El Camino Real

I'm driving on the historic El Camino Real
Joining forces with saints from faraway places
Francisco, Antonio and San Juan Capistrano
The Spanish came and left their names in traces

From Isla Vista traffic chaos constricts the reaches
Of Santa Barbara's northernmost districts
Cormorants stand crucified along the ocean frontage
We stop start stop like a snaking concertina serpent

Angry rows of fuming stubborn four wheeled burros
Braying for some California missionary forgiveness
Whilst overhead on surveillance the pelicans fly
Scoping the west coast waves with a fisherman's eye

The highway and railroad here run parallel lives
South US 101 a high pitched scabby concrete slab
Of echoes and clacks like the neighbouring tracks
And crows dodge the trains next to Santa Claus Lane

Towards Carpinteria the outside carpool is emptier
No crazy drivers switching left right and back again
Just some Screaming Eagles and Korean War vets
Names regally etched on green gantry memorial signs

At Ventura I venture east on a road of racing royals
The freeway basks in a summer of garish sunrises
Where Southern alligator lizards fill the air
And the free wind blows right through your hair

One more hour the 101 takes me where the songs were sung
Mayall, Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
In Laurel Canyon a counterculture was begun but now
It's time to swing on south to San Diego and Tijuana brass

Find my favourite girl in Rosarito, Baja California
We'll take a trip to where the weed grows sweeter
Become the next big Acapulco Gold wheeler dealers
Dollars flowing through shifting Spanish sand

Offering prayers to Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde
In a pina colada drug fuelled kaleidoscopic land
Of borderland smugglers, outlaws and narco-bandits
That's where we'll make and stake our home

santa-claus-lane3

(a couple of lines here lifted from the song 
'Ventura Highway' by America - with thanks)