Where to begin…
It’s been a minute! Sorry for the lack of blog updates. Life has been super busy. But this update is long and should hopefully make up for it.
So! MRLS 30!!! (That’s what I’ve been calling the Miata Reunion at Laguna Seca for the Miata’s 30th Anniversary. It rolls off the tongue and requires far less typing). It happened about a week earlier, October 11-12. It was a FANTASTIC time. And this is my account of it.
You’ll notice the top image. That was shot in my garage after 3 hours of driving… to get nowhere.
I originally planned to take Sharka. My wife Sarah would drive our Mazda 3 packed up with gauges, tables, and all the stuff needed to fill a garage at Laguna Seca. This would be my second time at the event, but first time as a vendor. I was excited.
I was also super sick with a cold. I was in a bad way. No good at all, but I thought I could probably make the drive even while being sick. We planned to do the drive in two days and stop in Las Vegas on the way. 8.5 hours each day over two days wasn’t bad…
Little did I know.
The night before our departure, a truck crossed the median on I-40 and apparently took out two oncoming trucks. Semi trucks. LOTS of damage everywhere and, unfortunately, a few fatalities. This was about an hour outside of Albuquerque in the direction we needed to go.
They closed the freeway. They closed all side roads as well. From 2AM until 3PM, there was no way to drive west on I-40. Sarah and I discovered this at 7AM, an hour after leaving home.
After sitting in the insane traffic jam for an hour, we were able to turn back around and concoct a plan. We’d head north to Farmington and then across some backroads of Arizona until reaching Las Vegas from the north. We started heading back.
I nearly fell asleep on the short drive back. My cold was kicking my ass in a big way.
The Mazda 3 threw a check engine light on the way back and was running rough. We hit a gas station and discovered it was getting worse mileage than Sharka… and that’s saying something. The little guy isn’t easy on the gas.
We didn’t bring a code reader. I didn’t think we’d need one.
We went back to Albuquerque in defeat.
Checking the code at home revealed the 3’s thermostat was stuck open. Not a terrible problem but not something I could fix right then and there. And not something I wanted to leave and ignore while driving over 32 hours total.
I called my dad. He graciously let me borrow his turbo Hyundai Santa Fe. (HUGE THANKS!!!!! Thank you Dad!!!) We filled it up with the tables, gauges, badges, crates, and clothes… and made the hard choice.
Sharka stayed behind.
I just couldn’t drive the whole way by myself in the throws of cold medicine. And going without the meds wasn’t an option at that stage. It was terrible. But the little blue Miata had to miss MRLS 30.
We didn’t. After a 16 hour day we finally rolled into Las Vegas. A few hours of sleep and then back on the road to reach Monterey.
During the drive to Monterey, my cold improved tremendously. I got past the blowing my nose every few minutes and coughing up lungs to just losing about half my voice and feeling peeked. Not too bad.
And Laguna Seca was amazing!!!!!
My buddy Eric agreed to fly out from Atlanta that weekend and help me sell things in the garage. He’d never been to Laguna and gave up his last weekend with family before a 2 week overseas work trip. I’m eternally grateful.
My buddy Andi was in town for a wedding and agreed to spend the weekend around Monterey and help me sell yet more. She sold the crap out of my stuff and was AMAZING. She parked Casper, her gorgeous white NA, in front of the garage and drew in many customers.
Lastly, my buddy Sam and his dad Rusty parked their beautiful twin 91 BRGs in front of and inside the garage respectively. Though Sharka couldn’t be here, these two made it look like “yes, revlimiter ACTUALLY DOES HAVE A MIATA!” They also hung out, dragged in customers, and helped keep the overall feel of positivity flowing in the garage.
And lastly, my beloved wife Sarah. She crushed it. She’s been slowly helping out more and more over the past couple years. Currently she’s packing and shipping EVERYTHING and running the laser cutter. At MRLS 30 she stepped up to selling parts and chatting up other shops.
It’s cliche to say, but I feel extremely blessed. Without all of these people, the event wouldn’t have been a success.
Thank you all so much. From the bottom of my heart.
And now for more of the event.
er… I didn’t get to see much of the event. I was stuck in my garage selling parts. AND THAT’S AWESOME!!!
I got to meet hundreds of owners, fans, customers, and friends. I got to squeak my gravely voice at them all and not stop smiling for days. I got a ton of sales. And I got to ride around Laguna Seca once more before the event moves to a new track in 2020.
I have regrets, of course.
I regret having to leave Sharka at home for the most part. PROBABLY I could have driven the whole way… but who knows? Both of us are kind of important. It was a much better choice to share driving duties.
I regret not being able to get out of the garage a bit more and take more photos.
I didn’t get many photos of Sam’s gorgeous 91 DAMD nose BRG. Or Andi’s car. Or Dion’s gorgeous red NA parked at FM’s booth. Or the 30AE parade. Or the other thousands of Miatas…. but then I wouldn’t have been able to talk to so many awesome people inside the garage.
I wish the event had been more than just a weekend. Though the weekend was still long and not much sleep was had… another few days would have been juuust right.
At the very end of the event, Eric, Andi, Sarah, and I hiked up to the top of the hill. We watched the cars go over the Corkscrew for… ages. Who knows how long. And then hiked a bit more to stand at the very top of the track.
The 360 degree view of Laguna Seca Raceway was incredible and something I hadn’t experienced before. It was incredibly peaceful and all too brief. But, man, what a way to end the event with one of the finest race tracks in the world laid out before me.
You might have noticed above that I mentioned Miata Reunion NOT being at Laguna Seca in 2020. That’s correct. As of this blog posting no one knows for sure where the next event will be. It might be on the other coast. It will most likely not be in California… and almost certainly not at Laguna.
Until next time, MRLS. Stay good. The Miatas will be back someday.
And huge thanks again to everyone who made the revlimiter Garage a success!!!!!!
Bucket list item – Be a vendor at Laguna Seca – CHECK!!!