At some point, or year, rather, we – my parents and brother and I – stopped driving up and down highway 101 – El Camino Real – whenever we drove once or twice a year between San Diego and San Francisco bay, and we switched over to highway 99 over the “Grapevine” and up the Central Valley through Bakersfield, Fresno, and Merced, before turning west toward Oakland and Alameda.
I can vaguely recall my father and mother discussing it with someone – my aunt Virginia and uncle Lester, perhaps, or with my grandmother Nell or her brother Robert – talking about how it was actually faster to go straight up the great valley and then cut over toward the bay.
“Going up to Alameda this summer?”
“Probably. Maybe for Easter, too.”
“When they finish the new freeway from L.A., it will be even faster.”
“Yes. Part of it is done, already in place, there.”
“Yes. They call it the Golden State Freeway.”
“Well, what do you know.”