“That’s why I love road trips dude, it’s like doing something, without actually doing anything!”
– John Green
Yes, I love road trips! Period. Who cares when you get to the final destination. Last night I dreamt about my long ago deceased father and road trips. Me thinking? Perhaps that’s what we did most Sundays in Miami, Florida with a final destination of soft serve ice cream and pony rides, for 4 or 5-year-old sister and I.
Back in the old days, behind Miami International; nothing but green fields with lots of happy cows. Some enterprising farmer long ago started catering to families road trip needs with pony rides and soft serve. We drove from nearby Biscayne Boulevard; around 7th Avenue and 34th street; less than an hour ride on a 50s something Chevy or Ford two-door. One time I recall that a guy owned father some money. Not much, maybe around $100.00. Next thing I know we drive up to this back yard mechanics house and he says take one. I can’t recall if he chose Chevy over Ford or Dodge?
This morning started out like most any mornings except, I was headed across the U.S. Mexico border for a final destination (La Paz) just shy of 1,000 miles. Road trips heighten emotion. They also are great at refreshing the mind, body and soul. And even with a newly installed Garmin country of Mexica SD card I still managed to screw up by missing the cuota (toll) road. On my way to circling Tijuana. Today, not a problem, at the first turn about I made a quick left round swing and before long lay familiar cuota (toll road) towards Rosarito and subsequently my first destination, Ensenada.
The only plan for day one (today) was arriving somewhere south of the border. A Facebook post and reply from my live aboard friend John confirmed that he was at Marina Coral and ready for lunch. I was now starved with Mexican food on my mind. Soon, I was back driving us and looking for the best hamburger spot this side of Ensenada. Sad to say the place was closed but, what a great road trip. By now some of you, I know, don’t get it. Perhaps what you don’t get is the in between parts from the time you start the car up, drive away and arrive at your predetermined destination. The rest of us somehow do. A great part of the reason why so many people are into everything about cars or trucks or motorcycles. By this part of the story your take away should be to understand (if you don’t already) that road trips are less about the destination than the journey. A road trip is in its very own special travel category and those that don’t understand it need not apply.
And so on to the next food place and the next! What? They all appeared to be closed on weekdays. On towards the Guadalupe valley and wine country. Our first stop was famous for all day breakfast but, the table over was enjoying hamburgers and some great looking soup. Our lunch ended up costing $22.00 U.S. to include two cheeseburger combos, fries, cup of what resembled egg drop soup, one apple and one peach pie, a coke, coffee and water. In my 4runner earlier we purchased three individual home-made apple pies from a lady at a roadside stand that stays open only until she has pies to sell. John says she usually sells out early. Did you recall me already saying that road trips are fun? Well, so is the food, it also always tastes better. And, if the driver on that road trip is worth his salt then you get to see and experience more. We laugh more, play more, no one ever gets hurt, things don’t break down and there is always fuel in the tank.
Back in the 90s my friends and I used to do the Rosarito to Ensenada 50 mile bike rides. This twice yearly event gave out some of the best t-shirts ever. All are long gone now and not once on this guadalupe valley road trip did we drive on that bike race road. Wineries have taken over. There must be over 50 of them now. There is even a free wine museum. If you’ve done the Ensenada cruise winery tour then consider yourself still clueless about this area and Ensenada wineries.
When you’re on the road you can eat anything and not gain weight. Time doesn’t matter and pit stops are the norm. Like that pit stop to a place you would normally shy away from. This recently roofed souvenir, goat cheese and wine shop I am told I famous for all sorts of jams, sauces, cheeses and wines to stir up your pallet. Once you experience your very own platter there is a strong desire to move on from the appetizers to the main course. On the road again. Our first stop a very chic looking high-end winery with perfectly placed atop boulder individual rooms for rent. The wine, beer and appetizers cheap; the rooms not. At $400 per night you too could spend a night eating, drinking and looking out over the vineyards. And if you drank too much good luck. All you could do is stare at your room from down below where the main building takes care of all your other needs but sleep.
This morning starts day two and my goal is still Highway 1 of Mexico’s transpeninsular highway that zigzags its way from the Pacific ocean (me now) to the Sea of Cortez (La Paz). Perhaps when I depart Santa Rosalia may be my halfway down the peninsula stop on the Gulf of California. When I finally ride this road on my BMW adventure bike the next stop according to destinations baja by motorcycle is El Rosario. Where the true baja begins on account of the more than 50 plant species of plant life cactus’ that spread across the mostly empty landscape.
“And if you have to ask by now what a road trip is; no matter what else I say to you, you still wouldn’t understand.”