With the roadtrip checklist near complete, the last yet very important item on my list is my girl. Besides providing important conversation, it validates my borrowing a red convertible from Honda for the weekend. A couple in a red S2K? A romantic getaway. Two dudes in a red S2K? Either two very confident males, or another sort of romantic getaway. Not one for debate, I picked the former.
Born and raised in LA, I've left the city every which direction, but I've never ventured Northwest along the coast. But after a call to Chris Martin over at Honda, quite possibly the most outdoorsy person I know, I took up his recommendation to drive between San Luis Obispo and Monterey. It would be my first non-Disney California adventure up the fabled Pacific Coast Highway-if I could make it past So Cal's freeway system.
If Nicholas Cage had it hard leaving Las Vegas in a drunken stupor, he's never attempted leaving Los Angeles. Through Ventura County. Via the 101 North. On a Friday afternoon. A two-lane freeway, with no sort of onramp traffic control, I've seen herds of stampeding African wildebeests with more order. So what was supposed to be a roundtrip jaunt up the coast turned into a let's-just-get-the-hell-up-to-Monterey-before-dawn run, with an enjoy-the-coast-on-the-way-down return trip.
And what a return trip it was. Being an "automotive journalist," speaking in superlatives comes naturally; however, despite any past literary attempts, I have to say the drive South on PCH is hands-down the best ever. Emphasis on the "ever."
A windy road with epic views of the coast, I have a newfound appreciation for California's name (despite LA females always digging for it): the Golden State. Gorgeous sheer cliffs, crisp air, crashing waves, thick forests and impossibly-built bridges complemented by the roar of top-down air, Honda's V-TEC and the occasional, yet very welcomed warning chirps of the Passport radar detector, it was a weekend I'll not soon forget.
This summer, if you can, follow the checklist above. You won't regret it. Just don't forget a girl. Unless, that is, you're into that sort of thing.
Carter Jung firstname.lastname@example.org