Thursday, October 24, 2013

On my assignment to do a series of stories on San Francisco I decided to drive and make the trip north from Los Angeles an auto tour and explore some of the hinterlands between the coast and San Joaquin Valley.
This is lonesome country with towns and settlements  far apart. Much of the country is devoted to cattle ranching.
We left the San Fernando Valley on Interstate 5, stopped for breakfast at Button Willow and then began our auto tour where Highway 198 meets I 5.  Here we turned west with Coalinga as the only town before Hwy 198 ends at San Lucas on Highway 101.
This drive took us through the scenic Priest Valley until we reached Highway 25 which goes north, again through cattle country,  This highway also led us to our objective, Pinnacles National Monument.
Here we stopped for our picnic lunch, admired the view of the peaks, took some photographs and then continued north on Hwy 25 through Hollister.  On this part of the drive we were amazed at the huge new plantings of vineyards, some a quarter of a mile in length. North of Hollister we joined Highway 101 to complete our auto tour.

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