Thursday, 8 September 2016

Day 12: Pasadena CA - Morro Bay CA

You will, no doubt, be delighted to learn that L Ron Hubbard's minions did not bust through the party wall in the night and brainwash me into their fiendish cult.  To prove that at least some things are right with the world, here is the view from my doorstep this morning:
Of course the SoCal architecture, like the nasty faux-adobe Stuffs found in New Mexico, would be more appealing if you didn't know it was stamped out by the truckload in a factory in Cincinnati1.  If you turn left before reaching the palm tree you are on Colorado Boulevard, which was part of Route 66 but a bit further up you can follow about twelvety different authentic roads and still eventually end up in the same place.  One of them crosses this:
what is the Colorado Street, or Suicide, bridge, but having done the necessary for young CrinklyLion I doubled back and took the Arroyo Seco Parkway.  This was the first freeway west of the Mississippi and wouldn't pass muster by current standards, especially the exit "ramps" which are allow about half a car length to slow down before pitching you into a ninety-degree turn and a stop sign.  The speed limit is 55 mph, but overall it's no worse than that corner where the A406  crosses the railway bridge in Neasden, just by IKEA.  You know the one I mean.  And much like the A406, it soon ends up at a crawl, though at least you're crawling towards Hollywood rather than Cricklewood.

Once you're off the thing, you're on Sunset Boulevard.  It goes on for miles and is ghastly.  Eventually you do a sort of left/right wiggle and get on Santa Monica Boulevard instead.  It goes on for miles and is ghastly.  Serj Tankian2 sang of:
All you maggots smoking fags on Santa Monica Boulevard3
but I guess they only come out at night. Santa Monica Boulevard goes through Beverly Hills which, you've guessed it, is ghastly only with Ferraris and Bentleys instead of pickups and rusty old Japanese Things.  And I didn't see any movie stars or other famous types either chiz, though that might possibly have been Stevie Nicks in the white 911 Turbo.  After a hundred years of stop-start nonse, turn left on Lincoln, go two blocks down to Olympic and there it is; the official end of Route 66.  There may be a sign but traffic was so heavy you'll have to make do with this:
I don't know what the penguin is for either.  A turn around the block and back onto Santa Monica to where it meets Ocean.  And the ocean.  The provisional end is at Santa Monica Pier, which looks like this:
but I couldn't be arsed to investigate further because it had taken about three hours to get this far.

Once you reach Ocean Avenue you can turn left or right, as going straight on is a bit damp all the way to China.  I turned right and headed up CA-1 aka the Pacific Coast Highway.  I do not know whence cometh all this Baywatch Beach Boys Bollocks about the sun-drenched coast of Southern California because as soon as you reach the seaside the temperature drops by anything up to a lot and the mist rolls in and anyone on a surfboard is wearing a wetsuit.  This is one of the sunnier bits:
Money back, please!  So up the PCH we did go, and when the road strayed away from the shore it got warm and when it went back seawards it got bloody freezing and it did quite a lot of the former, not least because Vandenberg Air Force Base gets in the way and whoever thought putting a huge SEEKRIT air force base on a stretch of foggy coastline was a good idea was probably the brother-in-law of the original landowner.

Morro Bay is roughly halfway between The City of Angles and San Francisco and the map suggests that the good bit of the PCH starts here, with history and scenery and sea otters that make you go "Squeeeeeee".
Pope Greg: They are not Angles but Angels, clot!
ML Maire: I'll be the judge of that, hat-boy!
And I will not be incarcerated for fraud in the nearby "California Men's Colony" either, because although my credit card was sneered at by the hotel's Infernal Device, the Mobil station up the road was quite happy to accept it when selling me fourteen gallons of "gas" just now.
  1. Other towns with precast concrete panel factories are available.
  2. The singer with System Of A Down, that's who
  3. A line which causes equal measures of consternation and bafflement to USAnian audiences


  1. You will soon pass"Ragged Point Inn" as you traverse one of the most scenic parts of California's coast.(My sister used to work there feeding the tourists) You would not have had that opportunity had there not been a "Great Depression". The road was pushed through despite its winding ways making it much longer than the nearby highway 101 to get to Monterey, to make work of out of work Stinebeckians from Oklahoma.

  2. you are in very close proximity to Craig and Vicki Johnsen, but I suppose you knew that.

    1. Only now you come to mention it, but don't they mostly spend the summer mucking about in boats somewhere Oop North? Well, mucking about in A boat, anyway.