Tag Archives: rural

Driving Speeds of California

Traffic Lanes & Driving Speeds


california freeways

# 1 lane # 2 lane # 3 lane # 4 lane
the passing lane cruising lane truck lane merging lane
speeders: 80 mph avg speed: 70 mph avg speeds: 65 mph avg speed: 55 mph

The chart above is NOT considered legal speeds, but they are kinda realistically what to expect on the FREEWAY. Interstates and busy freeways in California get cranking and CHP is usually out in force, earning revenue for the state, as well as ensuring the safety of the roads.

Senior drivers, tourists & outta state visitors be warned – the closer you get to a big urban area, the higher speeds and the more aggressive the drivers will be. More commerce, means more trucks and delivery drivers. Southern California is notorius for bad traffic jams, and the Bay Area ain’t much better – just more spread out w/ bridges. Large 18 wheeler rigs and SUVs kill with impact, so slow down a little folks.


So much for Sammy’s “Can’t Drive 55”

Californians can’t drive anywhere near 55. Now that the laws have increased the statewide speed to 65 or 70 mph, there is no stopping ’em. Unfortunately the average speeds are increasing all over the west, as people zoom from place to place, city to city, in a never ending transient society. This leaves way more dirt roads and rural backcountry highways left to us Escapers.

TIP: Exit the rat race & take your time, for your sanity sake & safety… slow down.

On average 3500 people die on California roadways each year.
Texas has even more driving deaths, but a lot lower population. 80 mph, go figure.

Fatality Facts State by state



where is that high speed rail?


California State Route (SR) =
CA Highway (Hwy)

The freeway speeds above do not apply to narrower state routes and rural county highways. Most of these are one lane blacktop in each direction and are labeled 55 mph. Maybe slower for curves, tunnels and bridges. Be alert when driving and know that cell phone service is not always abundant on the back roads. At any time you can experience: wildlife crossing, rock slides across the road, downed tree (or branches) in the roadway, stalled vehicles w/ stranded motorists, heavy rains, snow blizzard, hail, sleet, ice, or any other hazards that accompany typical backcountry travel.


No Guard Rails

La Porte Snow

California Highways
California: Outside

California Hardiness Zones

Growing Food in California

USDA Hardiness Zone Map

Gardening in California is best when understanding the terrain and plant hardiness zones. This map shows what to expect in which areas, on heat and freezing temperatures.


Scroll down the page for larger maps for
Southern California and Northern California 

List of Rural Counties of California


Bread Basket Bonanza

California is often called the “bread basket of the world”, since we grow so many foods for export here. California produces almost all of the country’s almonds, apricots, dates, figs, kiwi fruit, nectarines, olives, pistachios, prunes, and walnuts. It leads in production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches, plums, and strawberries.

In the list below, we try to break down where certain foods grow well and in which regions.

  • Fruit Orchards – Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills
  • Citrus Orchards – SoCal, Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills
  • Nut Orchards – San Joaquin Valley & North Sacramento Valley
  • Avocado – North San Diego Co, Central Coast Valleys
  • Garlic – Central Coast, Gilroy
  • Artichoke – Central Coast, Castroville
  • Olives – North Sierra Nevada Foothills
  • Corn – Central Valley
  • Melons – Central Valley
  • Dates – Coachella Valley Desert
  • Grapes – San Joaquin Valley, North Sacramento Valley
  • Lettuce – Salinas Valley
  • Celery – Salinas Valley
  • Tomatoes – San Joaquin &  Sacramento Valleys, Sierra Nevada
  • Peppers – Imperial Valley, Inland Empire
  • Rice – North Sacramento Valley
  • Carrots – Cuyama Valley, San Joaquin Valley
  • Strawberries – SoCal, Central Coast, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Cattle Ranches – Central Coast, North Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sierra Nevada Mountains

California Wine Country – spans nearly the whole state – from Temecula to Mendocino, vineyards are located all over



click to enlarge
click to enlarge