Question of the Day: What's Your Favorite Road
Like many of you, I grew up in a car seat lashed to the front seat of my father’s Datsun 280Z while being flung hither and tither in the canyons between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley. Strike that “like many of you” part. Still, that’s how I came into this world. Dad was an avid Sunday driver, in the sense that his favorite thing to do was to get in the car and just drive around for the day. We ran many miles on many of the nation’s (if not the world’s) best driving roads. One sticks out in particular, however — Decker Canyon. It’s an 11-mile stretch of tortuous asphalt that connects Westlake Village to the Pacific Coast Highway. Also known as California State Route 23, Decker has always been the first place I’ve taken whatever car I just purchased first. And why not? “This portion provides numerous beautiful vistas of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean during daytime, but extreme caution is advisable, especially as the road nears PCH. It is a notoriously dangerous road, and the rusted chassis of cars that have gone over the side can still be seen. Bassist Philip Taylor Kramer of the rock band Iron Butterfly allegedly committed suicide by driving his van over the side along this route.” For pistonheads, Decker is the Garden of Eden, baby. However, since the 1970s more and more houses have sprouted up along the once pristine driving road. Meaning that more often than not you are stuck behind a PT Cruiser. Why not pass? Because a Buick Enclave is without question coming the other way. These days I have a new favorite — Little Tujunga Canyon Road — “Li’l T” to those in the know. It’s hard to argue with a sign saying, “Curves Next 18 Miles.” Plus, when you’re passing BMWs on blind corners you’ve only got oncoming Ducatis to worry about, not Buicks. And now, you?
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I spent about 7 years in Monterey, CA, but it's become cliche to talk about Highway 1. Plus, there's way too much traffic to ever really have fun. That's why I prefer Laureles grade from Highway 68 to Carmel Valley Road. This climbs steep over the range into Camel Valley, and as you descend, the long banked corners leading you down are an absolute blast. Turn left onto Carmel Valley road and hold your breath until you get past the village. Then, once you notice there are no more cars, and all that surrounds are cow pastures and more cow pastures, open the windows/throttle and enjoy corner after corner of recently paved winding canyon road.
its my secret and I'm not gonna share it with you!