Day 21, October 31, 1997: Buellton to Leucadia, CA

If you want to figure out where I am, take a look at a map but it might not help much. Leucadia is a tiny beach community about 20 miles north of San Diego. The upshot of this is that I will be able to get down to Border Fields State Park south of San Diego at a reasonable hour, locate the southwestern-most corner of the contiguous US and finish my first edge. Two more to go after that. Who knows, I might even find my way out of California by tomorrow evening.

The drive south today was, shall we say interesting, just to keep it clean. The beginning was screwed up by yet more road closures which forced a considerable backtrack. Later on I missed a few turns that I should have made because the strong sunlight made it impossible to read the computer screen. This caused me to miss one of my scheduled stops: Honda. I don't know what is there, but it was out there on the edge and I missed it and didn't discover the problem until it was too late to go back. Then came the good part: the San Diego freeway.

For any of you who haven't driven this jewel, try to imagine a huge highway. No, no, bigger than that! Try ten lanes as a minimum sometimes expanding to eighteen lanes. Now imagine all of these lanes filled with vehicles which never drop anywhere near the 65mph speed limit. Any vehicle traveling that slowly is as good as crushed. Now throw in random instances where all this hurtling metal comes to unexplained screeching halts. That seems a pretty fair description. Now image me driving down this highway with my top down slowly baking my brains and wishing that I had gotten the air conditioning for the Miata, Alaska car or not.

Only one set of pictures today. This is Mission La Purisima located a bit north of Lompoc. Actually the closed road this morning led me to it which I guess makes it a bit of luck. The mission as it stands is one of the most complete in the state. This is actually the second mission in the area, the original 1780s mission having been wiped out by an earthquake. This later mission was built around 1820. Every time I see one of these early sites it leaves me wondering what life on this frontier must have been like. There are always more questions posed that answered by the displays they provide.

Tomorrow should find me somewhere in the desert heading east and I will definitely not have the top down as we continue our 12,000-mile tour of the edge of the USA.


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