Malibu Road Trip, Part 1
A Report by James Roe

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Saturday: Westchester to Tarzana; A chance encounter with a Red EV1

I left my home near LAX in Westchester with my fully charged EV1 to meet up with fellow enthusiasts in Camarillo, about 50 miles away via 405 and 101 Fwys. It was around 2:30 when I decided to top off at the very convenient charger at Hawthorne Savings, just off the 101 on Tampa in Tarzana. I had just plugged in, and lo and behold another EV1 pulls into the lot. This has never happened to me before: an auspicious beginning to the event. It was Richard N. from Monrovia, who had rented the vehicle just for the rally. I would see him again when he would join up with the rest of us the next day on PCH. (He was going to pick up his son Peter and wait at the Malibu Ralph's.) I relinquished the paddle to him (he was down to a bar), bade farewell and got back on the Fwy for destination Camarillio.

Before this, I have met no other ev1 driver, even after more than a year. Well, I was going to meet a whole lot more soon!

Saturday: Charging at the Outlet Stores, Scoping out the Costco and Olive Garden in Oxnard and Checking into the Motel

I went directly to the Outlet Stores' charging stations to charge up a bit before heading out to Oxnard to scope up the scene. At this great charging spot an evplus was plugged in. Man, two evs in one day! The markings indicated it belong to the Ventura County Pollution Control board. The driver came out with his family, got in and took off. Sigh, I didn't get to talk.

Anyway, off to Oxnard to check out the COSTCO chargers and the location of the Olive Garden, our 7 pm meeting place for dinner. No problems there so I headed back to the Outlet Stores for a little more charging (this time alone) before checking in at The Goodnite Inn. This might seem a little excessive, but I figured there were going to be a heck of a lot of evs looking for chargers that night (and I was right).

Finally got to the Goodnite Inn (lest said about the place the better) at 6 pm. I was checking in when some guy bounces into the office and says "Whose EV1 is parked out here?" I thought it was police or maybe a GM rep, but when I indicated it was mine, I finally got to meet the infamous Greg Hanssen! All right.! It was great to put a face on all those emails and phone calls (By the way, his famous "No Gas" photo sits on my Desktop.). We greeted, shook hands and confirmed that the Olive Garden was the place to be at 7.

Saturday: Dinner at the Olive Garden, The Faithful Gather, Plans and Introductions, Food

I arrived at the Olive Garden just about on time. We got seated a bit late, so I had a chance to meet a whole slew of EV enthusiasts. They included Michael Schwabe, who drove down from Northern Cal in a period of a few days; Ed Huestis, who did the same but in 24 hours. Ed Battershell was there, after toting his EV1 on a flatbed from Arizona that same day. Marc Zorn, Rick Reinhard, Bill Korthof, and, of course, Greg H. All together there were15 or so people at the Olive Garden, all showing up for the rally. I was impressed. Of course, we exchanged war stories, disappointments concerning the release of EV1 Gen II, etc. And the food wasn't bad either. (However, keep away from the carafes of the house wines: they're deadly. Michael S. will attest.)

Pictures were taken, maps distributed and plans made. We were instructed to meet at Port Hueneme to charge up at 8 am before the departure time of 11am.

A bit after nine pm I headed back to the Camarillio Outlet stores to charge up for an hour, so I wouldn't have to get up toooo early the next day. Fred Beers & Co. were there already. He had rented a RAV4 and planned to return to take it off the charger by 2 am, or something ungodly like that. (The Goodnite is reasonably close the chargers.). Shortly there after, Bill Korthof showed up in his EV1 and some guy who had this modified Honda Civic to charge up as well. Wow. Lots of EVs. Four EVs and three chargers. Everything got sorted out and then it was time to return to the Goodnite Inn for a night spent in the arms of Morpheus.

Next - Port Hueneme to Santa Monica