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It’s enjoyable that this prompt came up because road trips are one of my favorite things to do. Something about the wide, open road, roadside diners, and leaving it all behind fills the holes that build up in my soul. You have to understand that I love road trips and traveling so much that I wrote an entire creative nonfiction essay about it! I’ll not stop dreaming about going on the next one.
My dream road trip is to do Highway 1 from start to finish. I’ve been on bits and pieces of it over the years. I’ve researched it plenty of times, filing it away mentally on the travel bucket list. I would start south and move north for logistic purposes.
The thing with road trips is that it’s about the journey, not the destination, as corny as that sounds. Yeah, I could blast my way through it, but that wouldn’t be fun. I love packing up my suitcase and selecting the right clothes for the types of events that I may find myself in. I’d take my time, breathe, eat at local joints, take loads of pix and do all the cheesy tourist stuff before hitting the road.
I would only drive during the day. I have astigmatism; driving at night is a horrific experience that I try to avoid as much as possible even though I have night-driving glasses. Besides, who doesn’t love sleeping in a hotel?
One of my favorite memories on Highway 1 was my last spring break from graduate school. I’d been working, attending school, and commuting heavily for the previous year and a half. I realized that I didn’t make any plans. I always anticipate holiday breaks and doing something to fill them, but I dropped the ball that year.
I distinctly remember wanting to go somewhere but not enough to make it an overnight thing. I wanted to be back in my bed that night, ha! Thankfully, I could go anywhere because I was living in San Jose.
So I decided to pack up Jack and hit the Big Sur stretch of Highway 1.
Photo Gallery of my dog Jack on Highway 1 and me
I got some great pictures that day, as you can see. This isn’t all of them, for sure! Jack is adopted, so I wasn’t sure if he’d ever seen the ocean. But I showed him this stretch of Big Sur, where my friends T and A had brought me several times over the years before I moved back. It was such a special moment to share it with Jack because he’s that kind of dog.
A little spot further south of Bixby Creek Bridge has a valley of calla lilies. You can basically get right on the ocean, and it’s off the beaten path, so oftentimes it’s just you and the rest of your party. I brought Jack right up to the ocean, and he started drinking the saltwater! What a goober. One of my favorite memories of him.
We did get back to the car and shared an ice-cold bottle of water between us, don’t worry! I didn’t let him get dehydrated from the salty ocean water.
I didn’t plan the trip very well. I was basically driving on memory from previous outings. I wanted to take him to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park where T had shown me McWay Falls many years before. She said it reminded her of the Disney version of Peter Pan (paid link) and when we got there, I agreed with that assessment! But I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way and my GPS wasn’t working well, as it does in the more remote areas of any place in America. So I turned back. T later told me I should’ve kept driving because we would have hit it easily.
Yet another reason to return!