Skip to main content

Challenger Adventures in the Coast Range Part 4; California State Route 198 between US 101 and I-5

The last leg of the Challenger road trip was along one of the best driving roads in the state; California State Route 198 between US 101 east to I-5.






CA 198 starts at US 101 in San Lucas which dates back to the mid-1880s as a railroad siding along the Southern Pacific.  US 101 before it was a freeway used to run on Cattleman Road and thus the western terminus of CA 198 was up ahead in the below picture.





Between San Lucas and Coalinga there is no services along CA 198 for 53 miles.  CA 198 passes through the Gabilan Range, Diablo Range, and Kettleman Hills traveling east from US 101 to I-5.





It wasn't windy out but for some reason the king of all tumbleweed was on the road.





CA 198 gradually ascends through the Gabilans to an approximate elevation of about 1,200 feet before reaching a 5% grade descent into Peach Tree Valley.











Peach Tree Valley is where the southern terminus of CA 25 intersects CA 198.  To the south Peach Tree Valley Road continues southward towards San Luis Obispo County and Paso Robles.  Peach Tree Valley is notable in that the San Andreas Fault is located in it.











Peach Tree Valley is the boundary line between the Gabilan Range on the Pacific Plat to the west and the Diablo Range to the east on the North American Plate.  The roadway looking into the Diablos from Peach Tree Valley looks like it goes on forever and has a 7% grade.





On the way up the Diablo Range there is a couple really wide views of the San Andreas Fault in Peach Tree Valley that can be seen above 2,000 feet.  The Gabilan Range, Salinas Valley, Santa Lucia Range, and even on a really clear day sometimes the Pacific can be seen.  I prefer the make-shift overlook on a volcanic rock with an Illuminati symbol tagged on it.









CA 198 tops out at about 2,700 feet above Lewis Creek.  This year picked this segment of CA 198 as part of the Best Driver's car test.  The roadway is sweeping but easily be held at the 55 MPH speed limit in the hands of a good driver.






This gate was once the southern terminus of CA 25 on Lewis Creek Road until the 1950s.  But rather than go through the history of CA 25 I'll refer to the blog on topic where I talked about it in much more detail.







The only community between San Lucas and Coalinga is Priest Valley.  I have no idea when Priest Valley was created but the ranch homes appear to be from the late 1800s.







At the far eastern end of Priest Valley CA 198 leaves Monterey County and enters Fresno County.






After descending through a small canyon in Fresno County CA 198 enters another valley and approaches a junction with Coalinga Mineral Springs Road.


 

East of Coalinga Mineral Springs Road CA 198 begins to lose elevation rapidly approaching the Parkfield Grade.  The Parkfield Grade is a high ridge road which begins a dirt surfaced highway in San Luis Obispo County that reaches the community of Parkfield.  Really the Parkfield Grade a hell of a pretty drive and I have it on my back list of road blogs to put on this site.







East of the Parkfield Grade CA 198 enters a series of Canyons which empty out into the city of Coalinga.  The road here is a lot of fun, especially if you don't have any truckers or cars ahead of you.













CA 33 intersects CA 198 in Coalinga and multiplexes it north out of the city.  Coalinga was established as a Southern Pacific Railroad siding in 1888 when it was called Coaling Station A.  Apparently "Coalinga" comes from combing the "Coaling" and "A" from the previous status a railroad siding.





CA 198/33 climb into the Kettleman Hills where CA 198 continues east towards I-5.  This section of roadway was just repaved this year, I originally was going to continue on CA 33 but there was a flag zone with oil trucks heading towards it. 







Really there isn't much point in showing maps from CA 198 between US 101 and I-5 since the road alignments are nearly identical to back to 1934.  All of CA 198 was previously Legislative Route 10 which was adopted in stages starting in 1909. 

CAhighways.org on CA 198

Something notable I did encounter on the way home was trying to get around CA 145 near Kerman.  I mentioned this in an earlier blog but there has been random shootings on CA 145 between Kerman and Madera.  The shootings have occurred either in the morning or evening commutes and have been random caliper gun fire.  The sixth shooting occurred the day I was traveling back but I didn't know it was on Dickenson Avenue which just so happened to be the route I took bypass Kerman.  Nothing weird happened on the way home but it was very apparent Fresno County Sheriff was looking for the shooter given how many officers were on the road.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 77; the real "Shortest Signed" State Highway

Over the last two weeks I visited almost every State Highway in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The shortest State Highway by a large margin in the Bay Area is California State Route 77.


CA 77 is presently only 0.45 miles in length and is located entirely within the City of Oakland.  CA 77 begins at Interstate 880 and heads eastward on 42nd Avenue to CA 185 on 14th Street.  As presently completed CA 77 would rank as the third shortest State Highway only behind CA 275 and CA 283.

CAhighways.org list of Shortest State Highways

CA 77 presently has a 13.4 mile portion that has not been constructed.  CA 77 as originally envisioned would have continued northeast towards Concord and would have junctions with; I-580, unbuilt CA 93, CA 24, I-680 and CA 242.  According to CAhighways.org the present route of CA 77 was designated as Legislative Route Number 233 which was approved by the State Legislature in 1953.  The legislative description of LRN 233 was changed to LRN 235 by 1957.

CAhighways.org on…

Local Sign Find - Georgia Route 280 found in Sutersville, PA?

Sign errors happen - a US shield in place of a state highway shield or vice versa.  It's interesting to some and a pet peeve to others.  But when Mike Natale found a Georgia 280 shield in Sutersville, Pennsylvania, you have to think something must be up.
And in this case, there's a reason for it.  It's a prop for a television series.  Netflix's popular TV series "Mindhunter" is shot in the Pittsburgh area.   Mike came across the GA 280 sign in October 2018 and it is possible that the scenes involving Georgia 280 should be in Episode 6 or 7.

Georgia State Highway 280 is located in northwestern and western Atlanta.  That's a far cry from the Mon Valley.  It is common for television or movie scenes to be shot elsewhere than where they are set at.  However, it is very rare to see a sign prop out in the wild while production is on going.  This is a great find by Mike!

The strange evolution of Interstate 280 in San Francisco

Recently while in the San Francisco Bay Area I wanted to check out the north terminus of Interstate 280 in downtown San Francisco.  I-280 as currently aligned diverges significantly from what was originally planned in the City of San Francisco.


Much of the finalized planning of the Interstate Highway System in the San Francisco Bay Area was largely plotted out by 1956.  Between CA 17 in Los Gatos and CA 1 in San Francisco the path of I-280 ultimately followed Legislative Route Number 239 which was designated by the State Legislature in 1957.

CAhighways.org on LRN 239

LRN 239 can be seen appearing on the State Highway Map City Insert of San Francisco connecting to CA 1 by 1958.

1958 State Highway Map City Insert

I-280 was to take a far different route than it currently does in San Francisco.  The original plan for I-280 was to follow CA 1 on LRN 56 towards the Golden Gate Bridge where it would terminate at I-480/LRN 224 and US 101.  The original planned alignment of I-280 becomes apparen…