Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Road Trip Day 2

I left my friends' house around 7:30 am this morning, just in time to hit Sacramento's rush-hour traffic. (I seem to have a knack for that.)

The traffic wasn't unexpected, however. Eventually I found myself on Hwy. 5 heading south. Southbound traffic was flowing fine, but northbound traffic got caught behind an accident, leaving those poor commuters stuck in a miles-long queue.

Lots and lots of orchards along this route, a reminder of how vast California's agricultural heritage is.

Eventually the highway looped to the left and paralleled the Coastal Range of hills.

The highway had an unobtrusive exit leading to a "vista" at top of a small hill, and impulsively I took it. I was rewarded with some modestly splendid views of the highway and the coastal range.

Despite California's famously crowded conditions, it was a good reminder that large portions of the state are thinly populated.

The vista also offered views of the famous California Aqueduct.

Continuing south, I passed what looked at first like a small grove of grapes, trained along trellises like grapes. It turns out they were ... prickly pears! I barely caught a photo as I drove by.

Eventually I hooked a right off Hwy. 5 and traversed the Coastal Range toward Paso Robles.

Once along Hwy. 101, the landscape was what I think of as the classic California landscape: rolling hills abundantly dotted with live oaks.

Then I saw my first glimpse of the ocean! I think I was in Pismo Beach. I haven't seen the ocean in decades.

I finally made it to my parents' house. As you can imagine, it was quite the reunion not only with my folks, but with Younger Daughter whom I haven't seen in three and a half years.

Unfortunately I have to work for the next three days, but on Sunday – Younger Daughter's 25th birthday – we plan to hit the beach, go to lunch, and get a lemon meringue pie (her favorite) as a birthday treat.

Thank you for all your prayers during my trip. They worked. I'm here safe and sound.


  1. Been following for years and your lucky to have hit the Central Cost at this time. May I suggest that on your return trip take the 1 via San Luis Obispo ,thru Moor Bay and cross over via Hwy 46 to Paso.
    BTW I'm from the area for 30 + ,years. The views on Hwy 46 are stunning.

  2. As a native Californian now living in rural Nevada, these photos brought back many pleasant memories. Haven't been back in awhile, so thanks for posting them. Sadly, those wonderful rolling hills and ag land and rural communities in California are ruled over by the same people who have made such a mess of most of those coastal communities. Nice place to visit but...

  3. It makes my heart happy that you’re getting to spend some time with Younger Daughter!