Monday, June 26, 2006

A Honeymoon, A GTO, and The Back Roads of California

Finally got to do my first road trip in the Goat. My wife and I are huge fans of the open road (driven cross country 5x's, last time only on 2 lane roads), and our favorite trips have no destinations, we pick up a map and try to find some back roads that'd be interesting to drive. So for our honeymoon, what better thing for us to do then pack up the GTO and head out to drive some familiar and new roads in California.

We left L.A. and our first night was spent in Solvang, after that we headed up north.

First stop was on Harris Grade rd right above Lompoc, CA. Great little road about 30 miles long full of tight turns.

After that we decided to head back inland in order to catch our favorite road, we took HWY 166 over to the 33, great road, it was pretty crowded but luckily the car has great passing power.

We were trying to head over to 58, which until this weekend was probably the greatest road I had ever driven in this country (Pure driving, not scenic). My wife found a short cut so we took it, turned out to be a dirt road, after spending about 10 miles on this dirt road, it turned into a paved road, which quickly turned back into a dirt road. I definately gave in to the urge to turn the T/C off and go at it (can't wait to finally clean the car and see what the rock chips look like).

and to our destination, HWY 58, this is a FANTASTIC road, and anyone who is in California and heading north or south, please allow yourself to drive it. It has a good 60 miles of great mountain twisties along w/ REAL long straight (was able to cruise at 140 for a good amount of time, never seen a cop on this road in the dozen or so times i've driven it). Only other people we saw were bikers, but for the most part we had the road to ourselves.

gotta put in a picture of my wife :)

after that we headed over to HWY 1 which goes along the CA coast

and spent the night in Carmel @ the Park Hyatt, this is the view out of our hotel room's balcony

After that, we continued to head North on HWY 1 up to Half Moon Bay where we cut inland to tackle the back roads up above Santa Cruz (Hwy 84 and 9). What a fantastic drive was this, empty roads, lots of tight turns, and gorgeous scenery.

This is HWY 9 and a sign that was familiar to us throughout the whole trip.

gotta love it, spend the morning along the coast and then have lunch amongst the Redwoods

after this we headed back down south down the 1 and then cut over on I believe 156 towards Gilroy (My favorite town since i'm an absolute garlic nut) and then to HWY 25, which may now have taken the honors of my favorite road over HWY 58. Empty, gorgeous, no cops, no people, only speed limit is the one you set for yourself.

I'd love to get back on this road when everything is green, but regardless it was still gorgeous

after this we found a little road on the map called Peach Tree rd, this virtually turned into a single lane road that went through the middle of nothing except for a few farms. It was roughly 40 miles long and we didn't see a single car the whole time. I was expecting for it to turn into a dirt road like the ones we were on earlier.

Deep canyon we came across

only life form we came across :D

after that we stayed the night in Paso Robles and the next morning headed inland on the 46 I believe to the 33 and back towards home. The 33 was another great road, empty, high speeds, etc. At one point we got stuck for about 45 minutes because they were repaving the road.

but atleast where we got stuck had a good view of the valley

Once we got passed that, it was an empty road in front of us, I had never driven this road and man was it a lot of fun, some very tight turns.

Here's a shot of part of the road from up on a bluff.

that took us down to Ojai where we headed over to the 5

and thus sending us home. All in all it was a fantastic trip, we covered roughly 1500 miles and spent a total of 28 hours in the car over 4 days.

And the aftermath, this will be a good challenge for my detailing skills

btw, also have to show off the Grooms cake my wife got made for me :D

this was a great compliment to having the In-N-Out truck cater the wedding :D

I'd like to take this moment to say how lucky I am to find a woman that shares my passion for this insanity. This is just one of about 2 dozen trips like this we've done around this country (most of which you will slowly be hearing about), and I'd just like to extend my thoughts that with out her by my side I wouldn't be out enjoying this beautifull country we live in.