Thursday, 28 March 2013

Drive Time

It's a cold and wet morning here in Crescent City, CA today. There is a chill mist running in off the sea that only the sea lions in the harbour can love. They seem to, anyway, based on the barking and hollering coming from the harbour. I can hear it from the parking lot of my motel across the highway. Today we head inland.

Yesterday we drove the Oregon coast from Seaside down. Highway 101 along this coastline is a twisting, turning two-lane thread that is a motorcyclist's dream. It starts along the seashore, then rises and falls up and down the mountain edges and cliffs for more than 300 miles. In much of the journey you are dampened by the wave driven mist, and in other parts old-growth forests flank the roadway. You start in coastal rainforest yet drive through beautiful meadow and arid, dry hillsides, on one side the mountains and on the other, ocean until Japan.

Not a lot of people know that the Oregon Coast's Highway 101 is part of a much larger international highway system, the Pacific Coastal Highway. This set of connected highways and roadway runs all the way from Lund, BC, Canada, north of Vancouver on the upper Sunshine Coast down to Quellon, Los Lagos, Chile. It is an old highway system originally created as a trail by the conquering Spanish and called "El Camino Real", a name it still bears along parts of the road.

What even fewer people know is that I have driven every stretch of this road from Lund to Tijuana, and then a bit more as I headed south down Baja to Ensenada on a drive one day years ago before the drug wars started, when the only worry on the roads in Mexico was the occasional loose donkey.

On top of that, I've driven most of the side roads along the way, detoured backwards and forwards up the inside and outside of the Olympic Peninsula, driven the Island Highway on Vancouver Island from Port Renfrew to Port Hardy, driven the back road from Port Renfrew, BC to Duncan, BC, driven the switch-backed logging roads across to Tofino before the highway went in and then the good road afterwards, and even driven the limited roads out of Prince Rupert and the bent and broken pavement we call a highway into Stewart, BC and the dirt road over to Hyder, AK.

In other words, if there is a road along the west coast of North America, I have driven on it. Or at least I am pretty sure I have, except for the road to Anchorage, Alaska. I plan on doing that in June. After all, everybody has to have a goal.

By the way, I've driven the east coast from Saint John's Newfoundland to Miami, FL as well as across Canada a couple of times and across the US on I-90. I've driven across Europe, around Bahrain, in the deserts of Dubai and down the cape at Capetown. I've driven around Trinidad (the island) and Tobago (also an island) along with driving from London to Edinburgh twice!

I like to drive.

1 comment:

  1. Keep on truckin'. Try to stop by Disneyland where all your dreams and wishes come true. We are never too old to wish upon a star. Drive safely.