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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Road and Track
When it was suggested I write about my favorite driving road, I thought it would take hours to choose just one.

In truth it took about 30 seconds.

I've driven great ones, from the Futa Pass in Italy to the Deutsche Alpenstrasse in Germany, but they're no match for Highway 36 in Northern California. This spectacular roadway, about 220 miles north of San Francisco, rises, twists and turns its way from Highway 101 some 120 miles east to Red Bluff on Interstate 5. It has been used for the California Mille vintage event, and I've enjoyed it in everything from my 1955 Lancia B20 to a Dodge Viper. The road is so varied that it's just as much fun in the old car as the new.

The recommended direction is west-to-east, starting about halfway between the small towns of Fortuna and Rio Dell, just 10 miles from another road in my top-10 all-time best: the coastal Ferndale Loop.

You'll be driving through the Trinity National Forest and there's good reason these spectacular peaks are called the Trinity Alps. The road surface is quite good and you experience everything from long winding bends to mountain twisters that turn back on themselves. I have experienced all four seasons in one day on this road during early May, from warm sunshine to snow. Honest.

I'd like to be able to suggest places to stop for lunch or a latte, but the road is so mesmerizing that you don't think about stopping. Nevertheless, there are plenty of nice small towns along the way, like Dinsmore, Forest Glen, Platina and, my favorite name, Beegum. It's guaranteed everyone will be very nice to you, though we recall one California Highway Patrolman but that's another story.

We suggest west-to-east because the last 20 miles or so leading into Red Bluff is a scintillating ribbon of whoop-dee-doos where the elevation or direction of travel can't go 20 feet without swooping off again up, down, left or right.

After writing about the joys of Highway 36 some 10 years ago, I received a blistering letter from a few motorcyclists who complained that I'd spilled the beans. Now everyone, particularly the cops, would be all over the place. These days all you have to do is Google "YouTube Highway 36 Red Bluff," and you can ride portions of it in real time on motorcycles and in Mini Coopers.

Don't take your eyes off the road.
Just a teaser. And, for those with the capabilities, youtube the road. For serious.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 09:04 AM
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I'd like to be able to suggest places to stop for lunch or a latte, but the road is so mesmerizing that you don't think about stopping
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