Orange you glad I didn’t…

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.comCalifornia poppies on Figueroa Mountain, in the Santa Ynez Valley, north of Santa Barbara, California.

Photo by Stephanie Roberts,

Just north of Santa Barbara, California, the 101 hooks east into the Santa Ynez Valley, one of the most gorgeous areas in Southern California. If you keep resisting the urge to pull over at Solvang, a picturesque Danish village, to pick up rum balls, you’ll find yourself at the 154 Highway, the gateway to Los Olivos.

From Los Olivos, take Figueroa Mountain Road up into the hills. Keep driving…past numerous super-bicyclists…past Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch…past the Figueroa Mountain Recetreation Area…nearly to the top of the mountain, where fields of California poppies and lupine nearly swallow up the road.

Now you have a choice to make…keep going or turn back and head straight to the Cupcake Trailer in Los Olivos. If you keep going, you’re in for a few more treats, plus a hair-raising drive on “intermittent pavement” (a sign warns you!)…over a beautiful little stream, and past gorgeous horse ranches with white fences and windmills, through Happy Canyon. And it’s hard to imagine a happier place.



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