March 18, 2001 – Lick Observatory and Plymouth Ranch
The California Chrysler Products Club tour met at the Lick Observatory high above Silicon Valley. The weather was perfect and the views were stunning. To the east, over the Central Valley haze, the snow clad Sierra Nevada range stood out sharp and clear. To the north Mt. Diablo was visible. Unfortunately the San Francisco Bay was fogged in. After a tour of the 36" refractive telescope built at the end of the 1890s, we headed down San Antonio Valley road to “The Junction”.
The Junction is literally in the middle of nowhere: About 50 miles from San Jose on a very steep, narrow winding road. About 40 miles from Livermore on a narrow and winding road. Based on the map, it is about 40 miles from I-5 on what looks to be another narrow and winding road. Since it is a good place to stop in the middle of picturesque country side, a large number of people make it a stopping point. There must have been hundreds of motorcycles there.
On this particular day, The Junction was also the destination of a tour put on by a Bay Area chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club of America. A large number of pre-1916 cars, many of show quality, were there. In addition to the brands we think of today (Buick, Cadillac and Ford) were some of the grand old names: Stevens-Duryea, Thomas Flyer, Pope-Hartford, and Studebaker. I had never heard of a Patterson before, but there was one there. Of the more unusual cars, there was an air cooled Franklin and two steam cars: A Stanley and a White.
After a “pre-lunch” at The Junction, we toured a few miles north toward Livermore to the "World Famous Plymouth Ranch" for a tour and the real lunch. Richard Main and Linda Turnipseed have a large spread of land where Richard has gathered together more than thirty 1955 and 1956 Plymouths. Quite a sight to see. The tour ended at about three in the afternoon and small groups convoyed north to Livermore and from there to their various homes.