The way to Los Angeles
Gail had to attend a funeral and was unable to play cards with me Saturday in Monterey. That gave me the opportunity to go to Los Angeles and pick up the sculpture we purchased in Miami last month, and have dinner with my brother.
(The sculpture was in LA because the gallery we purchased it from is in LA. They brought everything back from the show, and I agreed to pick it up rather than ship is so i could see David.)
Leaving Monterey Saturday morning, I crossed through to Salinas and then went down highway 101. This route is longer and slower than I-5, but substantially more interesting. Today it was particularly beautiful because of all the rain in the last month–the hills are as green as Ireland.
The road is mostly widely separated 4 lane freeway, without guardrails or a concrete center divider, just wide spaces with gently turns. You pass through a number of small towns and tons of agriculture, largely the grapevines that have taken over California agriculture.
Speeds are high. The posted limit is 70 and the real, enforced, you-will-get-a-ticket speed limit is of course a state secret but I think it’s about 80. If only there was a way to get the cops to tell us how fast we can really go so it isn’t a guessing game with your drivers license.
I stopped for gas in Buellton and noticed the used car lot adjoining the service station:
An interesting collection of older collectible cars, not concours ready by any means, but cars you might just want to own and occasionally drive.
Buellton has a Pea Soup Andersens, and I sorely wanted to stop for the travelers special, except we had a reservation at a hot new restaurant in Santa Monica and I wanted to be hungry. Such is the life of the restaurant blogger.
Continuing down the road, it began to rain. You remember rain, that wet stuff that falls from the sky. At times it was quite heavy and visibility diminished considerably, but that only made traffic slow down to 70. Passing through Santa Barbara the tops of the coastal mountains were covered in clouds so thick and white they looked like a snowcap.
There was little traffic on the roads and i average about 75 until Thousand Oaks, when the curse of Los Angeles clogged the roads and brought speeds down to the mid 30’s. for 10 miles or so, then back up to the 50’s until I took the final exit to my brother’s house. In all, with one quick gas and photography stop, the trip was about 5.5 hours from Monterey to Santa Monica–about what it would take me from Lafayette on the faster but mind-numbingly boring I-5. I know it won’t always be this green and beautiful, but the road today was just a delight.