Thursday, July 9, 2015

Solvang Revisited
Road Trippin’
With Steve McCarthy

It’s always good to get back to basics. This time, with a twist. Time. We actually took our time. A major reason is our planned Oddessey to Ireland next summer. We’ll be doing 150-200 miles a day with a rest day every 3 or 4 days. For a month. WHEW! That is a bigger challenge than most would think. Partly, it’s a challenge to me to take my bloody time! I’m so used to hammering along, doing 300-500 miles in a day that just a plain tootle of 150 miles is a foreign idea. So, that’s what we did.

We didn’t leave at O’Dark-Thirty, we didn’t eat breakfast as the sun came up, we didn’t even haul ass. We cruised. To one of our favorite Tourist Places, Solvang. Yes, that ersatz Danish town, filled with happy crappy shops, bakeries, and diners that are only open until 3pm. And, we spent the night!
In all the times we’ve gone there, it’s been long enough for a stroll around town, some of Arnie’s Aebllskiver and off for other parts. This time, we stayed to watch the sidewalks roll up.

We found digs at the King Frederick Motel on Mission (Hwy 246) for a reasonable price given that it was High Summer Tourist Time. Nice place, clean rooms, and reasonably quiet. Since we’d hit town about 2, we had an hour to kill, so we strolled, scrarfed the aforementioned aebelskiver and had a pint of Guinness at a pub called Fitzgeralds.
After a brief nap (yeah, I know, but still, the REALLY civilized world naps you know) we wandered about again, and hit on the Red Viking for dinner. This place has about as close to real Danish cooking as you’ll find in America. Lots of pork, lots of red cabbage and odd, no, really odd sandwiches. We weren’t really looking for a huge meal, so we split the sandwich assortment.

A hoard of memories of the semester I spent in Denmark flooded in. Roasted pork slices with cucumber, a great pate with bacon and cucumbers, Hvarti cheese with, you guessed it, cucumbers. All on really good pumpernickle bread. Along with a good beer, it was an excellent meal.
After dinner, we strolled, had an ice cream cone and watched the town go to sleep. And the sun hadn’t quite set. Solvang is an odd little town that does not seem to encourage much of a night life. With an Indian Casino just down the road, why bother.
We were up in the morning for a proper breakfast of Danish pastries (and don’t think that crap that come from the super market is ANYTHING like the real deal), met a Norwegian couple who had ridden a Harley from Eureka for a nice chat, then headed off.
We knew the wineries wouldn’t be open, and wine tasting at 10AM isn’t that great an idea. We instead headed for one of THE great roads. Foxen Canyon Road. Because of the Yuppie Wine Snobs, it’s not a road to drive on a weekend. Nine on a Wednesday morning? GREAT STUFF! Bill Morgan and I “discovered” it some 40 years ago in an article in Road & Track. Decades later, it’s STILL a great road, you just have to pick your time.

We wandered along and I was working to keep the speed down. I was practicing Irish Pace for our Big Tour. It was pleasant. The sun had popped out, there were fluffy clouds, the vineyards smelled of ripening grapes. What more could you want?
Finally we headed south to home, tried to find parking in Ventura for lunch and settled finally on In ‘n’ Out. Never a bad choice except for the hoard of teens that thronged the place. We even got home before the worst of the 210 PM clog. All in all, a very pleasant escape, even in the middle of July.

I-210 W 8.3 mi
Keep left and merge onto I-210 W 30 mi.
Continue onto CA-118 W 30 mi.
Take exit 18B for CA-23 N/CA-118 W/Los Angeles Ave 0.2 mi

Continue West on CA-118 W/CA-23 N/E Los Angeles Ave 14.4 mi
Turn right onto CA-118 W 2.0 mi
Merge onto US-101 N 5.0 mi
Keep left to stay on US-101 N 19.4 mi
Take exit 86 for Casitas Pass Road 0.2 mi
Turn left onto Casitas Pass Rd 0.2 mi
Turn right onto Carpinteria Ave 0.2 mi
Turn left onto Linden Ave
Destination will be on the right

2 h 2 min (108 mi)
The Spot Restaurant
389 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, CA 93013

Head northeast on Linden Ave toward 5th St 0.6 mi
Turn right toward US-101 N 312 ft
Turn right to merge onto US-101 N 390 ft
Merge onto US-101 N 14.8 mi
Take exit 101B for State Street toward California 154/Cachuma Lake 0.2 mi
Continue straight onto Calle Real 0.3 mi
Turn right onto CA-154 W/San Marcos Pass Rd 23.9 mi
At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto CA-246 W/Mission Dr

Destination will be on the left 5.2 mi
54 min (45.1 mi)
King Frederik Inn
1617 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang, CA 93463

East Hwy 246
Turn left onto Alamo Pintado Rd 4.0 mi
Continue straight onto Santa Barbara Ave 0.9 mi
Turn left onto Alamo Pintado Ave 0.2 mi
Alamo Pintado Ave turns slightly right and becomes Steele St 0.2 mi
Turn right onto Foxen Canyon Rd 4.3 mi
Turn right to stay on Foxen Canyon Rd 17.2 mi
Turn left onto Palmer Rd 6.5 mi
Turn left onto US-101 S 4.8 mi
Take exit 154 for CA-135 toward Los Alamos/Vandenberg AFB 0.1 mi
Turn right onto CA-135 N/Foxen Ln
Continue to follow CA-135 N 0.4 m
Turn right onto Helena St 240 ft
Turn left onto Leslie St 154 ft
1 h 6 min (39.5 mi)
Los Alamos, CA
Head east on Leslie St toward Helena St 154 ft
Turn right onto Helena St 240 ft
Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Bell St 0.4 mi
Turn left onto Foxen Ln 79 ft
Turn right to merge onto US-101 S 0.2 mi
Merge onto US-101 S 86.9 mi
Keep right at the fork to continue on CA-126 E,
follow signs for State Route 126 E/Santa Clarita 5.3 mi
Take exit 5 for Wells Rd/CA-118 toward Saticoy 0.2 mi
Turn right onto CA-118 E/S Wells Rd
Continue to follow CA-118 E 18.1 mi
Use any lane to take the CA-118 E ramp 0.2 mi
Continue onto CA-118 E 23.5 mi
Keep left to stay on CA-118 E 1.9 mi
Keep left to stay on CA-118 E 2.3 mi
I-210 E toward Pasadena 18.9 mi