As a California native with lots of wanderlust, I thought I had pretty much been down most major highways in California. Much to my surprise on my recent trip down to Southern California, I found a new unexplored road in my electric car – the Petroleum Highway!
I find Interstate 5 to be very dull particularly the section between the Bay Area and the Grapevine heading into Los Angeles. Instead of staying on the Interstate between the Coalinga and the Tejon Ranch superchargers, I thought I would head west and parallel I-5 for a while along California Route 33. I passed a prison and some basically desolate land but at one point I found the Petroleum Highway!
In my research later I discovered that the section in Kern County, which contains Bakersfield, was declared by the California State Legislature in 2004 as the Petroleum Highway. Of course, I had to stop driving to take an appropriate photo with my electric car. Fittingly, the sky had a fair amount of pollution from gas driven vehicles.
The drive itself is kind of interesting. The Petroleum Highway is one of the few places in California where you can see a lot of active oil wells up close. I drove through here on a Friday afternoon and there were a lot of vehicles that were servicing the oil fields. In Taft there is also the Western Kern Oil Museum, which is free of charge. Since I recently had visited the Kern County Oil Museum in Bakersfield, I did not stop at this oil museum.