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Old 09-04-2012, 05:47 AM   #1
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Default Possible road trip to California... questions.

My friend is getting married down in California, so the wife and I have decided to make a road trip out of it. We're still on the fence about taking the Miata (pending possible passengers) - but if they bail, I would much rather hit up the open road in the Miata than the family-mobile. It is going to be about 15 hours one way, probably split up. We are also going to be making a decent trip out of it and will probably be roaming the states for just under a week after the wedding, should be fun.

Anyway, I have some questions.

1. Is running no cats and having a loud-*** car going to cause issues in California?

2. Any things I should consider bringing before heading out? I've read recommendations for ear plugs. This is not something I would have normally thought of for a standard trip, especially since I have not taken this car super long distances before...

3. Any recommendations for good stopping points between Port Angeles, WA and Redding, CA?

That's all for now.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #2
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As long as you drive normal the cops won't bother you about exhaust. redding and higher north they aren't as crazy about smog as they are here in the Sac/Bay.

If you have a super loud exhaust you'll probably need ear plugs. As well as some headache medicine.

Not really aware of anything super awesome between top of CA and WA.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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Your Canada license plate will set you free - You probably wouldn't need much more than a seat belt, one working headlight, and one working brake light.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'm not especially familiar with northern CA, but down here in the south my experience mirrors 18psi's. For the most part, the LEO's seem much more interested in your driving style and what your car looks like than they do in how loud your exhaust is and whether or not you're running a cat- that's the smog tech / referee's job.

In other words, if your car's nose is scraping the ground, you have a giant wing on the back, and you appear to be road-racing down the 5, you're going to get pulled over. If you're just tooling along like a sane person and not discharging any firearms out the window, they'll ignore you completely.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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If you get this far south there are a few places of interest here in Redding. You might want to check out Turtle Bay and the Sundial bridge and its walking trails, the old mining town of Shasta (just a few miles west outside of Redding), Whiskeytown Lake or Shasta Dam (they offer a short tour). We've also got some fun, curvy back roads for your Miata to play on.

North of Redding there's the old towns of Mt. Shasta and McCloud, and below these is Castle Crags State Park. Lots too see, if you have the time.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
Your Canada license plate will set you free - You probably wouldn't need much more than a seat belt, one working headlight, and one working brake light.
California doesn't require a front license plate... does it..?

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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Yeah, I'm not especially familiar with northern CA, but down here in the south my experience mirrors 18psi's. For the most part, the LEO's seem much more interested in your driving style and what your car looks like than they do in how loud your exhaust is and whether or not you're running a cat- that's the smog tech / referee's job.

In other words, if your car's nose is scraping the ground, you have a giant wing on the back, and you appear to be road-racing down the 5, you're going to get pulled over. If you're just tooling along like a sane person and not discharging any firearms out the window, they'll ignore you completely.
Lol, firearms.

It sounds like I should be good to go. I figured I was just being paranoid and such, I guess I just have a bad memory of troopers being sticklers for speeding. A while ago my dad received a speeding ticket for sometime like 3mph over the limit by the boarder in WA... ever since then, I've watched my speedo like a hawk when driving in the states at all.

Thanks for all your responses. Basically, what I got was: 1. Bring ear plugs, 2. Don't be a dick.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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If you get this far south there are a few places of interest here in Redding. You might want to check out Turtle Bay and the Sundial bridge and its walking trails, the old mining town of Shasta (just a few miles west outside of Redding), Whiskeytown Lake or Shasta Dam (they offer a short tour). We've also got some fun, curvy back roads for your Miata to play on.

North of Redding there's the old towns of Mt. Shasta and McCloud, and below these is Castle Crags State Park. Lots too see, if you have the time.
What/where are these roads you speak of in Redding? This is of interest to me.

I will definitely have a chance to check out the Shasta Dam, as that is were my friend will be having his wedding. I've heard a bunch about the Sundial bridge, but that's about it. Thanks for the ideas for Redding, I didn't really think to ask about that :P
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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California doesn't require a front license plate... does it..?
Yes, but only for cars registered in CA.

CA is just like any other US state- they have their own specific set of vehicle laws, but they also respect the laws of other states (and Canada and MX) for cars registered in those places which are visiting CA. You don't need to conform to CA's laws concerning smog and whatnot in order to visit CA. Technically running without cats would still be a problem here as that's a violation of federal law, but the chances of getting nicked for it if you're not also committing some other egregious violation is pretty slim.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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The odds of you getting harassed with your wife in a Canadian-plated car in that part of California are approximately zero. Have fun.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:36 PM   #10
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What/where are these roads you speak of in Redding? This is of interest to me.

I will definitely have a chance to check out the Shasta Dam, as that is were my friend will be having his wedding. I've heard a bunch about the Sundial bridge, but that's about it. Thanks for the ideas for Redding, I didn't really think to ask about that :P
Twisties are everywhere around here. One of my favorite drives is to head west on the 299 to Weaverville. I promise you'll have fun on this road, especially when coming back downhill. I try not to use my brakes on this one and just ride out the curves. Leave the top down for best results, even if it feels cool outside.

The Sundial bridge area is pretty neat. The dam tour is nothing like it was when I was a kid but you should still do it. Have fun!
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Yes, but only for cars registered in CA.

