I recently discovered this gem in Coalinga, California, detouring off I-5 to avoid the massive traffic backup caused by an ongoing repaving project on the interstate. Incidentally, Caltrans' website info on this project is woefully out of date, so if you head down that way, I advise checking with someone other than Caltrans for reliable local info. Better yet, take 101, or get really adventurous and take 25 out of Hollister (the scenic route formerly known as the Air-Line Highway, east of the Pinnacles), then cut over to Coalinga and back onto 1-5 well south of the construction mess.
Best of all possible solutions, if you have the time: Ride Amtrak (coast and valley trains). I tried it last week and had a nice big table to work on, with power outlets and free wi-fi for my laptop and smartphone. There I was, sipping halfway decent Amtrak coffee, looking out the window at the passing scene; goofbusting, riptiding, wandering & wondering, and playing Scrabble on Facebook; and coasting along on steel wheels at 79 miles per hour. How cool is that?
John Maybury, Editor & Publisher