Friday, July 27, 2007

Another driver on Lilac Road

You've already heard about my experiences on Lilac Road earlier today. Here's the experience of Jack Brandais in 2006.

[T]here are a few easy-to-reach spots where drivers can still stop and smell the [orange] blossoms in San Diego County.

One is on Bandy Canyon Road, just east of the San Diego Wild Animal Park in San Pasqual. Another is today's drive, north of Escondido and Valley Center in the rugged hills around the Pala Indian Reservation....

Old Castle Road ends at Lilac Road, about six miles east of I-15. If you're hungry, go straight onto Lilac Road and into Valley Center, where there are several restaurants. I was saving lunch for the Pala Casino, so I turned left onto northbound Lilac Road.

Up to the turn where West Lilac Road splits off, Lilac Road runs through canyons, sometimes shaded by oaks and marked by sharp turns. Typical of an old highway, the road generally isn't banked, so driving is a bit of a challenge.

Passing West Lilac, the road twists a bit more before opening up to a beautiful meadow where drivers pass the south end of Old Lilac Road....

A note on dirt roads because this drive includes two: There are about 150 miles of unpaved, public roads in San Diego County, most in the unincorporated areas. The county tries to grade many of them at least twice a year, and if they don't get a lot of traffic, they are passable for an average passenger car....

[T]he orange groves reappear near Bandy Canyon Road, and just beyond that, the pavement on Lilac Road ends. Most of the unpaved Lilac Road was in good shape at the time of my drive in April.

If you don't want to risk dinging the clearcoat on your Ferrari, then head north on Bandy Canyon Road to state Route 76 to pick up our route.

Otherwise, enjoy the slow speed as Lilac Road twists down into the San Luis Rey River Valley. There are views of the Pala Casino and Pala Indian Reservation and Palomar Mountain.

At the bottom of the grade, you'll drive through the reservation. Some roads are marked private roads, some are unmarked. I stayed on Lilac Road to make sure I wasn't trespassing.

He obviously didn't have problems with the fork in the road like I did.


Sphere: Related Content