A useful note -- most of the photos were taken at 70 miles per hour through the car windows. Not art gallery quality photos.
Starting up towards Tejon Pass on I-5 through the Los Padres National Forest. Not many trees here, just miles and miles of minimalist slopes -- bare ground, small shrubs -- uncomplicated and serene.
California has lots of people, but almost none of them live along I-5 between Santa Clarita (north edge of LA) and Gilroy (south end of the Bay area). We left at 9:00 a.m., and arrived in Menlo Park about 5:00 p.m. In between we saw a remarkable amount of empty space -- and truly empty. For much of the drive we saw only an occasional crow -- no hawks or turkey vultures, no other birds, no animals, nothing moving besides the cars on the freeways.