Monday, August 01, 2011

US Highway 101

Sometime in the next couple of days, I'm going to hit the road again!

U.S. Route 101, or U.S. Highway 101, is an important north–south U.S. highway that runs through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, on the West Coast of the United States. It is also known as El Camino Real (The Royal Road) where its route along the southern and central California coast approximates the old trail which linked the Spanish missions, pueblos, and presidios. It merges at some points with California Highway 1.

The nearly 2,500 km (1,550 mi)-long highway's "northern" terminus is in Olympia, Washington, though the northernmost point on the highway is in Port Angeles. The southern terminus of U.S. 101 is in Los Angeles, California at the East Los Angeles Interchange, the world's busiest freeway interchange. (From Wikipedia)

None of my interests in US 101 are particularly compelling, though taken all together they make for a good enough reason for me to choose it: It is a classic old US Highway, it stretches all the way from the northern US border to the southern border (if you continue on the decommissioned part south of Los Angeles) and it generally runs either along the beautiful Pacific coast or through some nice slightly inland portions of California. Being the westernmost US Highway, it also offers an appealing correlation to my northernmost drive on US 2 back in 2009.

I find that I really like the old US Highways. Rolling through smaller towns is far more interesting to me than cruising down an Interstate. Plus, there are an endless number of places to stop, things to see and -- perfect for me -- places to camp. I remain intrigued by the idea of driving them "end-to-end" like I did with US 2, but I'm not sure I'll do that on US 101. If it starts getting too hot -- or too congested in southern California! -- I may bail out. We'll just have to wait and see!

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