Rain or shine, here’s a great mountain trip for this weekend. It’s an oldie but a goodie, La Posta Loop from January 2003. Head out east on I-8, exiting at Buckman Springs. From there, you’ll head south to find a beautiful and historic lake, twisting roads worthy of any sports sedan you might own or aspire to, and a couple of not-to-be-missed museums.

La Posta Loop is one of my favorites and I hope it becomes one of yours. Visit La Posta loop»

Map of the Palms to Pines

It’s one of my favorite movies and favorite drives. Back in 1963, it seems every old comedian got together with Spencer Tracy, Ethel Merman and director Stanley Kramer for It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, a 153-minute romp around the Southern California countryside. And where the movie starts, where Jimmy Durante goes flying off the road in a ’57 Ford Fairlane and utters those memorable words, “it’s under the big dubbuah,” is the Palms to Pines Highway.

One of the best collections of switchbacks in the Southwest is just south of Palm Springs, heading into the San Jacinto Mountains on state Route 74. It’s all paved but certainly white-knuckle driving for most of the trip. And here’s another bit of trivia… Google Maps and several other sources call it the “Pines to Palms” … well, check out the photo of the on-the-route display that clearly calls it “Palms to Pines.” Great vistas, the town of Idylwild, desert and mountains. And look out for an aging moving van, a ’57 Ford, ’62 Plymouth wagon and a ’62 Imperial convertible, maybe with Ethel Merman’s legs sticking out of the window. Enjoy Palms to Pines»

Loveless Cafe
Loveless Cafe

It’s a bit out of town, but some folks have the Christmas weeks off and can fly out of town. This is my blog entry from the first day on the Natchez Trace, a 400-plus mile long National Park that winds from Nashville to Natchez, Miss. I took the drive a few years ago and had a wonderful cruise down the middle of America.

The Natchez Trace is an ancient path that is most known for being the return path for traders who sailed down the Mississippi, sold their goods in New Orleans or Natchez, then walked back home. Lots of history here. So, enjoy the first installment.

By the way, if you’d like to read the rest, just click on the “Natchez Trace” tag at the bottom of the story.

And finally, one sad update: Carol Fay, the biscuit lady, passed away last year. Wish I had talked with her.