When it comes to driving between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Highway 101 is the happy medium between the practical I-5 and the beauteous and time consuming coastal drive along Highway 1.
In metropolitan areas, the 101 can feel like a congested path that will only lead to a concrete jungle or strip mall. But between cities and suburbs, the large expanse of it is many different things.
It’s mountains and oak trees and rolling hills that are impossibly green after months of rain. It’s farming communities with under-appreciated migrant workers who labor to provide stores with the wonderful produce that we often take for granted in California. When the 101 intersects with Highway 1, it’s glorious vast misty ocean. It’s history. That particular route originated as a path between the missions that were built by the Spanish. They called it the El Camino Real.
At times, the 101 is also tiny towns where isolation has preserved an antiquated atmosphere; towns that emanate vacancy and melancholic beauty.