Monday, April 28, 2008

The Drive on 76

I’m sure that many of us share the same situation with regards to our Alfas. We love the cars for the handling and general good feelings that they convey to us when we are driving them, but we don’t really get a chance to drive them as often as we would like under ideal driving conditions. One of those times happened to me recently. I try to run my GTV6 regularly to keep it happy, but I haven’t been able to give it a good “Italian tune-up” lately, so after the President’s Day holiday (and the rain storm that whipped through), I decided that it might be nice to take a drive up SR-76. I jumped on Champagne Blvd. at Deer Springs Rd. and headed north, keeping off the busy freeway. It was a really nice morning, crisp clean air, blue sky dotted with only a few puffy clouds. As I turned eastward on 76, there wasn’t even much casino traffic, this being a Tuesday morning. It just felt great to be carving the curves passing Rice Canyon, Couser Canyon and then the Pala Casino was in the rear view mirror and I was heading up through the orange groves in the Pauma Valley. Past Valley Center Rd. and climbing further toward Palomar Mountain, the sky showed a bit more clouds and the air temperature was dropping, but the road was still clear of trucks and slow RVs making the drive even more enjoyable. As I passed through the wooded hillsides of the La Jolla Indian Reservation, I could see that the mountain tops were still shrouded in gray. I decided to stop at the Lake Henshaw Café parking lot for some refreshment and a breather. The lake itself was not visible through the mist still hanging in the air, clinging to the trees all around. As I sat there sipping coffee, ever so slowly the scenery became visible as the curtain rose until I could see the lake and the far shoreline along highway 79. I sat there for a few minutes and then began my trip back down the mountain for home. All in all it was one of those rare occasions when one could really enjoy the scenery and the handling of car on the types of roads that it was designed to travel.

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