There is something so inspiring in just revving up the engine and exploring a coastal road, armed only with your thoughts and great music.
I dive out of the mystic San Francisco fog and register the city heavy with traffic disappearing in my rear-view mirror.
Ahead of me is a pristine ocean coastline dotted with beautiful little communities, but otherwise minimal development, preserving the natural contour of this scenic road carved into the zigzagging cliffs.
The small communities along the coast have an enticing appeal but it was the road itself, with its unique contours, the magnificent natural environment and the serenity of the drive, like a cradle and a lullaby that hypnotized me.
The road leads away from the coast for a bit and submerges into an enchanting redwood forest, a kaleidoscope of shimmering sun rays peaking thought tall trees.
This stretch of my expedition runs parallel to a canyon, so a few arch bridges follow and the road swells to heights perfect for panoramic views of the coast and the sea, such as the Gorda Outlook, as Santa Lucia Mountain range materializes below.
The journey twists so fabulously, an exhilarating adrenalin rush pulses through my body.
The only thing missing is a silver Aston Martin.
I don’t close my eyes and pretend.
As the road gently oscillates from sea-level to panoramic- heights, the awe-inspiring views alternating with blind spots continuously change my expectations of what lies around the next corner.
The last 30-odd kilometers from Morro Bay past San Luis Obispo weave along the coast just as the sun sets, streaking the sky in warm tones and mirroring gorgeous orange hues in the sea beneath.
That unbroken dyed horizon follows me along, and I watch the sun melt so soothingly for what seems like an eternity when Antoine Saint-Exupery’s ‘The Little Prince’ comes to mind, whose sorrow was stimulated by sunsets (“One loves the sunset when one is so sad”).
I share the sentiment with a melancholy smile and pull up for gas.
© Deja Dragovic [published in National Geographic Traveler UK/IR ed., February 2009]