As some of you know, I took the Alfa on an adventure to Eastern Washington this past weekend to do some camping with some friends and I'm quite happy to report that I made it there and back with nary a breakdown.
An Alfa and 2 wagons (it eventually became 3 if you count a 2012 Forrester). Definitely a Jalop/Oppo approved vehicle selection.
I woke up early to the sounds of happy birds at 7am and began playing a game familiar to owners of small cars called "Will it Fit" and began packing everything I could possible need into the Alfa. I wound up with a cooler in the passenger footwell. All of the important stuff made it into the trunk, though. This included: 1 case of Corona Extra, 1 case of Pacifico Clara, 20W/50, spare parts, jumper cables, wrenches, sockets, and the drinks cooler. You can see where my priorities were at.
My route, thanks to the sage advice of PetarVN, was comprised of mostly state routes and US highways, rather than a straight shot on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass.
I loved State Routes 202 and 203 between Snoqualmie and Monroe. They were the perfect two-lane highways through farm country and small towns; The perfect environment for a 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, especially under a warm sun with the top down. From Monroe I turned pointed the Alfa due East along US 2 over Stevens Pass and through Tumwater Canyon into the odd Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth where I stopped for a german lunch: a 1/2 liter Hofbrau Hefeweisen and a 1/3 lb Brat with relish, German Curry sauce, onions, and relish.
After lunch I headed to Ellensburg via WA 97 over the third pass of the day. It was a beautiful, twisting road through forests to the summit where the view opened up offering stunning views of both the Cascades (Mt. Rainier included) and the aired landscape of the eastern part of the state.
I fueled up and picked up the remaining food I needed in Ellensburg and headed into Vantage via old US 10 and the old Vantage Highway. I proceeded to do a doughnut in a gravel parking lot and continued on to find a number signs letting me know the fun bits were ahead.
After roughly 4 hours of top down pleasure I made it to the campsite. Well, almost. I did have to do a spot of driving on the rough stuff, a.k.a. light off roading. It was quite bumpy but I have a fair amount of ground clearance so it was no problem.
I prepared a Corona and waited for the friends to arrive.
Overall it was a great weekend. Much fun was had even though we almost died multiple times. Yes, you read that right: We almost died. Probably thrice. See the water level was quite low because they were repairing a crack in the dam and had to relieve a lot of water pressure on it. This left 50-200 yards of what looked to be a nice sandy beach next to the river. Then, after a trek down the cliffs via a lengthy route the Sheriff informed us the beach was closed and we were to leave. We wondered why he hated fun until he informed us that there was quicksand and unexploded ordinance under the newly exposed shore. Why this information couldn't have been posted somewhere I don't know.
The drive back was much, much longer even though I took the same route because it was pouring rain half the way. Sometimes so much so that it was almost impossible to see where I was going. Then the top started to leak. Yuck.
In the end I had a great time and it was totally worth it to take a classic car on a road trip, especially if it involves many twisty sections and top-down weather.