Ever the connoisseur of driving roads in So-Cal it came as no surprise that a random “pick squiggly lines on a map” trip came away with some extraordinary fun. But when it was time to take the misses along for the ride I needed to park #becauseracecar and try something a little more comfortable.
Every trip begins the same way, take the 5 north and exit Frazier Park, head west. Beware of the bored highway patrol and stop for gas beforehand, one time I went to pump fuel and someone already had according to the clerk after I paid him :/
Depending on the time of year the trip west can be hot and dry, cold and snowy, with some ice or scenically perfect like a rural valley in Switzerland that is shown on travel brochures, 10-15 minutes worth of grassy fields, scenic mountain vistas and quaint alpine townships Until you get to a fork in the road.
Heading the same way leads to Cuddy Valley road to Mil Portero and to the left, Lockwood valley road. Stay to the right, but take a moment to stop at the mini mart, prices are right, the view is amaze and the selection is legit.
Five minutes later after more great views and or black ice you will pass essentially the last barrier, Pine Mountain Club.
What lies beyond is hard to explain, imagine if you were going to build a mountain road for driving, it’s probably not anywhere near this. It’s like the Contra Code with alot more up, downs, lefts and rights.
It has long and short sections of downhill straights punctuated with uphill off and on camber sweepers set against some of the most stunning vistas in California. Pine forests become wild flowers, become amazing chains of landscape formed through tectonic action become grasslands.
It’s 30 minutes of driving porn.
From that end it’s easy to go left, but take 10 minutes and go right if you donut.
Afterwords it’s time to head south, jumping on the 33 south you can hit up cruise control and watch as amazing farmland and the views beyond come, mile after mile. But take a few minutes to stop and buy some fresh pistachios, hold hands and walk around the pond or just chill.
Miles further south is pure GT country. Long, long, long stretches of twisting road, down and through to Ojai await, but first the views and more views and more views.
If your making good time, turn right and cruise the dam with it’s amazing views, stinky hot springs or the hippy town full of surfboards, old bikes and the smell of pot.
If you miss it the first time, catch it on the return as the road quickly ends into something that looks like where the Illuminati base really is ringed by Native American lands.
Once in Ojai, spend a couple hours on foot and around, taking in the golf courses, championship thoroughbreds and the open air Opera situated next to world class tennis courts down town, or just a pint and some good food.
Depending on the time you can head south through Ventura or back through and along Lockwood Valley to get back.
Lockwood Valley though not as fun to drive is amazing in it’s own right, mile after mile of beautiful views, farmland and some technical, isolated, twisting asphalt. Be prepared to cross some water though, time to time streams cross in front of you but not usually deep enough to threaten even the lowest cars, just keep and eye out.
It’s also nice to have the sun at your back on this road, it’s very peaceful.
Although the day doesn’t have to end here, I’ve tacked on another 350 miles of twisties heading south on the 5, this is a great way to spend a day on the road.