in a Chevette hire car and I think I only made it because I turned the aircon off!
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby lotusgirlmarie » Fri 13.05.2011, 20:35

On your way up the PCH stop in San Simeon and Hearst Castle. I think you would get a great time. I may be in SF when you swing by. With luck I'll take you about.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby esprit888 » Sat 14.05.2011, 01:57

Geoff,
Don’t hold your breath to post in the ‘spotted’ category. Last week I flew into Colorado springs via Denver. Picked up my latest ebay purchase and drove home through the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Miles driven in two and a half days = 1628, Number of Elans spotted = 0, number of Loti of any size shape or variation = 0 !.

The Grand canyon is well worth the trip but beware of the weather as it can have very low cloud/fog making it invisible, also there are two sides to the canyon (who knew :lol: ) most people visit the south side via Flagstaff skipping off the route 66 (yes that one 8) ) turn off but the north side is also worth the extra drive.


GeoffSmith wrote:The flights are booked and the van (that's right, all three kids decided to come on holiday with us this year) is being investigated. My hidden agenda is to spot as many Feds as I can. :twisted:

The outline itinerary and possible sightings are as follows:

20th June : Los Angeles
23rd June : San Francisco
29th June : Fort Collins - Algirdas
4th July : Albuquerque
5th July : Grand Canyon
8th July : San Diego - Tigerdog
10th July : Los Angeles
11th July : New York
12th July : Toronto - Elanlover
16th July : New York

It is still very flexible, so if anyone has got any suggestions about must-see places, useful tips on car hire, hotels, cell phones, wireless access etc. or wants to try and meet up then feel free.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby lotos » Sun 15.05.2011, 00:57

There's lots of us Colorado folk on the forum - you should let us know when you're in the area! We'll be sure to at least do some M100 Drive-bys while you're eating dinner or something
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby saska » Sun 15.05.2011, 09:28

esprit888 wrote:The Grand canyon is well worth the trip but beware of the weather as it can have very low cloud/fog making it invisible, also there are two sides to the canyon (who knew :lol: ) most people visit the south side via Flagstaff skipping off the route 66 (yes that one 8) ) turn off but the north side is also worth the extra drive.

Colin is correct about the north side of the canyon -- it is spectacular. If you take US 89 to the Canyon north side you'd also get to see the Vermilion cliffs which are the 3000ft escarpment, second step in the Grand Staircase of the Colorado Plateau.I saw them at sunset and nearly came off the motorcycle gawping. US89 is one of the great roads of the world IMHO.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby DeanG » Sat 21.05.2011, 19:31

+1 on several of the posts.

The Grand Canyon is truly indescribable. It is so incredible that a few days after both my wife and I first saw the canyon we talked about the experience and realized we couldn't remember much. We had seen nothing like it so it didn't stick in our minds. When we visited the north rim a week later we were mentally more prepared and the images stuck in our minds. A thunderstorm rolling through the canyon is spectacular sight, from a distance!

Rt 89 and 89A are great roads. We drove our M100 on them back in 2004.

A Lotus is a rare sight in most of the USA. Except for various car events I recall having seen only 2 this year. On our cross-country trip (9,400 miles) we saw only 1 Lotus an M100 in Mesa AZ (that is excepting the various meet ups that we had been planned). Now there is a better chance of seeing a Lotus because of the Elise/Exige.

Have fun.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby tigerdog » Sun 22.05.2011, 04:56

You'll no doubt see several Elise/Exiges here in San Diego. Saw a white Evora on the road a couple of weeks ago, too. If you're lucky, one of the local Teslas may be running about. Europas, Elites and Eclats are the rare ones in this area. Still, we'll guarantee you a few fun Loti while here. Maybe not as awe-inspiring as the Grand Canyon but an M100, top-down along the blue Pacific, is nothing to sneeze at.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby Doug » Mon 23.05.2011, 05:01

That's gunna be a fun trip Geoff!!

If you had done it any past year I would have styled you out in Wine Country!

Now I am stuck in Southwest Oregon; and I don't recommend driving up here--very scenic, but too far!

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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby GeoffSmith » Fri 03.06.2011, 23:07

Shame Doug, I hadn't realised how far you'd moved.....

