I love to drive.
I could drive for days. Of course with the required stops to eat, rest and to admire nature, views, roads and anything else on the way. There is no way of avoiding freeways to get there but they are just a means to getting to those "small one lane roads". On maps they appear as state, or rural roads. Those are the best. Roads where you do not see cars or people for miles and miles.
Roads are sometimes not even on maps. You have to go to a local gas station, those that still have the Pegasus logo (Old Mobil?) and always serviced by a weathered old man. Red handkerchief in hand, straw hat and burnt out cigarette between a tootles smile. Yes, they are the best guides. They will always point you in the right direction. At least you hope.
It is always best to fill up, a sin nowadays with expensive gas. It is best to be safe than sorry. A road might be flooded, closed, end, or worse, you might get turned away by military looking personnel, with guns pointing the way. (As is the case in some areas here in Nevada)
Having company in these trips is good, particularly if it is someone whose company you enjoy.
(My daughter while on a trip we took right after 09-11)
CCR, or an old cassette you found in the garage are requirements for a drive. A stop by the local store to buy snacks and beverages is also a must. Beef jerky (I do not care for it), Doritos, Water, Soda, Fruit, and chewing gum.
Years ago, my wife and I took this road out of Santa Elena, CA-We had just left the Ferrari Carano winery and instead of returning to San Francisco, where we were staying, we decided to cross over West, towards PCH. At first it was a good paved one lane road, leading you to more wineries. Bellow you could see an endless carpet of vineyards-Premium land.
Eventually the road became more desolate as the trees were getting taller and taller. These pine trees resembled sequioas at some points. Suddenly the road seemed to end. It was a dirt road, covered by tall trees and vegetation, almost cave like. According to the map I had, there was a road "here" and it lead to the old Fort Ross, along the California coast.
An old flat bed pick up was coming in our direction, bouncing along this road, so my fears that we were lost faded. We continued along this road, where the roots of the trees had pulverize any sign of pavement or concrete.
Then, we came up on a clearing-The road had disappeared!. We were on a clearing (no trees), but the groud was completely covered in what seemed like ivy.
When we were about to return the same way we came, hoping that we remembered how we got there, another truck was coming out of the woods. It was apparent to them that we were "lost". All the said, was keep going "that way".
We followed their advice. Soon we were again on a dirt road, almost exactly the same road we had just left. Covered by vegetation and more trees.
By that time it was getting darker and darker. An effect accentuated by the tree and greenery as well as by the actual time. We had left the winery about 3:00PM and we had been on this road for close to three hours now.
Out of the coming darkness, we came up onto a rise on the road, as we neared the top, we could see an opening further ahead. Like the end of a tunnel-Or the famous, "light at the end of the tunnel", we drove out of this road into the PCH. Right in front of us stood a gas station/convenience store. A sign pointed right and said "Fort Ross". Another sign pointe left, indicating-"san Francisco."
We laughed at our prior "predicament, because we were close to turning around. However we knew that at some point or another we would come up on to another exciting road.
(Looking down from Hearst Castle)