Driving is the Best Way to Travel

“And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile…”                                                                                                                     Talking Heads

In my lifetime I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing many forms of travel, I’ve been carried, crawled, walked, run, hopped, skipped and jumped, bicycled, skateboarded, swam, boated, driven, been driven, motorcycled, traveled by bus, train, shuttle, trolley, taxi, Uber and flown several times in large passenger jets and small puddle jumpers. Of all these modes of travel I would have to say, driving a motor vehicle is by far my most favorite form of transportation. I love to drive. I always have. I really thought I’d wind up being a truck driving man like dear old dad, and several of the jobs I held involved driving, but for better or worse the call of the road just wasn’t strong enough to hold me. Although driving never became a career I still enjoy driving.

For years I thought that my love of driving came directly from my dad. I have such fond memories of going on the road with him. I can remember sitting on my dad’s lap, behind the wheel of his 18 wheeler, barreling down Rivergrade Road on our way to San Diego or Yucca Valley. I never got to shift gears or anything like that, but he did let me steer and that was incredible!  Yeah he introduced me to the thrill of driving and planted the seed of a driving career in my head.

Recently however I’ve come to realize that my mom also played a substantial role in developing my romance with driving. A conversation with my sister several weeks ago reminded me just how much my mom enjoyed driving. I’d completely forgotten how when we were kids she loved to drive us around. I always sat in my car seat next to her. My car seat was purely for entertainment and had nothing to do with safety like they do today. In the event of an accident the car seat, which hung on the passenger seat by two metal clips was not very secure and I would have probably been jettisoned towards the dashboard or windshield if we had ever been hit by another car. It may not have been safe but it sure was awesome!

My mom was a good driver but she definitely liked to drive fast. On vacations when we were out on a deserted stretch of highway she would take over driving duties from my dad and jump behind the wheel. She’d push the pedal to the metal and fly! I never got to see the speedometer but it felt like we were going 100 mph plus! She loved speeding and so do I. Guess I came by it naturally.

Believe me I love driving fast and have the speeding tickets to prove it. Although my first car was a VW Bug with a 40 horsepower motor I pushed it to the limit and managed to collect 8 moving violations before I was 18 which resulted in having my license suspended for 6 months, cancellation of my insurance through my parent’s insurance company and placement on state mandated high risk auto insurance that cost me a fortune, and a mandatory drivers safety course compliments of the CA Department of Motor Vehicles. Yeah I learned early on that speeding is costly, but that still didn’t slow me down much.

Right now I’m fulfilling one of the items on my bucket list. I’m on a Princess cruise ship somewhere between Hawaii and Ensenada. We’re in the finally days of a 15 day Hawaiian Island cruise. It’s been incredible! Although it did take me a couple of days to get my sea legs, we’re having a great time! Fortunately we’ve had rental cars reserved on three of the four islands we visited so I at least got to satisfy my driving fix. Don’t get me wrong, the cruise has been incredible but I have missed driving. I don’t much like having a limited amount of hours to visit the islands. It simply isn’t enough time. I like staying on the island and having a car, so that we can take our time, it’s so much more pleasurable.

Although I am enjoying my cruise and enjoy flying, I look forward to taking a cross country driving vacation in the near future. I’d love to just pack up the car one morning and take off to wherever. I’d like to drive to New York and the Eastern Coastal states. I want to see New Orleans, the Alamo, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Dealey Plaza, Boston, Niagara Falls and Washington D.C. It’s is my dream road trip. Believe me, it’s high on my bucket list. And I’m look forward to the drive.

In early June A friend and I are going on a men’s road trip. We’re going to drive up to Oregon to visit an old friend of ours from the Angeleno Street days. I am so looking forward to it. On our way up we’re going to take Interstate 5 because it’s the most direct route. But our return trip  is going to be much more leisurely. We plan on coming down the 101 to Monterey, then taking Highway 1 to Cambria. From there we’re going inland to Paso Robles and on to one of my favorite places Lake Nacimiento. It’s going to be awesome to see the the lake full again, it’s been awhile. Depending on how we’re doing time wise I’d also like to stop at Montana De Oro State Park near Morro Bay. Yeah it’s going to be a great drive.

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