I hardly ever like to read books on travel. Most of the time they’re just kind of boring, spewing out hundreds of names of things I could never possibly remember or place (though probably more so out of jealousy that I haven’t been there yet). I was on a solo-adventurer kick for a while reading Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods”, John Muir’s “A 1000 Mile Walk to the Gulf”, and Eddy Harris’ “Mississippi Solo” but I suppose it is because they were well written and I can identify with the lonely traveler. But other than that, travel books are simply coffee table material for perusal. One of these books I rummaged through several years ago was on the 100 most unforgettable drives, with the number one road being Route 1 down the California coastline. And so, despite google map’s insistence that highway 5 was faster, I drove it. This must be the place where they film car advertisements. The winding roads had me going from full speed in the woods to 15, steering around the edge of a cliff. But soon I reveled in the skill of rounding each turn, feeling more awake and alive than any of my other eight-hour drives. I rolled the windows down and put the sunroof back, fully experiencing the winds off the sea and that laid back, lazy summer attitude of the beach. (Though admittedly, when I passed by the “happy California cows” I rolled the windows up for a little while.) If I had the time, I would have taken the route slower, laying on the beach for a while, and continuing down the coast of California. San Francisco came almost too quickly.