Jack,

I just got home from going on the drive that you described through Santa Ysabel and Mesa Grande Road. I have to say that it was AMAZING!

I am writing you to thank you for giving such clear directions and sharing your experience. I wish you would’ve mentioned the presence of law enforcement because I definitely had some close calls with my radar detector. Anyway, I’m also wondering if you have any other suggestions for roads similar to mesa grande.

Also, I’d like to make a trip out towards the desert for some rally type driving (I own a Subaru WRX). You know any good drives through the desert? I’d love to hear back from you.

Thomas

+ + +

Hi, Thomas. Watch out for those bears and smokeys in the mountains. Headed out to desert, take Montezuma Valley Road (see the Desert Daze story, one of the trips in Weekend Driver San Diego), but don’t go flying off the curves; you might hit an endangered Big Horn Sheep.

Here’s an e-mail from another road addict who has much better toys that I have.

+ + +

Jack,

Thanks for the on-line newsletter. I want my book signed too.

I’ve been a fan of your for a while. I’m a car enthusiast first and foremost. Well, not just cars. Anything with wheels or wings. You motivate me to get out and use my gear.

I was born in Detroit and the driving bug hit me early. We like to drive many of the same things as you. My daily driver is a Nissan 350Z roadster, comparable to your Miata (Miata’s won’t carry my golf clubs, except in the front seat). I also off-road in a Jeep Wrangler. Two years ago I got back into motorcycle riding, this time on a Honda ST1300. I leave home in my Lazy Daze motor home, pulling the Jeep. My wife drives a Maxima, the four-door sports car. To get somewhere in a hurry, I fly a 66 Piper Cherokee (wanna get high with me?). I ride bicycles, on and off road, and there’s a golf cart somewhere.

So we could be brothers with different Mothers, we have so much in common.

I like driving so much, I made a career of looking for fault in other drivers, pulling them over, and signing them up for a “violators club”. Made ’em sign documents “not as an admission of guilt, but as a promise to appear at the date and place checked below”. I prayed for a high speed pursuit, just to prove my superior driving skills!!

So I’m a groupie of yours. Don’t let that scare you. Print guys don’t get any feedback, I assume. Not like the talking heads on TV.

But, I admit I get lost a lot on the back roads. So now you offer GPS navigation. I have a unit in EVERY vehicle I own, even the motorcycle and airplane…..I need it just to get home sometimes.

So keep up the work (I have to assume you have a day job, too) in these bad
times. Folks like me look forward to your work. If you need a driver or passenger, or GPS tester, I’m OFF THAT DAY! Or a cup of coffee and conversation. And you have to sign my book.

Bruce

+ + +

Thanks, Bruce, and see you on the road!

I recently received this e-mail from a reader that captures what Weekend Driver is all about.

+ + +

Dear Jack,

With the economy the way it is, we asked our 3 teenage daughters to think of creative inexpensive ways to give gift this last Christmas.

My oldest daughter Kassi, almost 18 and soon to graduate from High School and head off to college, gave me a “weekend drive” from your book as her present to me. I had purchased your book at the San Diego Mustang Club’s meeting that you spoke at and she knew I was excited about trying out the many adventures within.

She chose Drive #6 Via Japatul and we set off. We ended up eating breakfast at the Casino as we could not find Coyote Canyon Cafe, but otherwise the trip was a very memorable one. The driving was truly great, but as the day comes closer to when my oldest sets off on her own life’s journey, I cherish the time I have with her even more.

Thanks for being a part of that journey.

Scot

+ + +

Thanks, Scot! And by the way, the Coyote Country Cafe closed not long after the book was published (see the updates on the “About the Book” page). See you on the road!

Here’s a clip from the series I did with KGTV-10 in San Diego back in 2004, after Weekend Driver San Diego was published. Photographer Lee Louis did a great job shooting and putting together these reports, that were put on the station’s mid-day newscast. It was a lot of fun and it’s too bad that Channel 10 decided not to do any more than the five we originally did. Anyhow, enjoy the show. And by the way, if you want to read the Highway 101 stories, get your copy of Weekend Driver San Diego and make a starving author happy. Or, check out the online samples in the weekenddriver.com Highway 101 section.

By the way, if you’re very observant, in the shot of me and the Miata crossing a bridge in Carlsbad, you’ll see the front fender is caved in. I got nailed by an idiot in a taxicab in downtown San Diego on my way to shoot that story.