"I Have Found It"
I wanted to hate California. All I heard was how wonderful it was, the great climate, the beautiful ocean, etc. I just wanted to hate it.
Then I got there. I found there is a lot of California and it’s all different. Driving into Pasadena, the air felt like velvet with a serenity and warmth that made me drift into the slow lane and just breathe for a minute. Pulling into San Francisco one evening just as the fog rolled in, I thought I ended up in London.
San Diego was all palm trees and tropical air, but up the coast in Monterey I needed a jacket as I got out of the car to wander off on the windy bluffs overlooking the Pacific. I drove in neon green rainforests in the northwest wilderness and along a cold Pacific, while the furthest point south I found is truly Mexico with a warm Pacific.
The interstates of California are notorious for traffic, but the scenic highways are just as renowned—in a good way. There are nearly 40 scenic highways in California, the most famous being Route 1 along the craggy Pacific coast. I drove its entirety just for the fun of it. Far north in Del Norte County, the giant redwoods claimed my awe. Driving southeast from there I camped in the Yosemite Valley and hiked the heavenly Tuolumne Meadows on the John Muir Trail. But despite the breathtaking peaks of El Capitan and Half Dome, I felt the utmost awe when motoring through three great stone tunnels carved into the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Rt. 120 East., definitely paramount feats of engineering.
I found something even better driving California byways. I found America in an abundance of small towns. I tried to stop in as many as I could for a beer and a bite. I talked to seafaring folk in the north coast fishing villages over friend clams and a Coors. I laughed a little too giddily with the farm workers of wine country— bypassing the “tastings” and going right for the local watering hole serving local wines. I hobnobbed with the down and out in the southern towns that once were part of Mexico, drinking local liquor of an unknown name, and settled into the fireside for night by the hearth in a resort in the Klamath Mountains.
All my life I hated California. Then I got there and I loved it. I couldn’t leave. I tried, but my car overheated going over Tioga Pass. No worries there, I checked my Blitzify app on my phone and saw several choice options for roadside assistance.
1315 10th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Sacramento, CA 95814
38.8 Million (2014)
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