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You never know when you’re gonna have the best drive of your life. For me, it was a July sunset deep in the Angeles National Forest, when it was just me and my favorite dance partner: my GTI.

March 14, 2021 Car Bibles Feature Photo Details

  • Car(s): 2010 Volkswagen GTI
  • Location: Angeles Crest Highway, Los Angeles, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (Insta & Twitter: @chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: Canon 5D Mark III

This photo came about one time when I got bored of my usual canyon haunts and wanted to explore some more. I took this around seven months deep into my ownership of the VW, and the car was well modified. I had already purchased the Weds wheels, lightened aluminum suspension components, and gone full out on my camber, complemented by a set of Bilstein PSS9 coilovers. I would usually test my mods on some local roads, which were excellent, but they felt too familiar and the sense of adventure, of wonder, and of soothing mental decompression had well expired.

On a whim, I left my former place of work after a long morning, and headed east. I knew I could catch Angeles Crest Highway from Wrightwood by taking a road called Big Pines Highway from Palmdale. Big Pines on its own is snaking, technical, and cambered road, drizzled over the various rock formations of the northern Angeles National Forest. Yes, I found it. Finally. I had driven the road maybe twice before, but never in anger, and never in a car that I had settled in with so well. I finally got to exploring my suspension upgrades.

A furious 45 minutes later, I was somewhere deep on Angeles Crest Highway. I had never driven ACH from Wrightwood, and it was unbelievable. The forest, the mountain air, smell of the pines, and the smell of hot brakes mingled amongst themselves in the spot I chose to take a break. I soaked the sunset in for a moment, got my camera, and snapped a few frames away.

That very same drive home, down Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, I listened to 1999, an album by Joey Bada$$, for the first time. Ever since then, Waves has become one of my favorite songs, for the moments I hold dear, alone in the mountains above my home city.

By the way, of you’re into Mk6 Golfs, check out our Car Bible covering a deep wealth of knowledge about the cars!

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