Lately I’ve made a habit of veering off course and wandering through the backroads. It’s a delightful way to slow down and enjoy the place that you live.
These past few months commuting to work on Highway 1 have opened my eyes to many unknown backroads, Old Creek Road in particular. It wasn’t till those commutes had almost found their end that I finally ventured down that curious road.
Last Sunday, David and I were on our way to Cambria for an ice cream and a stroll. Passing through Cayucos, I had a sudden moment of panic and told David to take an unexpected right turn at the light. Looking up at the street sign I said, “I’m not going to let another day pass until I find out what that Old Creek Road has hiding in its midsts!”
Here’s what we found: a quietness not observed on the main highway, a mysterious lake (most likely private and unwelcome to the public), strong oaks strewn delicately with feather-like moss, and rolling golden plains, standing brilliantly against the blue and white sky. I’d say, taking that turn was the best spur-of-the-moment decision I’ve made in a very long time!
I’ve also been driving down Turri Road once or twice a week when heading into or out of Los Osos (a backroad connecting LOVR to South Bay Blv.). Not many take this road, seeing as its particularly windy and longer en route to most destinations (of course I love it, especially for that reason). Other reasons being that the hills it wanders are speckled with grazing cattle and the views are sensational during sunup and sundown. The scenery is even lovelier when the hills are greened with rain (if and when that ever happens). I strongly encourage you make this drive if you are ever wandering in the San Luis area.
My enthusiasm for backroads was confirmed all-the-more this weekend.
Friday I went down to Carpinteria for a day visit, and almost drove right back home that very same night as I was strongly dreading the journey back in the morning. I awoke the next day with the same feeling of dread – long stretches of freeway don’t exactly provide for much excitement. It definitely didn’t help that the minute I entered the onramp, my eyes were fixated on an endless line of halted vehicles. Dang Santa Barbara traffic! I just couldn’t do it, so I exited the freeway in Summerland and continued on towards Highway 192 through the streets of Montecito.
I entered my destination into Google Maps and adjusted the settings to “avoid highways”. The seemingly-dreadful afternoon drive had turned into one more wonderful adventure on the backroads.
I followed the 192 onto the Pass (Highway 154) which leads through the mountains into the Santa Ynez Valley. It was hot and dry the whole way, but I insisted on keeping the windows rolled down to ensure a full backroads experience. There’s really nothing like blasting good ol’ country music (or something else if you don’t fancy that genre) and letting the crashing wind messy up your hair, reminding you valiantly that you’re alive. The drive may have taken 20 minutes longer, but I delighted in every extra minute. Yet again, I had made a perfect impulsive decision, allowing for me to slow down and enjoy the place that I live.
As Salt and Steel would say, “Simply Enjoy the Adventure”!