Day 3: Santa Barbara to San Diego (250 miles)
A few days before we left, I was thinking it would be cool to have a GoPro camera for trips like this. So I was on their site comparing models and daydreaming, and found a video of sport bikes riding on a road called Mulholland Highway:
One of many Mulholland Drive / GoPro videos on YouTube.
That looks amazing, I thought, and looked up where it was, in case it happened to be in California, or even anywhere near our upcoming route. Turns out, it's near Los Angeles, which we were passing through on the southbound leg.
Mulholland Highway formally begins in Calabasas, and extends to its westernmost terminus, at Leo Carrillo State Park, meeting Pacific Coast Highway. Wholly contained within Los Angeles County, the scenic byway was formally opened in 1928. Mulholland zigzags through the Santa Monica Mountains - one of the Southern California Transverse Ranges, from Oxnard all the way to Hollywood.The part that motorcyclists seem to love, as I read more about it, is a ~50 mile stretch starting near the coast. It's 50 miles of road, but a fraction of the distance as the crow flies, because it's non-stop turns.
So obviously, we had to go there.
View Mulholland Highway in a larger map
Steph protested that leaving the faster roads to dally in Malibu for hours meant we would hit L.A.'s notorious rush hour traffic, but I convinced her it would be worth it.
The road was indeed amazing. The scenery — with the mountains, occasional glimpses of ocean, and Malibu-area villas — was beautiful. It was nearly empty — a few other motorcycles, some local cars — but this road was clearly not meant for getting from point A to point B. It was a road meant simply to serve the purpose of being a great road.
Along the way, we stopped at a supermarket in Calabasas, a very nice town next to Malibu, and ate delicious deli sandwiches and gazpacho from the deli counter, which a woman at the gas station had recommended.
We passed strawberry fields, with the sweet smell filling the air all around:
Eventually, we met back up with rt. 405, and continued on to San Diego.
Next up: San Diego