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ZFEST - Local Drives

ZFEST 2017 Group Drives

Back Roads toSanta Barbara (Driver’s meeting 9:15 a.m. – return approximately 3 p.m.)

There are two ways to get to Santa Barbara, the straight way and the not-so-straight way. Both are scenic (as you’ll see on your way home),but the not-so-straight way is more interesting—especially for Z drivers.Experience the real California as you travel to the Pacific Riviera through rich farmlands, rolling hills and verdant valleys. Stop to enjoy breathtaking mountain and ocean vistas while otherwise keeping your eyes and mind on challenging roads that demand your attention. Lunch (no host) will be at the beach in Carpinteria on the way back from the drive.

An option once we reach Santa Barbara is a self-guided tour of the Queen of the California Missions (Adults $9/Seniors $7). Situated on 13 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Mission grounds include:

  • The magnificent Mission church (subject to closure during services)
  • Museum of Native American art, artifacts, tools, mission-era photos, and the original altar
  • Historic Cemetery
  • Sacred Garden

Another Santa Barbara option is the beautiful Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, which welcomes visitors seven days a week from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.(Adults $12/Seniors $10). The garden lets visitors explore the beauty of California’s native landscapes, from cool redwood forests to sandy deserts—all in one place. Discover history and beauty on easy hiking trails past the authentic Japanese Tea house, the historic 1807 Mission Dam and naturalistic gardens entirely of native plants. A Garden Map may be downloaded at the Garden website (

Grand Loop Backcountry Tour (Driver’s meeting 8:15 a.m. – return approximately 5p.m.)

Get into some of Southern California’s beautiful mountains.Get your exercise while taking a sometimes intense, but always enjoyable, drive through a part of California not seen by the average visitor—or even average resident. Home of the Sespe Condor Preserve, this area boasts open spaces, wide vistas, rocky valleys and lovely wildflowers. The California condor is the largest bird in North America, with a wingspan of up to nine and a half feet.It is also one of our country’s most imperiled animals. You will be both awed and honored if you can spot one. A lunch stop (no host) will be included.


Santa MonicaMountains Run (Driver’s meeting 1:15 p.m. – return approximately 5:30p.m.)

A spirited romp through some of your host’s favorite places—Mulholland, Stunt, Saddle Peak, Tuna Canyon, Las Flores Canyon, Pima, Las Virgenes, etc.


Hanger No. 1(Driver’s meeting 9:00 a.m. – return approximately 12 noon)

Ours is a casual take on the traditional TSD(time-speed-distance) car rally, with an additional twist or three. It is your decision as to how complicated—or simple—you want this to be. Special tools and/or knowledge are not required and will not necessarily improve your score.In fact, your ability to ferret out information may be as (or more) important as your ability to calculate a perfect run. You won’t even know what a perfect run is until you’ve made it. The object here is fun, not frustration. Grab your navigator—a necessity—and come along!


Strawberry Shortcake (Driver’s meeting 1:45 p.m. – return approximately 5:30 p.m.)

This is definitely a fun run. Across the meadow and through the woods to Grandmother’s house . . . no, not really. Once upon a time in a land nearby, a girl named Marilyn had a ranch in the hills between Santa Paula and Ojai. She also makes the real deal California strawberry shortcake ($10 including tax & tip). Enjoy a delightful drive through verdant pastures,rolling hills and citrus groves, and this decidedly fabulous treat in one lovely afternoon. Johnny Cash grew up here, and his western roots are evident in the slow, relaxed artistic atmosphere that pervades the area.


Valley to Shore(Driver’s meeting 9:15 a.m. – return approximately 12 noon)

This will be a farewell romp from the host hotel to points east, and returning to the hotel via Highway 1 along the beautiful Pacific Ocean past Point Mugu to the Oxnard Plain. Those traveling home to Phoenix or San Diego (you get the idea) can turn left at the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1)and travel south to Santa Monica and the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway (I-10).  Those returning to Ventura can either join your Drive Leader for a no-host lunch or go on about the day as you please.


FRS radios are a great way to keep in touch with the group during a drive.  If you have a set, please bring them to ZFEST with you.


The FRS radio is a vital tool in group-trip communication.If you plan to travel with us please consider buying a set (they usually come in sets of 2). Please buy radios that utilize sub channels, and consider buying a set that includes headsets or earbuds with an inline microphone. Most of the time, it is very difficult or impossible to hear radio transmissions with the top down without a headset. Some of us have hearing issues which makes it even worse. While the radio is a vital tool, it can also be a big source of frustration if not used correctly. Here are some guidelines that can make communicating easier and less frustrating.

1) Choose a Channel in advance and announce it.

2) If you have a voice activated mic PLEASE disable it.Wind noise will activate the mic and lockup the  frequency making radio communication impossible.

3) Please have your radio channel settings completed and fresh batteries installed BEFORE the morning of the drive.There probably won’t be time to do this during the morning meeting.

4) Please find a good place within your car to place the radio so that the talk button doesn’t get accidentally pushed against some thing while driving.This will also lockup the frequency making radio communication impossible.

5) When transmitting, press the talk button and WAIT 2 SECONDS BEFORE SPEAKING! If you don’t, everyone misses the first few words… and the last few probably won’t make any sense to the rest of us.

6) Hold the radio/mic 6 to 8 inches from your face.NOT UP AGAINST YOUR CHEEK OR MOUTH.

7) Speak SLOWLY and DISTINCTLY.If you don't, YOU will be the only one who knows what you're saying. To the rest of us its gibberish…. Frustration!

8) When communicating with others in the group, please call his/her name and wait for a response before continuing your communication.

9) When traveling in a large group it will be impossible for the leader to hear radio transmissions from the back of the pack. Someone in the middle of the pack will need to CLEARLY communicate any important information from the back to the front, and vise versa,using#5,6,7,&8 above.

10) It’s fine to occasionally use the radio for small talk and joking around, but too much of this can get in the way of more important communication and cause people to lose interest. And even during these times, if you’re not communicating clearly, it’s impossible for everyone in the group to know if you’re playing around or trying to communicate something serious.So please keep this in mind.



FRS radio's are a line of sight device. That being said, if you can not see the person you are trying to communicate with, they will most likely not hear you. Refer to # 8 above.