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To LA, Pismo Beach and Highway 1

The quickest way to get down to LA is to head east over the Altamont Pass and then take Interstate 5 southward. The I5 is known for being a cultural wasteland with hardly any edible food by Bay Area standards. It's a bit ironic since the Central Valley, which I5 skirts all the way down to LA, is a major centre for agriculture. You wouldn't know it by the fare offered in the fast food places and petrol station shops along the way, though.

We spelled each other for the long drive on Tuesday afternoon and evening. This is cattle country. Further south, the eastern side of the road was pink with flowering plums. All those California prunes you're eating are grown here.
Interstate 5, toward LA
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The next day, Wednesday, I had my interview, and then we headed first west, and then north along the fabled Highway 1. We ended up spending the night in a small apartment in a time-share hotel in Pismo Beach. This is the first photo I took the next morning, Thursday. I love how it speaks of the ocean without actually showing any water.
Gull footprints in sand
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More ocean without water. This could be taken straight out of a holiday brochure.
Sand dunes and blue sky
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I still love the scent of silver wattle, Acacia dealbata. It's clean and sweet at the same time. Not cloying or minty, just pure sweetness.
Silver Wattle flowers
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Once we were on the road, the clouds were rolling in. Still, the coastline along Highway 1 is pretty spectacular even in overcast conditions.
Highway 1 coastline
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Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 near Big Sur is so photogenic, it's been used in countless car ads. It's hard to take a bad photo of such a lovely arch bridge in this dramatic setting.
Bixby Bridge on Highway 1
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We stopped at lots of vista points during the drive. This was the last one, for the sunset. It was pretty windy and freezing cold.
Sunset over the Pacific
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My father and I took a trip down 101 and 1 from Seattle to Paso Robles, then turned inland to Bakersfield back in '05. It was August, and the weather was crystal clear, except for Brookings, OR.

Here are my Big Sur photos from the trip. Looks like we used the same pullout at one point!
Pretty country. I didn't realise wattle was in other countries. Nice shots all. ;)