Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Fast Ride in Search of a Sunset

Another day in Northern California, another cruise out to the coast to catch a sunset ... or so I thought.

When I got out to San Gregorio today, the coast was totally socked in by a fogbank. So I started driving south on Route 1 to see if I might be able to see the sun farther down the coast.  That may sound foolishly optimistic, but I've seen it happen quite a few times before.  And what the heck, I was on Route 1 in a fast car.

First stop, the foggy rocky shores of Pescadero:

Lovely glamour shots of a Dodge Challenger in a fogbank, but no sunset. Onwards!

Finally, just around the time I hit the Santa Cruz County line and Big Basin State Park, I got ahead of the fog bank.

But I could tell by the way the fog was still rolling in that I'd probably need to make it another 50 miles down the coast if I wanted a sunset.  Sigh.  I gave up the chase and decided to turn around and head back up the coast.  At least the fog had discouraged the tourists, so I could blast back up Route 1 at an unsavory speed in my ridiculous muscle car with nary a bit of traffic ahead to slow me down....

Hey, where'd this guy in the anti-muscle car come from?

As you might imagine, the Challenger made quick work of this cute obstacle.

Then much to my surprise, as I neared Half Moon Bay a crack in the fog appeared!

I pulled over and took a look.  Somewhere out there, across the farm fields, the beaches, and the waves, a sunset was trying to crack through the fog!

I hopped back in the car, drove up the coast a bit further, took the first left-hand turn I could find, and headed out to the coast.  The sunset chase was back on!

As I drove on a little side road out to the beach, a bright orange Sun dropped beneath the clouds and took a brilliant plunge into the sea. Truly spectacular.  Alas, I was driving and didn't capture a picture.

But I did stop the car, jump out, and take these two photos about ten seconds later. It looks like it was a very pretty sunset on Pillar Point, if you happened to be there:

And a few minutes later I got down to the beach and enjoyed a very pretty afterglow. The light coming in under the fog and reflecting off the water was really something special:

And so it was that my fast ride on the coast did indeed find a sunset, though hardly where I expected to see one and long after I'd given up hope!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sunset in San Gregorio

A bit of photoblogging today on the ol' Patio Boat.  I'm out in California this week for work, so last night I took a drive out to the coast to catch the sunset.  I ended up watching it at the beach in San Gregorio, which is about 40 miles down the coast from San Francisco.


This is my rental ride this week, a 2013 Dodge Challenger. I decided to shell out a bit more from my own pocket to upgrade over the dull compact that company policy authorized.  Why? Several reasons:

1) When I was a kid I always thought the old Challengers were one of the coolest looking cars in the world, and the new ones are one of the best retro muscle car looks out there. So ever since they started coming out I've wanted to drive one.

2) Because this is going to be one of the greatest weather weeks of the year for MGB driving in Michigan, and I'm missing it. So I had a nice rationalization on that front.

3) Because Tommy Boy damn well wants it that way. (For those who don't know Tommy Boy, he's a former Detroit Rugby player who bought a new Challenger this week.)

4) Funsies!

I don't have much to say about the sunset itself, except that I was sitting down on the cliffside and eating a tasty veggie burrito during most of it.  There may be better sunset experiences than sitting on the cliffs at San Gregorio eating a tasty veggie burrito. But I'm sure it's a short list.

Looking out at the cliffs and the sunset:

From the top of the cliffs:

Looking North.

 Looking West.

Looking South.

After the sunset I loaded up the Challenger and drove back to the Bayside via one of my favorite driving routes in all the world: La Honda Rd. from San Gregorio to the top of the mountain, then Skyline Blvd North along the mountain top to Route 92.  Much of that used to be my daily commute when I lived in La Honda in the 90s.  What really amazed me as I thrashed the Challenger along that enormously windy route was looking back at how fast I used to drive it in the Mighty Plymouth Acclaim.

Finally, one last photo. The Challenger atop Skyline Blvd., looking out at the San Francisco Bay.

All in all, an excellent drive!