I didn’t just fall out of bed one day and decide to start writing about the twisty roads in our region. It was what we did on Sundays when I was a kid.

So on Father’s Day, and a few days away from what would have been his 94th birthday, here’s a salute to my dad, one of the original Joyrides people in my life.

I’ve written this before… he’d use the excuse of cheaper gas to drive to Escondido on Sundays and save a few pennies filling up the 24-gallon tank in the ’64 Pontiac Catalina sedan. Then we’d go for a drive.

The picture you see here is my mom and him in 1972 at the viewing spot the San Diego Zoo set up while it was building what’s now called the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (originally the Wild Animal Park). From the gas stations along U.S. 395 (now Centre City Parkway) in Escondido, we went up to San Pasqual. That viewing area is still there, if you know where to look.

Oh, and I took a pretty good picture as a 11 year old.

Other places we’d visit were Palomar and Rancho Santa Fe. If you’d like to retrace our steps, drop by one of the Barnes and Noble locations that stocks my book, Joyrides Around San Diego or download these two drives and any others for Amazon Kindle.

He didn’t live to see me start my San Diego Union-Tribune column or my subsequent books, but I hope your dad enjoys a day in the country as much as mine did.


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