Saturday, 21 February 2015

PCH 1... Not The Way I'd Dreamed, But It'll Do For Now

I've always had a dream of driving the Pacific Coast Highway(PCH 1) usually in a Porsche Turbo convertible, hair blowing in the wind (hey, it's my dream I can still have hair), sometimes more realistically in my Miata when I had it. That trip has always been one of the great drives on my bucket list, one that I haven't completely given up on yet.  If you haven't heard of this road it follows the coast of California for 550 beautiful miles.

Jumping back into reality, here we are on the west coast and the dream road was just over that mountain we've been looking at for a month.  So we jumped into that not so sporty, elephant of a truck and went to live the dream, no we couldn't drop the roof, in fact we didn't even roll the windows down, it was to hot without the A/C.   The coastal city of Oceanside is where we started onto PCH 1, a tourist town full of hotels and souvenir shops to service the crowds that come to the large beaches and surf during the summer.

Heading out on the long fishing pier.

"Will pose for food"

The beach goes on for miles

We headed south on the PCH towards San Diego following the beaches. This is not the open road that my dreams are made of, with towns Carlsbad, Encinitas and Del Mar and the minor traffic that goes with them. This area is in San Diego county and all of it consumed by the city's urban sprawl.  There are many parks and parking areas along this road and they are full people enjoying the coastline surfing, biking and running. We were actually surprised at the amount of people surfing along our 40 mile route, even though the waves weren't that big.  We would see groups of up to forty people bobbing in the water waiting for the next wave to catch.  We took our time and with the towns and people it was interesting drive with plenty to look at.  We ended up driving past Torrey Pines golf course and even got to see the PGA pros on the practice tee's as we drove by.

We met up with our truck driver friend, Greg, as he was passing through Fallbrook. We picked him up and went to diner at a restaurant called Oink and Moo.  The food was excellent and the time spent together just as good.

Our time here in SoCal was winding down and we still hadn't had enough of San Diego.  We took another day and drove the winding back roads into the city for the last time.  This took us through the small town of Ramona and right by another restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  

Ramona Café is a typical small town restaurant nothing fancy and friendly staff.  What stands out is the food.  Both of our breakfasts' were delicious and huge, the only disappointment being we didn't have room to try their signature 1/2 lbs. cinnamon roll.

The Hawaiian Pancakes

San Diego has everything you could want, beautiful views and weather plus all the benefits of a large metropolis but still has the feel of a smaller city.  We enjoyed this place but it is time to move on.

We headed north towards the San Francisco Bay area.  We decided to make a stop a little more than halfway, for a two nights at The Vines RV Resort.  This is a  newer resort, with very nice buildings and pool area, sites are concrete and well kept and with Passport America half price for two nights.  The only downside to this park was the highway running very close to the back of our site.

The draw for us here is Hearst Castle about an hour drive through vineyards and beautiful rolling green hills to the coast.  This is an incredibly scenic landscape with huge hills dotted with cattle munching the lush grass and you get stunning peeks at the ocean to come, as you drive west.  Turn north for our second run on PCH 1 and this is the scenery and winding asphalt my dreams are made of. 

There are cattle down there grazing.

William Randolph Hearst built his castle on 250,000 acres of land he inherited from his parents.  The publishing magnet spent from 1919 to 1947 constructing this huge place on top of hill overlooking the sea and the land he owned.  For perspective he owned 39 miles of coastline and as far as you could see from the castle perched on the hill.  With 165 rooms and 127 acres manicured gardens and pools, he even had a zoo that was, at the time, one of the best in North America. 

Guest cottage

Guests would arrive and walk up these steps the castle.

16th century ceiling being restored by one man, over ten years, at a cost of $1 million. 

Dinning room.

Winding road leading up to the top.

When he died it was donated to the state and is now a historic park visited by close to a million people a year.  It is something to see if you are cruising down the PCH 1.   You can experience and be in awe what was possible if you were mega rich in a bygone era.

Next time we see my dream road we'll be looking at it from Alcatraz, that part of the highway is also know as the Golden Gate Bridge.

Wisp of hair in the west coast wind,


  1. So I am trying to get a visual of your PCH dream trip..... I can see you cruising in the Porsche Turbo convertible but what I am having trouble with is the hair..... is it in a ponytail or just blowing in the wind?

    The Hawaiian Pancakes look delicious! Barb was getting hungry just looking at them.

    1. LOL...I'm on vacation in my dream, so cornrows with braids & beads.

    2. LOL..Somehow I can't picture you with cornrows..but what ever floats your boat! The Porsche fits you beautifully..maybe a throw back to our driveway ornament Porcshe when you were growing up. Who has those headlights anyway..or are they gone?

    3. I'd tried dreaming it with cornrows last night, but it was so bad I kept waking up.

      I have still have the headlights....or rather you do ...I put them in your garage.

  2. When I first started reading your post I clicked through all the photos ..(you know how I love your photos.)..and I let out an OMG when I got to Detra's pancakes...that looks enough for 4 people..Wow..I expect you both will be a little plumper when I see you soonest!

    1. We were suprised at the size and they were just as tasty as they look!

      Everyone puts on a couple of pounds in the winter, sitting inside out the cold, not doing much...oh wait I can't use that excuse anymore.