There must be some convoluted metaphor I can apply to riding Santa Cruz’s Giant Dipper five times as I did today. Life is a rollercoaster? Pleasure at the fairground? Rollercoaster…of love? I’m beginning to sound like an AOR radio station playlist. (And I’ve always considered myself soul, man.)

With a light breakfast, a wristband, and balls of steel, Pete and I plonked ourselves down on one of the oldest rollercoasters and marked the beginning of my last week here with an ascent, a decent, a twist and a turn.

I guess I could fashion some literary device from that. What do we have? An ascent…? Well, we’ve certainly had our high points. Seeing the sun set over the Pacific, out of the windscreen, setting the sea and St Patrick’s Day on fire, with the Rolling Stones ‘Under My Thumb’ and on the car stereo is a moment in time I will not soon forget. Nor will I the kind people that I’ve met. And it doesn’t get much higher than riding, what the Rough Guide calls, two “utterly demented” rides atop Las Vegas’s 1149-foot-tall Stratosphere tower.

A decent…? I think I hit some dark depths after a particularly drunken night, when I realised that my blurry outlook had less to do with how much I’d drunk and more to do with the fact that I’d actually lost my glasses. I then had to spend the next few days (before I bought a replacement pair) driving in my prescription sunglasses and explaining to everybody that I did not think I was cool sitting in my shades at the bar. (They didn’t think I was cool anyway.)

As for twists and turns, there’ve been plenty driving on the 1, or the Pacific Coastal Highway. Just last night we saw a deer in our headlights. Literally. It looked like me. I mean, I’ve felt the same way with some of the run-ins I’ve had.

And we can expect more – twists and turns, that is – as we continue our roadtrip north. If, to quote Ronan Keating, of all people, “life is a rollercoaster”, I’ve just got to ride it. Word.