Here’s the route I pretty much followed, although it doesn’t show the side excursion to where the road was closed on the way to Mount Hamilton, and some of the details on the exact path I followed from Coalinga to Los Banos may be off. Total distance, about 450 miles.
There are interesting patches of California which are near major urban areas, but totally divorced from them. Consider this Google Earth view of the area to the southeast of the Bay Area: It’s surrounded to the north, east and west by heavily populated and/or developed areas. Yet there’s almost nothing