From the October 2022 issue car and driver.
Malibu, California is known for its beaches and surfers, but for us car lovers, it’s all about the roads. Like a Daedalus maze of sage and craggy cliffs, there are more than 80 miles of winding, tangled asphalt that winds along the coast and through the Santa Monica Mountains.
Driving this maze can be done with carefully planned turns to achieve maximum peaks with minimal traffic, or it can be done spitefully. Consider turning west if possible and eventually reaching the ocean. Both methods are good, but both have their dangers. The first is the pothole you have to watch out for and the second is the deep joy of falling down the rabbit hole and stealing time.
Indeed, the scenery during a drive in Malibu can command attention. The walls of golden grass and rosy sandstone are occasionally broken by valleys that border the sapphire Pacific Ocean. The mansion is hidden in a long ivory driveway protected by a tall glossy gate. who lives there? someone famous? probably. wealthy person? absolutely. Spent several hours browsing Zillow after the drive. But recently, I lost an entire weekend following a 97-year-old cowboy and his 120-year-old fortune battle. And it all has to do with roads.
It started halfway down Yerba Buena Road. There, lone watermelon vines grow in fallow, surrounded by antique tractors, feathery pepper trees, and some brave old rose bushes that look like they’ve been bitten by a deer. Farther back, behind a steel sign that says ‘Peacock Paradise,’ lies a modest 1950s-style ranch. I stopped and took a closer look, and Jose Sanchez greeted me from a lawn chair under a shady tree.
Sanchez (“Call me Pepe, everyone does”) came to Malibu as a baby in 1925 when his father went to work on Chamberlain’s ranch. Pepe grew up in the saddle, rode a mule down dirt tracks, made his way to a one-room schoolhouse, roped cows, and worked the farm. From high on his estate, which the Sanchez family bought him in 1951 and has lived on ever since, he pointed to the winding road at the foot of the hill at the last bend of Yerba his Buena. “This whole road was dirt until the mid-1940s,” he told me. “If it rained, you just stayed home.”
Pepe knows all roads and when they are paved. Because not only did he see it happen, he went from riding his horses to riding caterpillars, grading the many little roads and trails that spread out from the famous Route 1. It was just a few years before Pepe came to our neighborhood to connect the sea and the valley. Pepe delighted me with his stories of tracking down outlaws and taming coyotes. Nearby Santa Monica has piers with amusement parks, mountains sprouting mansions in the hinterland and streets above twinkling Sunset Boulevard He got a racer, how come it’s so wild and deserted Were you able to stay where you were?
Blame or thank Frederick and May Linge. They bought the coastal land of what is now Malibu in 1892 and protected it from settlers and developers. Intruders cut through the passages of Linji Ranch, the Linji tribe destroyed roads, and in the sea he even submerged two giant gates to keep people from coming up the shoreline. . Frederick died in 1905. To prevent public roads and railroads from passing through Rancho, May held and fought everyone from settlers to railroad bosses to the Supreme Court. She filed suit after suit, her fortune was whittled away and she lost the rest due to her unpaid taxes in 1940. Malibu opened its doors to new buyers and new roads. Lucky for Pepe who helped build Malibu and all of us who love driving Malibu.
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https://www.caranddriver.com/features/columns/a41281301/driving-malibu-is-all-about-the-twisty-roads/ Malibu has great driving roads, but there were few