I recently went to visit a friend in San Diego. I know, travel during the pandemic is risky but I’ve been stuck inside for a long time and needed a bit of a change of scenery very badly. Plus I hadn’t been to San Diego in a few years.
Being in San Diego wasn’t really great. We were trying to be responsible so weren’t really going lots of places, both because a lot of places weren’t open, and also we just didn’t want to go out and increase everyone’s risk. So all we really did was the relatively safe activity of going to the beach, cooking, and staying home to watch some fun stuff on Netflix.
However, on the way home, I know of several fun spots to stop. I’ve driven the Interstate 5 more than just about anyone else I know so I’ve seen just about everything on it between Portland and San Diego.
One of my favorites is probably the most humble. The small roadside town of Lost Hills in California. I love strange little roadside stops and attractions, and while there aren’t really any explicit roadside attractions there, there’s a lot of great gas stations convenience stores.
I know that sounds weird but there’s all sort of fun and bizarre stuff to get in the gas stations of these places. Like one I always stop at this shop that provides, probably, the strangest assortment of roadside clothes you can imagine. The kind of things you could imagine Joe Exotic or Dog the Bounty Hunter wearing. I usually end up buying them to convert into costuming.
Something else I also found out when writing this. There’s a huge cut out of James Dean here that I spotted. I looked it up and it turns out Lost Hills was the last place he stopped for gas before his fateful accident. I didn’t know it, but I’ve been too many spots along California highways that related to James Dean who’s an American icon. So maybe I should watch a few of his movies. East of Eden if I’m really looking to “blow my brains out depressed,” or Giant, I could look at Elizabeth Taylor all day long.
I also like it because they have the best gas prices, fast food selection, and the best motel 6 on the whole I-5. I stayed there once, which I don’t get to do often and it was one of the best nights of sleep I had had. Even their WiFi is good. I always try to make an excuse to stop there every chance I get.