Sundog, Lake Marie Oregon 2018

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The story of Tuesday's pick up of the Alfa has to start with the end...  She is home, safe, parked on the upper drive, but not quite where we want her to be.

After six hours at the dealership, a Prius that wouldn't start and needed a jump, Craig's 50 mile freeway drive, in rush hour traffic, was uneventful.  He said it was very smooth, and I found it hard to keep up with him in the Prius!

Our house is about 1 mile from the freeway.  The exit ramp is a steep hill and the next 1/2 mile of the road includes a sharp turn up a steep grade and a tight blind curve.  He managed quite well.

The next 1/4 mile  is a private road (Hutchinson) and there were several low hanging branches that Craig said dragged across the roof.  We will be paying a tree crew to cut them as soon as we get permission.

The turn onto our road (Old Ranch) is sharp and goes down a rather steep grade.  When we got there we were alarmed to find a large dump truck with a trailer hauling a bobcat front end loader parked opposite the entrance to our road.  It had broken down and was stuck. It was almost blocking our road. A car would have no problem, but the Alfa was another question. 

Craig did not handle it well, but we did manage to get turned onto our road, and with the help of one of the truck drivers we managed to get the Alfa headed in the right direction, and missed running into the telephone switching box on the corner.  It was close.

1/4 mile to go.  This included a 90* turn, but we figured he could make that without guidance, so I drove the Prius down to the house, parked and hurried up to the upper drive.  Craig said that more branches brushed his top and more tree work will be needed on our road before we try going back out.

The first part of backing into the upper drive went pretty good.  He had to back up a bit of a grade, and turn at the same time.  The space was wide enough and we both settled down enough to communicate.

But then came the big tree.  I had measured it several times and was convinced we would not be able to get by it.  it was one of my biggest worries.

Craig kept insisting he could do it. 

What you can't really see on this picture is that although the driveway is just barely wide enough to get by the tree,   it also curves, and on the left side there is a steep hill with very soft and unstable ground beyond the asphalt.  

The only way to get by the tree would have been to go off the drive and risk the hill.  We inched past it for a few feet, but there was no way to swing the back end around to follow the curve of the driveway without risking the front wheels going to far over the edge. 

That's where Alfa is tonight. Out of harms way, but not tucked into her place.

After all of that, we brought a bottle of Champagne up from the house and celebrated our first ride.

This is a view from house level.  You can see we would not want to risk going over the edge of the hill!

In the next few days, I will write a post about our experience with the dealer.  It wasn't all that bad.


  1. Yay! She's almost home :-) You both did a good job getting her that far. By today (Wednesday) she'll be safe & sound.

  2. The upside of your arduous journey is that it has fast tracked you to the Alpha's handling capabilities on your very first run. A valuable learning experience and challange right off the bat that you both handled well. Heavy traffic, tight turns, low hanging branches, a perilous drop off and the threat of trees jumping in behind you while backing up. Wow, who could ask for anything more eh. Well done:))

  3. Congratulations! Alfa is home. Now the fun can begin.

  4. Your drive is a real challenge! You seem to be handling it well. Who thought the hardest part of the journey would be getting in the drive? But she's yours and she's home. Yea!!

  5. Wow...what a trip! I'm glad you got her home, even though not exactly where you wanted.

    If you have a rubber roof, you might want to go up and check to make sure you didn't put any holes in it. If you do, they can be patched with Eternabond...

    Anxious to hear how it went at the dealer.

  6. After mastering your driveway, anything else will be a breeze. I'm so glad The Alfa is home and you will soon be enjoying adventures in her!

  7. Congratulations!!!

    Once upon a time I wigged out a the sound of every low hanging branch touching the top of our rig. These days, we don't worry about the "light and fluffy" stuff...you know, leaves and the "soft" ends of branches. They'll make sound, but no damage. It's the big boys you need to worry about. Happy trimming!

    Here's to many safe, happy and trouble-free miles. Cheers!

  8. Welcome home Alfa! May this trip home be the spring board to many fun adventures!

  9. What an interesting driveway you guys have! Looks very nice, congrats on getting the Alpha home! I posted a few pics of the two Alpha's I have seen in the past year. :)~


  10. what a great homecoming!..and a scary one to boot!!..hope the trees are removed to make it bit easier for next time!!
    well done..nice work Craig!!

  11. I would say the drive home was a learning curve for sure!! You have quite a driveway to maneuver and you both did a great job. After some tree trimming you will have her parked in her very own spot. Good job!!

  12. Amen to all the above! I think Al said it best, as a valuable learning experience -- and masterfully handled!

  13. And to think you both managed it all without killing each other. That bodes well for the future. :)

  14. WOW, what a driveway. Thankful you got her home safe & sound! Congratulations again!

  15. You guys did it. And what a beauty your Alfa is too. Wishing you lots of great trips. Congrats!

  16. Whew that has been such a crazy ride home.... but now it's HERE! wheeeee

    Karen and Steveio
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  17. I thought getting up my driveway was a problem. It's nothing compared to yours. I'm sorry to hear about the demise of the tree...I hate to hear about or see trees getting cut down.

  18. what an interesting first out! if you still wanted to drink champagne together, I'd say you'll be okay!!!


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