Travel Less Ordinary: No reservations, Highway 1

Phillip Huckans wins 10,000 Stash points for his story about cruising up the California coast with his wife in his blue Corvette.

Phillip Huckans’ sweet ride

To travel less ordinary, my wife and I took a spontaneous trip. We left our home in New Mexico for Santa Monica, California, cruising in our blue Corvette, banking on a week of beauty and adventure.

From Santa Monica, we had loose plans to take the historic Highway 1 up the coast. We’d stop when we wanted, eat when we wanted, and sleep where we wanted. No plans, no reservations. Well, maybe a few mental reservations, if I’m honest.

It took us a day to get to the coast, where we found a traditional hotel for the night. The next morning we set off with the top down and the brisk sea air in our faces. We hit all the historic towns along the way. We walked the beaches, ate the local food, pulled over at all the “ooohhh, look at that” spots to take it all in. We had beer and local seafood at a seaside restaurant in Morro Bay. We waded in the tidal pools at sunset at Cambria. We walked among the seals and sea lions at a number of beautiful beaches. We marveled at the history and beauty of the cliffs at Big Sur. We traveled back in time on Cannery Row. We got lost in the mist and fog in San Francisco. The nights featured unscheduled stops at beautiful bed and breakfasts, romantic hideaways, historic hotels, and chancy dives. Our smiles never left our faces and our stomachs were constantly full of delectable meals from whatever little eatery or fine local restaurant we happened to pass.

Photo credit: Phillip Huckans

We could have scheduled the trip with a certain number of miles per day, planned stops, timed meals, booked stays at standard hotels, but by doing so we would have missed the point. We would have missed that sunset and cold beer at that tiny restaurant we didn’t know existed. We would have missed combing the beach in Cambria for moonstones, which we discovered during our tour of their galleries. We would have missed eating ice cream on that wisteria-covered cliff outside of Big Sur. We would have robbed ourselves of the pleasure and adventure of finding what this great land, and coastal California in particular, has to offer.



3 thoughts on “Travel Less Ordinary: No reservations, Highway 1

  1. Well said, Mr. Huckans! The coast between Santa Barbara and Monterey is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Reading this took me back to the years when I lived near enough to drive the same journey in my own convertible. Anyone out there looking to add an item to their ‘bucket list’ should put this one at the top. And leave your itinerary behind.

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