Death Valley at 140 mph, Part 2/6

Highway 395 vs Highway 5

I have driven to Southern California via the 5. It's hundreds of miles of four lane road (two in each direction). The scenery is heartland California - lots of farms and nothing else. It's a very practical straight shot. The traffic is always tightly packed groups of cars going 80, with ocassional teeth-gnashers filtering through the packs at 90 plus. It's totally annoying.

My more easterly route put me through Yosemite Valley. I live pretty close to Yosemite, but I'm not much of a camper so I haven't been before. I drove through it pointedly, but it's a beautiful area and I'd like to return to it someday, if only to dispell the minor guilt I feel at driving through it at such a high rate of speed.

I've shot landscapes from time to time and it's always been the same: I take the picture but when I look at it there's nothing there. On this trip I think something's finally starting to show up.

When I came out of Yosemite Valley this is what I saw:

That's Mono Lake. Anyways, back to fake race car driving. I got on Highway 395 for most of the way down south. In contrast to the 5, it's mostly one lane, it's totally out of the way of most everything, there are no packs and at least around me there was only one gnasher. On the 5, it seems like people are all competing and about to go nuts on each other. On the 395, it was super mellow. I would roll up behind somebody going like twice their speed, slow down and maintain a respectful-but-declaritive distance, and as soon as a passing lane appeared they'd move over. No trouble at all. And the nice thing about driving a car with some chutzpah is the passing takes place so quickly there's no stress.

I came down at night, which was pretty cool. The darkness removed everything the headlights could not see.