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LA to the Bay via Freeway 99 w/ Cheese

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State Route 99 cuts straight through the Central Valley to Sacramento via Bakersfield and Fresno (see map below). And if you get too lost in your audiobook after the 5 skirts Angeles National Forest and meanders into the middle of nowhere, you might accidentally end up on it as we did yesterday. We didn't realize our mistake until we took note of the multicolored flowering bushes lining the median of the freeway, obscuring a great deal of the vast nothingness that dominates the middle part of the LA to the Bay road trip.

It must have taken decades if not centuries to plant a solid median of shrubbery across the backbone of this long state, we thought. Perhaps millions of seedlings were dropped by one of those supertanker fire-fighting jets or distributed by one of those Zamboni-like salt trucks native to the nation's winter roads. Was this extra work provided by the state to the central valley's orange farm workers who were left jobless by the January freeze?

We knew for sure we had blow our exit long before the signs for frightening Fresno began to appear and so we took lunch at "Cafe 99" or "Bravo Farms" or "Rick's Tri-Tip" or "Taste of the Valley" or "Cheese Tours Here." After a burly man delivered chips and salsa to our counter-seats with a menu flaunting the "best cheeseburger in California," we didn't really care what they called the place.