Wikipedia entry for Route 130.
Click to ENLARGE and read here.
I have so far been lucky enough to drive this amazingly scenic and exhilarating route thrice; once West-to-East in 1992 and in both directions in April of this year — coming back East-to-West thanks to Teischan, who like I loved it, and insisted that we come back on it.
I used to go to San Jose often during 1992 to 2000. I would always see this beautiful observatory (the ‘Lick‘), with iconic white domes, way up on the hills. I wanted to go there. That is how I found Route 130. Then in September 1992, after delivering a 3-day seminar for Cisco in San Jose, we were going to drive to Yosemite for a vacation. I chose to use 130 given that I was already in San Jose and the route started just there. Loved it. I was driving a rental Lincoln Continental that time. I did make the mistake of setting off without a full tank of gas. That was a mistake. Though end-to-end, San Jose to Patterson is only around 54 miles, all the hairpin bends and the steep climbs — 4 of them — does a job on your fuel economy, especially in a big, heavy V8 like the Lincoln. In April I was driving a rental, fairly new 4WD Nissan Pathfinder. I filled up with gas on Alum Rock Avenue just before setting off.
Driving the Pathfinder on 130 was an absolute joy. That was why I wanted to get one — though we ended up, instead, with a Nissan Quest.
Every car manufacturer should use this route as a way to showcase their cars. I would love to drive it again, at least one, before I die — ideally in a Jag.
West-to-East, the first half, up to the Observatory is absolutely picturesque. You also get to see some expensive, multi-million dollar mansions. The second half, especially the last 20 miles is tranquil beyond description. Mainly flat pastoral land, horses, small streams, lots of greenery — extremely peaceful and quiet.
You really have to drive it. Weekends, as we found out, tend to be a tad crowded, though it is not bad. Lots of cyclists, motorbikes and even joggers. But we came back mid-week, on a Thursday. Hardly met anybody! Beautiful.
This piece from “motorcycleroads.us” sums it up nicely.
Click to ENLARGE and read here. (Use above link to access original.)
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