It's that time of year. The warm weather is heading south for the winter, track days are few and far between and staying cooped-up inside leads to a particular strain of automotive cabin fever. What's a gearhead to do? Easy. Hit the open road.
This our first installment of a weekly feature we're calling Autoblog Sunday Drives, where Autoblog writers, industry folk and you, our dedicated readers, will submit your own maps and routes for the rest of the world to enjoy. Over the next few weeks, we'll be laying out our favorite local roads in Google Maps, allowing you to download turn-by-turn instructions for a cathartic jaunt along our nation's most scenic and challenging stretches of tarmac.
Our inaugural route is a slice of Autoblog's Northern California drive test route, primarily used when an automaker blesses us with something specifically designed to tackle the twisties. The route begins at the southern end of the Livermore Valley, winds its way through the hills that separate the South Bay from the Central flatlands, cuts west over Mt. Hamilton, with a brief respite in Milpitas, then takes you north through one of our favorite runs in the area: Calaveras Road. But it's not for the faint of heart. Covering almost 100 miles in a Google-estimated 3.5 hours, breaks are highly recommended, so bring along a bottle of water and a few snacks to give your brain and body a chance to recoup. We've even added a few waypoints worth stopping at, including a small restaurant nestled into the hills between Mt. Wallace and Mt. Oso, and the Observatory that sits atop Mt. Hamilton.
As always, be smart and safe. And you can begin submitting your own drives in Google Maps format by sending a link to your route to autoblogsundaydrive -at- gmail -dawt- com. Enjoy!