As we reach the end of August, our SummerDRIVES series continues on, as the weather remains quite wonderful this time of year. It was a bit of a last-minute decision, but a small group of us met up in San Jose and took Hwy 130 up Mt. Hamilton to the Lick Observatory, and then over the other side down to The Junction Bar & Grill. It’s a drive we’ve done many times in the past, but it has been at least several months since we made the ascent from the San Jose side, and the nature of the drive changes depending on which side you start from. The narrow roads up to the summit of Mt. Hammy (as we affectionately call it) require a fair amount of caution and circumspect. Once you depart the Observatory however, the descent to the San Antonio Valley is a fun rollercoaster of a drive, gradually descending the mountain in a number of tight switchbacks and winding roads. When you reach the valley foothills the road continues to please with sweeping S-turns and a few temptingly long straights. The only hindrances to pure driving pleasure are the occasional metal cattle grates and a small amount of residual gravel here and there from past repaving efforts. It’s still one of my favorite drives and one can only hope the gravel will eventually be swept away by the traffic through the area.
The Junction Bar & Grill, recently remodeled and then reopened under new ownership, seems as vibrant as ever. We love the new decor and the folks working there are just as inviting and friendly as the last bunch. The menu has changed a bit and we miss the BBQ by Dan, but we’re discovering some new favorites from the grill. Check out our video from the drive, I opted to do a simple rear-facing camera shot this time since I was in the lead and we have plenty of footage of open road already. Enjoy the surprise near the ending when we arrive at The Junction!
Keep checking our events calendar, we will have more drives to come this summer, and sometime in October we will have our End of Summer celebration as well.