Most people I know see driving as a dull chore.  They slog through traffic to work, pick up groceries, retrieve children from daycare, and collapse on the sofa, frozen into a driver’s seat position.

I don’t view driving this way at all.  I suppose it’s because I was born in southern California, where driving is both contact sport and art form.  Perhaps it’s due to the fact that both of my grandfathers loved road trips.  My dad’s father drove from the midwest to California with his buddies, breaking down approximately every half hour, and never forgot the trip or destination.  Many years later, he moved his family to California (hence my native status!).

At any rate, I have loved driving by myself for, well, decades.  As a teenager, my favorite drive was from my hometown to Santa Monica, Calif., the closest beach.  Part of this drive takes you up Pacific Coast Highway, which snakes along the California coastline.  Windows down, radio blasting, sunshine pouring in…total bliss.  Most times, I’d drive up to a rocky spot near Will Rogers State Beach, plop down with my book for an hour, and head home.  I spent more time driving than tanning.

That old ’70’s group, America, captured my feelings about PCH in the song “Ventura Highway.”  Even though the song is about another California road, it’s full of the wind-in-hair, free feeling I experienced long ago on California Route 1.

There’s more to say about PCH, the iconic California highway.  Stay tuned.