Here’s a tip: If you’re driving from Santa Barbara, California to Monterey, California >>> Do It On Highway 101!!! Not Highway 1 >>> unless you didn’t get enough thrills from Disneyland’s Magic Mountain!!!
Yes, indeed. You have been warned!
Thank goodness my husband was driving when we took off yesterday morning for what we thought was going to be a beautiful coastal drive. Once on Highway 1, there is no changing your mind. We couldn’t find any other highways/roads to get us back to Highway 101. Yes, you can always turn around and back-track to the beginning of this beautiful coastal road. But, we kept thinking that it was a balancing game: Go back on the KNOWN or take your chances with the unknown and hope that it gets tamer.
We chose the hoping for the tamer, but what we got was more of the same, only for a longer amount of time. Yikes! We literally saw a wedding party who were all stopped to pose of pictures at one of the “Scenic Vista” place twice! Yes, we saw them twice! Once when they were all posing for their scenic pictures at the scenic vista, and another time when they were all going into a restaurant for the wedding dinner. Yes, they had apparently had time to take their pictures, get back in their cars, and speed on over to the restaurant – after speeding by us. Oh, to be young! (Not!!!)
As for Highway 1 being a beautiful coastal drive, neither my husband nor I know if it is! My husband was concentrating on driving this road that hugs the mountains while precariously teetering on jutting cliffs overhanging the ocean’s rocky crags. As for me, I was concentrating on “being good” and not saying things like: “Oh my gosh, the road’s getting narrower!” OR “You’ve got to be kidding! The road’s going up even farther up the cliff!” We quickly found out that the posted speed limits were simply cautionary speeds that no one took seriously – except us! People just kept waiting for us to pull over on the little one-car-length-turn-out spaces – which we did on a regular basis. One car didn’t even wait for us to pull over >>> he threw caution to the wind and sped around us, apparently knowing that the solid yellow line meant not a doggone thing.
So, next time we drive up to Colorado Springs through the flat plains of Texas, I’m going to have to keep reminding myself not to complain about driving through straight, terra-gripping black top!
***Here’s an update: It’s not actually Santa Barbara to Monterey. The “testy” part of Highway 1 starts right after Piedras Blancas Light Station. We went back there today (on Highway 101) to see the Elephant Seal Rookery – which should not be missed! We saw it yesterday before heading to Monterey and decided we had to see it again. It is absolutely incredible… a truly amazing sight.