Paso Robles Hwy

Length: 73 miles (1.5 hours)
Overall Rating:
01 - Avoid
Scenery:
01 - Blight
Sport:
01 - Boring
Solitude:
04 - Busy, moderate off-peak

To be fair, I’m not sure if there is a good way to cross the middle of California’s San Joaquin Valley in the brutal heat of summer — at mid-day, nonetheless. The road travels through what could be best described as “industrial” scenery: the valley is the most productive agricultural region in the world, with industrial-scale fields and orchards. You’ll also see fields of oil rigs and equipment, and the movement of the rigs (or is it the flat-as-a-pancake/straight-as-an-arrow road?) will do their best to hypnotize you into sleep.

Even though the road is very straight, it’s unlikely you’ll find many safe places to pass. It’s criss-crossed with access roads and cross roads, and busy with industrial traffic and trucks. People working. That may be the worst part: it jolts our minds out of vacation mode, perhaps causing us to sympathize with the people in the heat or reminding us of our own work back home. Oh well, it’s nothing that a jaunt through the Sierra Nevadas or the coast won’t fix.


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