Wednesday, 6 June 2007

"LA is a great big freeway...." 195 miles.

"Take a right onto La Cienega, a left on to Sunset and keep going!" With those words echoing in my ears I set off into the mid morning traffic. 15 miles later I was out of the city heading north on the Pacific Coast Highway. Santa Monica, Malibu...this was easy, until I suddenly found myself in Port Hueneme an ugly place and home to a US Naval base. I hightailed it our of there and found an even uglier place: Oxnard.

Ventura and Santa Barbara came and went...was I having any fun yet?

Thought it would be a good idea to stop and look at stuff, so turned off highway 101 and headed for Gaviota State park. Paid $8 to enter and then went and sat on the beach looking at the oil rigs a few miles off the coast. I paddled in the Pacific and lay on the sand. Due to the breeze, my ear and nostrils, and later, I discovered, my camera began to fill with sand. Back to the car and tar. The soles of my feet were completely black and I am going to have to throw my shoes away as soon as I locate another pair. (Man packing!)

Back onto the highway and more rolling scenery as well as Los Alamos and the Vandenburg Air Force base. Mid-afternoon and where to stay? Buellton looked promising until I saw a hoarding proclaiming "Buellton home of split pea soup" somehow that dampened my enthusiasm. On to Santa Maria then (pop 90000). Hmmm...still not sure that I was having fun. Then I remembered the radio. On came Martina McBride "This is KRZE 105.9 crazy country" and slowly I began to smile.


Les Batt said...

Hi Alex
Looks like you are well on your way to San Francisco???
Santa Maria is just a few miles north of Buellton on Hi 101 and I think you will find a Wallmart at the Orcutt exit,for the new shoes possibly?
Will the next blog be from Haight Ashbury?
Hope you are having fun in your Mustang.

Gary said...

Hope the new set of footwear you buy lasts and protects your feet!

Did you try any of the split pea soup?

Anonymous said...

Good morning! Thanks for updating your blog Alex, it's lovely to find out how you are doing over there. Drive carefully and have a nice day now!

Laura said...

laura98Alex, 101 is fine, but you should have stayed on PCH (highway 1). Much more beautiful drive, though it takes twice as long to drive up the coast. Are you going to stop in San Francisco? Do stop in Santa Cruz, and visit the boardwalk. It's 100 years old this year.

If you avoided Buillton, you also missed Solvang, the little town that thinks it looks Danish.

Hope your diriving goes well.

Loyal Listenr who misses hearing you this month.
Laura (Santa Cruz Mountains)

matt said...

so far so good then. what's wrong with split pea soup? LOL. i thought you were going to experience the real backwater american life!

PaulTheOtherOne said...

Excellent blowup Lester oh Dark Lord.
When can we expect a cameo by the sock puppet?

Jenny Bear said...


I hope the smile stays with you........

I am mapping your route !


jenny b

Anonymous said...

Hey Darklord,
try to stay in Big Sur overnight.
The only thing I regret not doing going up highway 1.

M, Australia

Skully said...

Come on then Dark Lord ,brass us all off stuck in our 18 wheelers back here in old blighty at almost a quid a litre ( aprox 4 1/2 gallons )tell us all how much a gallon of 'Gas' is on your side of the pond . Best Regards ,Skully.

Holland said...

I am following, with interes, your journey across America. I will be away myself next week so will have to catch up on my return!


jason said...

Aren't you going the wrong way Alex? I think you'll find you need to turn right to get to NY! :P

A London Connection said...

Missing us yet, Mr Lester ?

Hamish said...

Hi Alex, now the tables have turned. Only a few weeks ago it was me, if you remember, in my campervan on PCH and hw1 wondering what the rusty bells were all about. Now I'm back in the the real world (whatever that means) and you're living the dream!
Drive crefully, I've been on better roads!
All the best,

Sand the student in Bangkok said...

Greetings Oh Dark One,

sounds like you are doing well in the 'other world'.
I am sure you are enjoying the food, beer and weather.

good luck on your quest for the buzzing neon signs and creaky bar doors!

We are all reading your blog.
(almost a feeling of jealousy, you adventurer you)
have fun, be safe
catch you on your return!!
drive on boy!!

sand the student

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex,

Glad you got there safely

Nice wheels! ...Not too pimpy :) ....

Remember nothing is illegal in America until you get caught. :)

Have fun and

Keep smiling ( although not at the Traffic Cops)

Rachel xxx

Jenny Bear said...


thought you would like to know mr bruce sounded very jealus this morning!

Mad hatter said...

So, the dark one has left the bright lights and the celebrity homes and not an oooh me goblins in sight, although with the roof down on the mustang there could be a slap my top by the time you get back.
And what thoughts of loyal listners with advice on where to buy new shoes and places you have missed already. and one to add from me

dont forget to buy sunscreen...

missing you already

Steve trucker said...

Greetings Dark Lord!! Don't forget Alex, if you get pulled over by the local Chips, hide your 'Blow up me', could be embarressing for a 'lonesome guy' to be caught with a blow up version of himself in the passenger seat!!

sue said...


Hope your having a swell time over there in the USA. You should have taken "Frida the fridge of doom" with you to sit on the dash!!

Expect you to write "slap my top" on the back of that fancy car!

Missing you on the radio as I start my day. Nikki is doing a stirling job. She has been christened "Queen of the night".

Have a nice day!!

Fat Dave in Stalybridge said...

Glad you made it safe and sound and that the colony is still safe and well, always remember to keep a stiff upper lip and a flat cap on your head, essential wear if your passing the highway patrol, and never forget if you see someone famous to offer them your autograph. if you do manage to get stopped, remember your loyalty card, it could be useful for identification when you get busted,

lots of love alex, have a top trip

James in Hong Kong said...

Hi Alex

Please don't forget the way home!

James in hong Kong

Supertanker said...

Hi Alex Standard greeting from me and Mel the scrapyard running Special Constable. Did you remember to take a blow up Alex to use in the Carpool lanes? When we were out there an extra fine was imposed for the use of dummies in those lanes. Try to get to Vegas if you can it will take you breath away. Standard Farewell Patrick and Mel from Rochester