Dust Up In The Desert With Great Driving Tours

January 19, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Itís the best time of year for a visit to the desert and San Diego's road tour expert, Jack Brandais, has reorganized his web site to give visitors an easy entry to the sandy region just east of the city — the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, as well as areas in Imperial and Riverside counties.

At his web site, www.weekenddriver.com, Brandais has now collected his desert drives into one, easy-to-click spot. Brandais, a San Diego-based freelance writer, has authored a book, "Weekend Driver San Diego," based on his popular San Diego Union-Tribune column.

"Off-road or on, the desert near San Diego is one of the most unusual and spectacular anywhere," said Brandais. "I have eight drives that everyone will enjoy, from the experienced sand driver to the novice. You can even check out one of the drives on video."

Over nearly 60 columns since June, 2000, Brandais has chronicled the sometimes twisting, curving and challenging roads through the countyís mountains, deserts, coastal regions and neighborhoods. Nearly the size of the state of Connecticut, San Diego County runs from its famous beaches, through mountains reaching 6,000 feet and to the deserts of the east.

"My stories arenít the typical travelogue," he said. "I like to drive twisting, curving and interesting roads, and if thereís a good place to stop, so be it.

"But the fun thing is the drive."

Brandais' stories are written for the driving enthusiast… motorcycle, sports car, SUV and just everyday drivers who are looking for "sweet roads" … places to drive just because itís a challenging road. He also includes places to stop, eat, take in the view, historical spots and other points of interest. But the emphasis is on the road.

In late 2003, a collection of drives was published by Sunbelt Publications. Now in its third printing, "Weekend Driver San Diego" has become one of San Diegoís most popular travel books. Copies are available online through the web site, as well as other online sellers.

Newly reorganized and refreshed, his web site, www.weekenddriver.com, includes sample drives from the book, as well as links to many of the Union-Tribune stories on the newspaperís web site. With the improved organization, visitors can easily find desert and mountain drives, as well as stories on old U.S. 80, a Route 66-style highway that once began its transcontinental journey in San Diego.

Desert drives take readers to areas such as Font's Point, Canyon Sin Nombre (also in a video trip), Indian Canyon, the old Plank Road sections of U.S. 80 in Imperial County, and the Palms to Pines Highway in southern Riverside County.
Depending on the drive, the trip can cover paved and unpaved roads. Unpaved roads are suitable for all-wheel-drive or 4x4 vehicles and should be driveable for the novice off-roader. For more accomplished rock-crawlers, Brandais includes information on more challenging roads.

"This is the perfect time of the year for a desert trip," he said. "Let me and 'Weekend Driver' be your guide."

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