Mineral Springs

Article and Photos by Carlos Amato

On May 29 - 30 a group of 15 Ferraris joined us for the Mineral Springs weekend in the Santa Ynez Valley near San Luis Obispo, CA. The event took the group through some of the best Ferrari driving back roads in Southern California, to places only known to those who seriously scout the valleys in search of desolated strips of winding asphalt, preferably with many elevation changes and smooth banked curves.

We started early in the morning at the IHOP in Valencia, off the 5 freeway. After having breakfast, and disclosing to all participants the detailed plan of our drive to the resort, the group took off. The day was overcast with a light morning drizzle. Nevertheless all cars showed up for the drive.

The group included two Daytona coupes, one Daytona Spider, a 288 GTO, 250 Lusso, a 355, 512 TR, 512 M, 330 GT, 330GT 2+2, 328GTS, 308GTSi, 308GTB, Mondial Coupe, Mondial Cabriolet, etc....

After about three and a half hours of driving with gusto through some of the most amazing roads in the area, we arrived in Santa Maria where Richard and Joanie Cole, together with two other local club members and their respective cars, led the group through very interesting back roads to our lunch destination at the famous Jocko's in Nipomo.

We arrived at the restaurant around noon and found out that one of the cars had a flat tire and got stranded about 20 miles back, in the middle of the Santa Ynez. When the luggage was removed from the trunk the owner found out that he had no spare. As the group sat down to lunch I volunteered to go back, with a borrowed spare from a 328 we thought would fit the 355. (Hey, it was the closest thing available?.) As I proceeded to unload the tire from my car I found out that the 355 was also not carrying the jack and tool kit. Fortunately, I had mine, but the tire did not fit and I had to go back and call a flat bed truck. This guy would not make it back to the resort until almost 9:30 that night! (When we said to check all essentials prior to the trip we were not kidding.) Then, try finding a tire for a 355 in Santa Maria on a Holiday weekend.... Luckily, Richard Cole was able to provide the 355's owner with a 400i coupe for the rest of the weekend.

The Sycamore Mineral Springs had it all: reserved Ferrari parking with security, private spas in each room with hot mineral spring water from the resort well, private masseuse, wonderful grounds to walk around the forest, a great bar, hot tubs scattered up the hillside and even some suites with private garages.

A cocktail party and dinner were hosted in the resort's private room, where everyone shared the day's adventures and some more stories. After dinner those who did not get enough during the day stayed and watched Ferrari videos and enjoyed more war stories.

The next morning we got our wake-up calls and a light breakfast delivered to each room. We then met for our morning drivers' meeting where the instructions for the drive to our brunch destination were discussed. Once again, Richard and Joanie Cole led the group to the Rancho Sisquoc Winery after filling up at his very own Chevron gas station. After a private wine tasting session, we were pampered once again by the fine food of Chef Rick. With souvenirs purchased and more stories told, it was time to return t