CA is just like any other US state- they have their own specific set of vehicle laws, but they also respect the laws of other states (and Canada and MX) for cars registered in those places which are visiting CA. You don't need to conform to CA's laws concerning smog and whatnot in order to visit CA. Technically running without cats would still be a problem here as that's a violation of federal law, but the chances of getting nicked for it if you're not also committing some other egregious violation is pretty slim.
+1

You'll only need to worry about federal laws with regard to your vehicle, and no agency is going to check for a cat.

I love it when I go to Cali - I run non-CARB approved everything, no front plate, big shiny "look at me" exhaust tip, and when they see my Ohio plates, they know they can't do a damn thing about it. When a group of car guys met at night in a parking lot and the po-po rolled in, some of them (LS1 RX7, turbos, etc.) put their hoods down.

I just LOLz.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:09 PM   #12
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I have been pulled over by CHP 4 times for loud "modified exhaust", driving perfectly normal. It absolutely depends on the officers opinion on modified cars. Id just do what you can to quiet it down. I have also been pulled over twice for no plate on front bumper, window doesnt work. Btw my exhaust isnt terribly loud, but the big tip may attract attention. Post an exhaust free rev video!
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:06 PM   #13
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I don't think he'll have a problem with plates up here. I've driven two years without a front plate in plain view of police officers and have never been pulled over for it. Of course, this could always be explained away as them not paying attention to me.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:16 PM   #14
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Twisties are everywhere around here. One of my favorite drives is to head west on the 299 to Weaverville. I promise you'll have fun on this road, especially when coming back downhill. I try not to use my brakes on this one and just ride out the curves. Leave the top down for best results, even if it feels cool outside.

The Sundial bridge area is pretty neat. The dam tour is nothing like it was when I was a kid but you should still do it. Have fun!
Awesome, thanks a lot! I will definitely have to check out those roads and the bridge. I will try to take some photos and hopefully video if I hit up some fun roads.

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I don't think he'll have a problem with plates up here. I've driven two years without a front plate in plain view of police officers and have never been pulled over for it. Of course, this could always be explained away as them not paying attention to me.
I haven't run a front plate since I've owned the car... and its required here too

Funny story. We went through a road block once with the Miata - front plate wedged in the front window. Pulled up to the cop that was talking to all the drivers (it was some big BC holiday, so they were stopping all drivers) and he looks at me and tells me that the plate needs to be bolted to the front of the car. He says, "make any sudden stop and that plate is going to take your passenger's head off". I just nod and he lets me off with a warning. Nice cop in the end, but I think he has his physics a bit backwards...

Thanks again for all the responses. Makes me feel better about the trip to Cali.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:50 PM   #15
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Makes me feel better about the trip to Cali.
I suspect that certain elements of the Canadian media probably make us seem like a bunch of bloodthirsty outlaws down here, and to be fair, there are parts of Los Angeles which fit that description, but most of us are pretty normal, laid-back folks who just happen to pronounce certain words a bit funny and don't really care what anybody happens to be smoking, so long as it was grown domestically.

I'm sure you'll be fine.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:18 PM   #16
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I suspect that certain elements of the Canadian media probably make us seem like a bunch of bloodthirsty outlaws down here, and to be fair, there are parts of Los Angeles which fit that description, but most of us are pretty normal, laid-back folks who just happen to pronounce certain words a bit funny and don't really care what anybody happens to be smoking, so long as it was grown domestically.

I'm sure you'll be fine.
Lol!

This is possibly true. However, I never watch/read the news anyway. My biggest concern was running no cat and the loud exhaust and, as you might be able to tell, I am young and do not travel much.

I have relatives (relatively close relatives) that live all over the states, more so WA. My dad was actually from Cali too, so I know that you guys are bloodthirsty jkjk I kid, I kid!

It's kinda funny... because you guys, as California to States, are like BC to Canada.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:19 AM   #17
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If you have the time, in Grant's Pass take 199 down to Crescent City and enjoy the beautiful roads and amazing redwoods at the many parks along the road. Take 101 to Arcata, then after enjoying views of the ocean, turn on 299 to Redding and enjoy the twisties along the way. If you want an even more crazy road (but very good for motorcycles and miatas) don't turn on 299 but continue on 101, turn on 36 and go untill you get over the mountains, then head back to I-5 north and up to Redding. Then after the wedding, take I-5 back from Redding and enjoy views of Mt Shasta from the interstate heading home.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:36 PM   #18
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If you have the time, in Grant's Pass take 199 down to Crescent City and enjoy the beautiful roads and amazing redwoods at the many parks along the road. Take 101 to Arcata, then after enjoying views of the ocean, turn on 299 to Redding and enjoy the twisties along the way. If you want an even more crazy road (but very good for motorcycles and miatas) don't turn on 299 but continue on 101, turn on 36 and go untill you get over the mountains, then head back to I-5 north and up to Redding. Then after the wedding, take I-5 back from Redding and enjoy views of Mt Shasta from the interstate heading home.
Perfect! That is exactly what I'm looking for! I'm going to start plotting my route later this week once I get the car tuned down for 91 octane...

On that topic, 94 vs 91 octane in WA, OR, and CA? I was under the assumption that 94 was difficult/impossible to find in the states. I will probably tune down to 91 octane just to be safe but what do you guys think?
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:05 AM   #19
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I forgot to say, do watch out for CHP on 299. Not for exhaust or running plates, but for speeding around bends. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:26 AM   #20
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I forgot to say, do watch out for CHP on 299. Not for exhaust or running plates, but for speeding around bends. Don't ask me how I know.
Oh damn. I was looking forward to moving quickly on that road...
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