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I thought I'd write up the longest trip with the Elise yet, there were many cool things about it.

We left from work in Camarillo along the 101 to the 33 north to Ojai. From Ojai we continued north on the 33. That portion of the 33 is excellent. A great road surface with plenty of twisties both up and down. On this portion of the road, I saw another StTi Elise going in the opposite direction... was that anyone here? We passed waving frantically.

After about 25 miles of twisties the 33 becomes a straight shot out to the 166. This is the worst piece of road I have driven on. Currently the road is breaking apart with lots of loose stones and potholes. Not a good place for the Elise.

At the T with the 166 we went right (which is also still the 33) up and through Taft. About 10 miles after Taft (one of the worst looking cities you've ever seen) is the junction for the 58, which runs 70 miles without services west to the 101. Fill up in Taft before you set off.

The 58 has to be the best road I've drive yet. Almost all 70 miles have good to great road surface. There are 15 miles of tight twisties both up and down into Soda Valley. Across the valley the road is mostly straight for miles, but is does have a big vertical component. Lots of rollercoasters. I didn't feel comfortable going over a rise I couldn’t see over too well at greater than 80, But 80 was enough to get car really, really light.

On the other side of the valley, there’s a series of fast twisties that gradually tighten up as you come down to the 101. The best thing about the 58 is how empty it is. In the 70 miles there was only 1 car I had to pass, and maybe only 10-15 vehicles going the other way.

We then used the 101 and the 46 to get over to San Simeon and the interesting part of Big Sur. In contrast, PCH was annoying. The road itself is great, really tight twisties for 5 miles at a time, then opening out for a bit. The problem was the traffic. It seemed impossible to do even 2 miles of twisties before getting well and truly stuck behind an RV, 4 SUVs and 10 cars all doing about 1/3 of the speed that makes the Elise happy. There are more passing places than I'd remembered, but to get past such a line requires doing it in stages. When you get anything clear at all you have to go for it. At times I was passing at over 110.

We got into Monterey and our overnight stop to find that the Elise kills so many bugs we get cash from the State of California for helping keep the West Nile virus down.

On from Monterey on the 58? and the 101. This car seems to get more attention up here. My wife has decided that she needs a cardboard sign to hold up for the gawkers: "It's a Lotus. Now watch the road"

At one point I passed a 360 who set off after me. He passed me back and cut in front. The Lotus will never sound that good, but when I think that the soundtrack costs almost 200k more than the Elise, I can live with that. I passed him back and we exchanged waves.

The only thing I can say about driving the Elise in San Francisco is, what Idiot decided that Lombard street should be one way downwards??? I'd have loved to shoot the Elise up that thing. Instead we came down it. Those bricks can be slippy.

For the way back we needed to get a move on, so we came down the 101 all the way to the 58 and back over that to Taft. Faster over the rollercoasters this time....85-90. The wheels still didn't leave the ground, but damn, it was close. My heart was in my mouth.

I gassed up in Taft... That car gets a lot of attention there. Kids with their mouths hanging open. I guess it's not Exotic Car Central.

Then out to the 5 for the blast home over the Grapevine.

The front of the car is now black. There are bugs the size of small birds embedded in the clear coat. I guess that comes from driving on empty roads.

I don't know how Randy drove the car across country. Much as I love this car, it gives me back ache after about 6 hours constant driving.

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Hey Steve,

So you're the ST I passed on the 33 on Friday! Actually, I was just returning to Pasadena from Big Sur. I know what you mean by bugs! I left at 6 AM Wednesday morning on the 101 North to the 1 North. Not much traffic and I arrived in Big Sur at 11 AM. I originally intended to head to Napa valley, but booked a room for 2 nights at the Ventana,Big Sur. After a massage, I never left the Inn, except for a couple of jaunts to Monterey and back. On the return trip, there was a bit more traffic on Hwy 1 ,but I now realize that the Elise prefers to pass on curves. When you can see 2 or 3 curves on the side of the mountain with no traffic coming, it's a piece of cake to overtake a line of campers. When returning, I decided to avoid the 101 freeway and didn't want to do the grapevine with all the trucks, so at Santa Maria, I headed East on the 166 towards Bakersfield, where I passed a line of traffic and glanced at my speedometer......140! Felt like I was doing 70! I headed for Ojai on the 33.......took me hours to clean the tar off my car from the Caltrans pothole work. I tore up the curves on the 33 and was just gearing down for touchdown in Ojai when I saw my first Elise on the road since I've had mine. This was you. I thought of flagging you down to talk, but I was going too fast and it was too late. I could have warned you of the road ahead and showed you the massive collection of bugs on the front of my Elise to warn you of what you are in for. I thought I would never get it clean, but I'm still finding tar and rocks in the underplates. Anyway, I had a wonderful drive also. Hope to meet you one of these days. Where do you live? Best, Ron

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Wow great writeup guys ! Elise adventures, I can't wait !

Oh BTW, re: the open-mouthed kids in Taft, I think that's just too much in-breeding, has nothing to do with the car...;)
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