The Great Story of California – A Brilliantly Drawn Out Explanation of Unavoidable Confusion

See, I told you there would be a chapter 2. This one isn”t as interesting as chapter one, as there were no tsunami warnings in Newport Beach this week, but you get what you pay for. Refer to the map below for the brief little story.

The trip around the OC
I left the hotel in Costa Mesa (1) on Wednesday night with the intention of going for swordfish at either of the two restaurants I missed out on a couple months ago. But, as I drove into Newport Beach, I realized that going into a nice seafood place by myself was going to be pretty boring. So instead I hopped on the Pacific Coast Highway and headed south. The initial goal was to check out Laguna Beach and see if it really was as annoying as MTV makes it out to be. The extra goals had not been determined yet.Sure enough, it was extremely annoying. Seems to be the OC in general though. The 2 lanes going through town are narrow already in parts and all the luxury SUVs parked on the side of the road made it that much more overcrowded for everyone. Instead of stopping to enjoy the annoyingness, I kept on going.

At that point I wasn”t even sure what I was doing, but I didn”t want to turn around yet because the sun was directly behind me and it was blinding me in the rearview mirror already. I don”t know if I could have even driven the other way without uncontrollably (or controllably) blind-siding an Escalade.

So I kept on going, and going, and going.

Dana Point took forever to pass through and all of a sudden it became apparent that I was confused as to whether I was still on the PCH or not. I decided to keep driving until I was so confused that I might be lost. Not really lost though, as the Blair Witch Project taught us, it”s impossible to get lost in America.

Finally, I made it into San Clemente around 8:45pm or so, passed through and the road ended (2). At that point it became obvious that I really wasn”t on the road I wanted to be on anymore. I was faced with the decision to turn right towards Highway 5, or left towards a really cool dark road.

Was that even really a choice?

So I went left, and was happy with my decision. It was on the side of a hill, looking over some kind of canyon/ravine on the right. Couldn”t see much because it was pitch black at that point. Kept looking for turns, but other than the campground, there were none” straight it was.

Straight until the fence wouldn”t let me go straight anymore. A nice big fence with a sign posted on it.

“Blah, blah, blah. Marine Corps property. Blah, Blah, Blah. Turn around. Blah, blah, blah. Might shoot. Blah, blah, blah. Homeland Security. blah, Blah, blaH”

Hmmm. Time to turn around.

So I did, still confused and not knowing at the time that I had actually driven all the way down to Camp Pendelton (3). Oops. Note to self, bring map when trying to get lost.

Anyhow, I drove back to the fork in the road and went the way I came. Still confused as to how this road stopped being PCH, I jumped on Highway 5 on the south end of Dana Point, figuring that would be the safer way to go back with all this damn confusion floating around.

And it was the safe way, but I couldn”t get on 73 (4) because I didn”t have cash for tolls and I”m pretty sure it was a toll road. And I couldn”t get on the 405 (5) because I spaced for a second and failed on the merge. So I ended up taking 5 all the way up and around to the Tunsin area, where I saw the familiar sign for 55 south and headed home (as in hotel).

Wonderful drive. Saw a lot more of California than I planned to, but it was cool enough. Now that I”ve seen the North and South sections of the Pacific Coast Highway, I”m going to have to finalize my opinion that Northern CA kicks the crap out Southern CA, but I still haven”t driven the middle yet. Maybe next time I”ll head north and see if I can work my way up to Santa Barbara or something. Or there”s always Mexico. That could work.

Note: In reference to the “brief little story” mentioned at the beginning. I was obviously wrong, but don”t you just love double adjectives that mean the same thing? Especially when they”re wrong. It”s like a double-negadjective or something. Ha.

Note2: I don”t believe controllably is really a word, but I used it anyway.

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