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When we moved from Arizona to Oregon, we planned the trip to visit friends in San Francisco over the July 4th holiday weekend.Other than one rather expensive exception, Betty did great on the 1,300-mile trip, cruising at a steady 70-75 mph with the A/C on full blast most of the way.

But as we entered Santa Barbara, Calif. on July 3, I heard a couple of ominous clunks, and Samantha saw smoke coming out from the rear wheels. The rear axle bearings had given out. This was one of the few parts of the car that I hadn't refurbished, and fortunately, we were able to make it to a garage that could do the repairs that afternoon. Six hours and a few hundred dollars later, we were back on the road. We stopped in Morro Bay to see Betty's previous owner, and he was very pleased to see her all restored. His friends couldn't believe it was the same car. With the delays and that side trip, we finally pulled into San Francisco around 1 a.m.

Otherwise, we had a great trip. We knew our dog Max was a great traveler, but our two cats, Sage and Pepper, usually only go for a ride to the vet—and they howl most of the way. But they did great on the trip.

We had a good visit with our friends in San Francisco and had a beautiful day to get pictures and video of Betty driving across the Golden Gate Bridge and around the Marin Highlands. We took Max to the beach, ate at Mel's Drive-In—a classic 50s diner and a San Francisco institution—and returned to the Golden Gate for some dramatic nighttime photos.

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