Previously known as “Southern California/Southern Nevada/Southwest Utah and Hawaii” this Caravan Section had rebranded itself as “Southwest”
The Southwest Section covers Southern California, south of line connecting San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield and Ridgecrest; Southern Nevada, including Pahrump, Mesquite, Las Vegas and Henderson; Southwestern Utah, including St. George and Cedar City and all of Hawaii. In the Southwest Section are two of the largest Corvette markets in the United States, Southern California and the greater Las Vegas/Henderson area.
The Southwest Section has a new Captain, Tony Megowan. “Cap Tony” has plenty of experience. He was a Caravan Commander for the 2009 and 2014 events and the Section XO for the 2014 Caravan. He, also, served as Director of the Route Book Project for the ’09 and ’14 Caravans and will personally run that project again for the 2019 event.
Tony works for the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic control instructor, so he’s real good at directing people to go to the right destinations, a highly-desirable quality in a Caravan Section Captain.
Tony and Wife, Paula, are Members of the Corvette Club Santa Barbara and live in Ventura, California. They own the Lead Car for the Southwest Section, a 2016 Long Beach Red, Z51 Coupe. He formerly owned a 2003 50th Anniversary Edition. Fun fact: Tony’s first ever road trip outside California came in that 50th Coupe on the ’09 Caravan.
Tony’s Wife, Paula Megowan, was recommissioned as the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team’s Chief Financial Officer. Paula was CFO for the 2014 and 2009 Caravans. Mrs. Megowan, an accountant by trade, will manage all fiscal affairs of the Section. Ten years of experience in Caravan money management, will be a significant help to the Team. Paula will also set-up and manage the Caravan Section’s registration operation during Departure activities in August of 2019. Paula is a “Caravan Commander” and has a seat on the SW Section Organizing Team.
In late July, Capt. Megowan appointed Doug Rosa to the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team (SCOT). Commander Rosa, who is also the President of Color Country Corvettes in Southwestern Utah, will organize the Section’s activities in southern Utah and will also direct efforts towards staging an evening event on the second overnight of the trip in St. George.
Tony Megowan, also, convinced Hib Halverson, Section Captain in ’03, ’09 and ’14 to come out of retirement and return to the Organizing Team as its Executive Officer. Halverson will act as an advisor, as well as assisting with sponsor acquisition, communications activities and prerun trips.
Additional appointments to the Southern California/Southern Nevada Caravan Organizing Team are pending. Also, the Team is looking for Caravan Local Leaders to organize feeder Caravans in the Ventura/Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Orange County and Inland Empire areas of California as well as the Las Vegas Valley in Nevada. Local Leaders must reside in the area for which they are responsible. Anyone wanting to serve on the Organizing Team or as a Local Leader should call Capt. Tony Megowan at 805-659-5056 or email him at email@example.com.
The first five Southwest Caravans generally followed old Route 66 as far as Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thinking outside the box, Captain Tony Megowan plans to change almost the entire route and lengthen the event by a day. The Southwest Section will make a week-long trip to Bowling Green in 2019. The Caravan will begin at the famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena and head north, over the San Gabriel Mountains on storied Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest Highways. In the high desert, the Caravan will take State Routes 14 and 58 to Barstow and then I-15 and US95 to Henderson for the first overnight at the Fiesta Henderson resort.
Day Two will have the Caravan leaving Henderson going northeast, then north around the of Lake Mead, followed by a scenic drive though Valley of Fire State Park. Finally, the Section will head north, to St. George, Utah in I-15.
On the third day, Capt. Megowan will lead the Southwest Section to Glenwood Springs, Colorado via I-15 and I-70. On Days Four and Five, we take I-70, over Vail Pass and though the Johnson Tunnel, the highest section of the Interstate Highway system, and then to Goodland, Kansas followed by Kansas City, Missouri.
For final overnight of the trip, The Southwest Section will stop in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The Caravan stopped in “Cape G” in 2014 and, five years ago, it was the best event night of the entire trip.
PreRun1 a Success
On July 6-9, two members of the Organizing Team made the first prerun trip over part of the 2019 Caravan route. “‘PreRun1’ explored the Section’s first two days,” Captain Megowan said. “We learned much about Southwest Section’s all-new route. Caravaners will start their trip by enjoying the views and the drive over the Angeles Forest and Angeles Crest Highways in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Pasadena. ‘The Crest’ is famed for its scenic, winding, 38-mile route though the Angeles National Forest from LaCanada to Palmdale.
“Near the end of the first day,” Megowan continued, “Caravaners will, also, see the stark beauty of the eastern Mojave Desert when they leave Interstate 15 and take Nipton Road and Nevada SR164 to Searchlight, Nevada, then US95 and I-515 north to Henderson where we’ll spend our first night on the road.”
The Southwest Organizing Team has selected the Fiesta Henderson for the first overnight. It offers a mix of both gaming activities and resort amenities such as a pool area, various food service choices and a comedy show. Additionally, drive times on Days One and Two will be adjusted so Caravaners who wish to party a bit and enjoy some fun and gaming on the first night can do that without having to worry about a “zero-dark-thirty” departure on the second day. At this point, the plan is to depart Henderson about 10 AM.
Day Two will offer Caravaners more of desert scenery. The Caravan will travel over Northshore Drive in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area along with Nevada’s “Valley of Fire Highway” through Valley of Fire State Park. The Park is famed for it’s brilliant red/orange sandstone geology. The drive though the Valley of Fire will be the most spectacular part of the National Corvette Caravan’s drive through southeastern California and southern Nevada. Day Two’s final eye candy event will come on I-15, as it winds its way though the Virgin River Canyon on the way north, to St. George, Utah.
This time Captain Megowan and Commander Halverson went all the way to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, pre-running six of the Caravans seven days. Along the way they met with the Captain of the Colorado Caravan to discuss the two sections joining. They surveyed Glenwood Springs CO, Goodland KS and Kansas City MO for hotels and food services. Visted the Cape Girardeau Visitors Bureau and photographed various scenery for the Southwest Section’s eNews and Route Book. A third pre-run trip is planned for later in 2018.
Meeting New Friends
One reason some people give for wanting to go on the National Corvette Caravan is to meet Corvetters from different parts of the country. According to Capt. Tony Megowan, the 2019 Caravan is shaping up as a great way to do that. “I’ve already had inquires from Northern California and Colorado,” Megowan says, “about the possibility of our Section and their Sections combining on the third and fourth days of our trip. If that happens, it will be a lot of fun for everyone.”
Organizing and staging a seven day caravan of several hundred Corvettes costs a fair amount of money. The National Corvette Museum which sanctions the National Corvette Caravan provides no funding for Caravan Sections. It is up to every Captain to raise money to cover his/her Section’s expenses.
If you own a business which sells products of interest to Corvette owners, the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team can help you market your product to our Caravaners. We have an electronic newsletter co-sponsorship available which will put your company name in front of all our Caravaners on a regular basis for the next two years. Also, we have Route Book advertising opportunities available. The Route Book contains information Caravaners need during the event and is read continuously by all Caravaners for six days. Finally, we have event sponsorships available. Event sponsorships include naming rights for an evening Caravan event along with promotional opportunities before and during an evening event.
The Southwest Section, also, accepts donations. Donations are tax deductible as the National Corvette Museum, which sanctions the National Corvette Caravan is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
Those wanting to discuss sponsorships or make donations should contact Captain Tony Megowan at 805-659-5056 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.