RAFFI: I’m pretty surprised by the frequency of our updates on this blog; I really doubted three eighteen-year old dudes were collectively responsible enough to keep a blog up to date. I hope someone out there is actually reading it. If not, that’s cool, too; we aren’t that interesting.
Anyhow, the trip:
Since the first time my family and I drove its curvy roads to “The City”, driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1, has been my favorite drive. When my brother enrolled at UC Berkeley in 2007, trips by way of the 1 became more frequent, and, as a result, I couldn’t have been happier. But the more I’ve traveled the 1 over the past four years, the more my yearning to drive other scenic highways has grown, especially to drive the 101--seemingly a brother to the 1 because it runs parallel to and continues where the 1 leaves off not far from the Bay Area and still runs beside the Pacific all the way up to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Perhaps this yearning explains the scenic nature of the route of this trip, strategically chosen by three of this country’s finest route planners (if there is such a thing): yours truly, Duncan Conley, and Horea Porutiu.
And… the actual trip (backtracking to day one):
Upon escaping the gorgeous smog-and-trash-infested lanes of L.A.’s world-renowned stretch of the 405, we entered the 101, drove past that weird college in Santa Barbara that Duncan and I are to attend, and in San Luis Obispo, next to that other weird college, we took a turn onto Highway 1. Its two-lane stretch is a sight I’ve seen many times; nevertheless, its presence bears the unique quality never to tire a person. The first stretch of the highway is mostly flat and mostly straight. To our right there was an only-slightly familiar sight: rolling hills—the same ones we are accustomed to at home, only these ones reveal their bare selves—bare and grassy and completely dry, decorated sporadically by a few trees. To our left was the Pacific—another familiar sight—decorated with a variety of weathered black rocks, which are constantly sloshed by the whitewash of a fierce swell. On that day, the climate was foggy and cloudy, which, depending on your mood, can be a good thing, but on a clear, sunny day, this stretch of the 1 is breathtaking in that the vibrant gold of the hills is contrasted with the rich, deep blue of the ocean. Eventually, the hills graduate to mountains, and the 1 ascends, winding and clutching to the periphery of the mountains, composed of rocks and even larger rocks that sit precariously looking down on your car and waiting for the day they’ll fall and hit it. But the hills aren’t the only things that grow as the road ascends, the rocks in the ocean evolve into giant boulders, and, in this way, very small islands. All this continues on until the nice little city of Carmel. I’m probably getting too in detail, but all this is truly a sight to behold every time I see it, and this time was no different.