Dream Drives: Pacific Coast Highway

By  November 10, 2016
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It’s no secret that we live in the age of convenience. Instant gratification of information is just a cellphone away. That convenience extends to driving. Want the quickest route to cross the state? There’s an app for that; several in fact. But on a trip to California earlier this year, my wife and I decided to take the long way, traveling the less direct route from San Francisco to Los Angeles via the beautiful California coast.

Bixby Creek Bridge

Bixby Creek Bridge, one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world.

Our first stop was to pick up a rental; a Mustang V6 convertible from the airport (read my review of the ‘Stang on Hooniverse).  The drive started out smoothly enough, venturing down through Santa Cruz. While passing through, I got the impression Santa Cruz had more classic American pickup trucks and “Santa Cruz” skateboards t-shirts than I’d seen anywhere before.

California 1 kind of teases you a little bit at first. You drive down thinking it will be all-ocean-view all of the time, but at first the journey was mostly farm land with abundant California traffic to make us stop and appreciate it for a bit. Soon enough, the coastal view emerged. Being a flat-lander from Florida, my knuckles were actually white for the first half hour or so of seeing such a steep drop so close to the edge of the road. This is approximately where the video begins, near Carmel, California.

At one point in the trip (not on the video), we’d already been on California 1 for a couple of hours, when I noticed that we were more than halfway through our gasoline. Not seeing any gas stations made things a little worrisome for a short while. Thankfully we found the one gas station on this stretch of PCH. It was a relief to find a place to stop and take a mental break for a few minutes (and also to pee). I didn’t fill up, because the prices were pretty high, but with how out in the middle of nowhere we were, I could understand how demand would push things in that direction.

An old Plymouth Prowler stops for gas along the California 1.

On a short stop for gasoline and coffee, I spotted this old Plymouth Prowler filling up.

From beginning to end, the trip took 9.5 hours worth of driving; 12 hours with some stops along the way. I’ve gone through and edited this footage down to about a 4 minute video of some of the more picturesque sections of the drive, or at least the portions that happened during daylight hours. My wife, Nina Womeldurf, served as camera person while I drove. All footage was captured with an iPhone 6S. Edits were made in Premiere CC with audio coming from the GarageBand software.

The final trip odometer readings for the road trip.

The final trip odometer readings for the road trip.

There are  a few more things to show you from this trip, with trips to Canepa, the Petersen Museum, and the San Diego Automotive Museum (not to mention seeing 3 Lamborghini Countaches in one week!). I hope to begin publishing those next week, so please follow us and stay tuned.