Grand Canyon is a must for the kids and even though I've been twice before, I think I'll still be overawed. Thanks for the suggestions, keep 'em coming - it's looking like CO is the M100 hotspot in the states at the minute so it would be good to meet up if possible, no matter how brief.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby lotos » Sat 04.06.2011, 00:51

Something specific in mind for Fort Collins? That's a long time in a small town. Although it's only an hour from Denver, and you can visit Boulder, the mountains, etc. from Ft Collins of course. I lived there for a few years in the late 90's.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby GeoffSmith » Sat 04.06.2011, 19:51

Randy, Fort Collins = Algirdas ;)
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, NY and Toronto

Postby lotos » Sun 05.06.2011, 18:14

I was just at Toronto / Niagara last year - if you haven't been, there's two sides of the falls. Canada and USA. USA is pretty calm and a bit boring, but they have a wonderful National Park on that side that you can walk around and see some great sights. The Canada side is like a tiny crappy Vegas, with all sorts of cheesy kids games and stuff to waste some money on and kill some time. Canada also has a nice visitor's center that offers great views and some movies (like a "4D" experience that kids would enjoy). You must do the Boat trip that takes you into the base of the falls and just sits there to let you experience it - they leave from either side. Both sides also offer a thing where you can walk around on the cliffs and feel the water, but the USA side is much superior.

Boat Ride into the falls - http://maidofthemist.com/en/
The USA Park / outdoor walking thing that's awesome - http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/

The area between Toronto and Niagara is famous for having ice-wine wineries. If you haven't had, it's where they pick the wine grapes when they're frozen and immediately press them, leaving a nectar-like wine that's very sweet. There are a zillion places you could stop along the way that do free/cheap tastings.

Oh and stop in a Tim Hortons for a great maple doughnut (donut). They're all over Toronto.
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Grand Canyon, NY and Toronto

Postby GeoffSmith » Sun 05.06.2011, 20:22

Thanks Randy - Note that Toronto = Elanlover ;) ;)
I made a small detour and only managed to do the US side and the Maid of the Mist on the way from Washington to Montreal many years ago but didn't have time to do the Cave of the Winds - we should have time this year:
I was booking into the Sheraton overlooking the Falls and accidentally fed the wrong date in and found that the price reduced quite a bit for two night AND I got additional 40GBP off for spending over £300 with Thomas Cook! :D
On holiday last year, my early morning ablutions were overlooking the North Sea and said the view couldn't be beaten.... I may have been somewhat premature.


Has anyone any idea why Google says the quickest route along six miles of the PCH South of Monterey is a 3½ hour, 160 mile detour? Is it shut?
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Grand Canyon, NY and Toronto

Postby DeanG » Mon 06.06.2011, 22:55

Admittedly I didn't do this when we went to the LOG at Niagra Falls however I saw a boat going and then returning http://www.whirlpooljet.com/ it looked like a lot of fun provided it was hot, you were wearing swim wear and had you wallet, cell... in a zip lock bag.

If you like glass the Corning museum in Corning NY is great and it is close to Watkins Glenn.

If you are a member of Lotus Ltd make sure you bring your roster. It gives you a good idea of the level of Lotus activity in various parts of the country. The list of people who are willing to help out a Lotus in trouble can be invaluable (it is organized by zip code).
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Grand Canyon, NY and Toronto

Postby muley » Tue 07.06.2011, 20:03

For San Diego, I would recommend this place

http://www.balboaparkinn.com/

Decor might be a bit OTT for some tastes but it's an easy walk to the zoo and we loved having our breakfast on the roof terrace. Self catering with nibbles and wine from nearby shops was good. Although, we would recommend the Geen Flash Restaurant.

http://www.greenflashrestaurant.com/ ... at sunset (we sat outside on the corner)

Have a ball


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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Grand Canyon, NY and Toronto

Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 13.06.2011, 21:02

Thanks Jim - Note that San Diego = TigerDoug ;) ;)
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Re: PCH, Fort Collins, Grand Canyon, NY and Toronto

Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 13.06.2011, 21:33

It's a funny old world - well map of the world anyway.

A map upgrade for my SatNav for US and Canada is ~£45. I have decided to buy a complete manufacturer refurbished SatNav (with 2G memory so I can have both European and US maps on simultaneously when we get home) already loaded with US and Canada maps from Amazon, to be delivered to the first hotel for the grand total of $54. Even allowing for some credit card losses, that's less than £35. :shock:

Getting into the US vernacular for one moment ....... Go figure!
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