Popular with club members last year, West Coast Challengers held its 2nd Annual “Cruisin’ thru the Canyons” event which began with club members meeting up in Orange, CA, just to the west of the first of the many canyons the club would be cruising through.

Cruisin thru the Canyons II

Club members met up in varying locations, from the Inland Empire members meeting up in Corona, CA, to our Los Angeles members meeting up in the South Bay. By 8:00 am, the various groups began arriving at the staging area in Orange, CA. While waiting for everyone to arrive, we all got to know some of our new club members as well as catching up with some club members who we haven’t seen in a few months.

As one club member after another rolled into the staging area, the line of Dodge Challengers extended a few hundred feet and each varying in style and color. As the clock struck 8:30 am, the club members were gathered around for a quick meeting to discuss the route and destinations. With everyone briefed and excited about the cruise, the Challenger engines roared to life and we rolled out in single file — destination, fun!

Cruisin thru the Canyons II

The caravan headed through Santiago and Modjeska Canyons and passed by Cook’s Corner where we impressed the bikers and motorcyclists who hang out there.

Cruisin thru the Canyons II

As the club carved its way through one canyon after another, the terrain gradually changed from scrub oak to large over hanging trees which created tunnels and made for a very scenic drive, especially in the early morning hours.

Arriving at our first pit stop in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, many club members commented on how beautiful that part of the cruise was and that they never knew places like this even existed in Orange County.

Cruisin thru the Canyons II

The club members left Rancho Santa Margarita and headed south — destination, the infamous Ortega Highway. But first, the club made a pit stop in San Juan Capistrano, CA, for a quick stretch of the legs and refills of coffee. Eager to see what was next, the club members rolled out and into the twists and turns of Ortega Highway.

Cruisin thru the Canyons II

Cruisin thru the Canyons II

Traversing the mountains that separate Orange County from the Inland Empire, and having traveled through more than a half dozen canyons, the club worked its way around Lake Elsinore to arrive at Sizzler for lunch where the management and employees were happy to have us and treated us all like kings while we were there. They were even gracious enough to open their banquet room for us so that the club members could all eat lunch together. Kudos to the Sizzler crew and for their hard work catering to some 50 people.

Cruisin thru the Canyons II

After lunch, the club members headed north through both farming and old mining roads where we met the blue waters of Lake Matthews and skirted around its edges and finally driving over its dam.

Cruisin thru the Canyons II

The cruise ended in Corona, CA, at its final pit stop where the club members all hung out for a little while and then said their good-byes. Another great cruise completed and now resting in the books of the club. Great day everyone!

More pictures from the cruise can be found in our club photo gallery.

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  1. […] day spent with club members cruising through the canyons of Southern California in the 2nd Annual West Coast Challengers "Cruisin' thru the Canyons" event. Some 30 Challengers rolling through the streets, highways and canyons of Orange County and […]