Monday, June 23, 2008

The Road to O-town

Sometimes, as I navigated highways and byways last week, I would think about how to present this trip. Should it be a day-by-day diary or a series of impressions? Should I approach it in catagories or just slop up a mess of pictures and let the experience speak for itself? Because, you know, that's what I do. Think about stuff like that.

Turns out, I really want to relive the experience because if I don't I'll forget stuff and when I journal about trips I have a whole other completely different approach to the process which is fun for me but not necessarily illuminating for others.

So to begin with, we drove to California. Once upon a time, when I was much younger and more foolish, I once drove with friends straight from Seattle to San Francisco. That's about a 12 hour trip, assuming you don't stop too much. Our road trip was slightly more civilized than that. The first day we drove from here to southern Oregon, where my much beloved aunt lives. We toddled along, stopping when we wanted, marvelling at the hawks that seemed to follow us down the road, appreciating the fact that the weather was balmy and clear.
I did all the driving, because I like to drive and I'm selfish that way. What I didn't realize (or had forgotten) is that extended periods of driving work muscle groups you don't usually use. By the time we got to Auntie's I was an exhausted, achy mess. Fortunately, The Hat has a way with the massage. That and dinner out (waited on by a charming chap who looked like a young Anthony Hopkins and got all our jokes) and some wine on the deck of Auntie's house, overlooking her calm and peaceful valley began to put me to rights. By the next morning I was fine.

Off we set, stoked sufficiently by coffee and pie, to gain California. It's rather mountainous through the last bit of Oregon and first bit of California and we learned that my car, Fergie, is not a fan of the incline. Without a good running start, the best she could manage on hills was about 40 mph. Strictly speaking there is nothing wrong with that. The fact that we were driving through Oregon made it more complicated. Those Oregonians are, uh, aggressive drivers. Aggressive as in you-are-only-doing-75-in-the-fast-lane-when-the-posted-limit-is-65-so-I'm-going-to-ride-up-your-arse-until-you-move-over-slowpoke sort of way. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time with the semi trucks. Nice folks.

The scenery was, of course, breathtaking. Trees and rolling hills, mountains, water falls and rivers. All very "golly, will you look at that".

As is the way of our people, we played car games like Slug Bug and the License Plate Game. We were very happy that, by trips end, we had collected 29 states.

The Hat was my navigator and she did a superb job. I am a good and fairly confident driver but I do tend to get a little anxious when I'm in new territory. Having The Hat to guide me along was a great comfort. Of course, we had our unplanned detours, but that wasn't her fault. We'd stopped at a very beautiful rest stop right inside the California border and called Sling to let him know our ETA. Then we hit the road again and all a sudden, I was HUNGRY. The delicious but illconsidered pie-for-breakfast had burned off and left mama with low blood sugar. Which isn't pretty. I announced that we'd be pulling over again the second I saw any indication of golden arches or other means of sustenance. Soon enough there were signs to "Yreka/Montague". We made Romeo and Juliet jokes. I took the exit. Signs for lodging pointed to the right, the sign - quite blue and prominent - for food pointed left. I turned left and drove. And drove. And drove. Mt. Shasta loomed closer but there was nothing in the way of food, unless (and I threatened to do it) we were to walk up to someone's door and say "What's for lunch?" There were only farm houses, no town. So we turned around and headed back the opposite direction. There weren't any fast food joints in Yreka either but the market boasted a deli so in we went.

The people there were super, super nice. Almost scary nice. They were having a cake walk in the store. The Child played but thankfully, didn't win. (We had no room in the trunk for a cake, thank you very much). The people were complimentary, helpful and made very fine turkey sandwiches. My mood improved immediately.

Of course, once back on the highway we passed not one but two exits which clearly boasted all manner of fast food but I chose not to concentrate on the fact that one more minute of driving would have saved us a good hour of time and celebrate instead the delicious healthfulness of my sandwich.

The other thing we figured out is that while Google maps are all very well and good, it is a better plan to have The Hat compare same to an actual map of California. Had we done so the first leg of the trip we would have shaved another hour, possibly two, off our arrival in O-Town. But it was ok. Sure, we made Sling wait, but anticipation is half the fun, right? Right?

There was a big ass grass fire burning up half the county as we finally wended our last miles to O-town. It wasn't close enough to O-town to cause major problems, but there was smoke in the sky and the next morning the sun was glowing an eerie shade of orange. That was all very interesting. Point is, after many dusty, sweaty miles, we found ourselves cruising the quaint, tree-lined streets of O-town and pulling up in front of Sling's. Oh, the rejoicing. Oh, the hugs. And then, glasses of champagne in hand, we rested on the front porch and entered into talks and jokes as if we spent every Friday afternoon that way.

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Blogger sageweb opined...

29 plates! Wow that is good. Hey were you able to stop at Cuppa Joe's? I think my nieces and nephews were in Idaho at the fiddle contest.

Nice toes in the picture.

June 23, 2008 12:26 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Sage, right? More than half the states in the Union. We were smug. And we never saw hide nor hair of Joe's but given that the fam was fiddlin' it's probably for the best. I mean, imagine our chagrin if we couldn't have played the Auntie Sage card.

June 23, 2008 12:36 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

I'm envious of your trip. Oh the years we cruised through Yreka (and Weed, never forget good old Weed), slurping Big Gulps and singing Air Supply at the top of our lungs. Good times, my friend.

Can't wait for the next installment of your travelogue.

June 23, 2008 1:24 PM  
Blogger Auld Hat opined...

Oh I can't wait to read what happens next! *spoiler alert* crispy bacon makes an appearance. (tee)

June 23, 2008 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

Well done. Once again another literary classic. Applause.

By the by. Had a really bad experience with the slug bug game that had me almost calling 911 on my !@#$$% brothers. Had the first 2 numbers dialed and then changed my mind. Shouldnt have, but had just put one of their marriages back together and didn't want to mess things up for my niece and nephew. Anyhow, I'm sure you all didn't bruise yourselves up to badly.

Lookiing forward to the SF.



June 23, 2008 1:56 PM  
Blogger Seattle Coffee Girl opined...

Hat said the magic word...bacon. I'm hooked on the travelogue, post some more details!

June 23, 2008 1:59 PM  
Blogger Mom opined...

Sounds wonderful! Looking forward to chapter two.

June 23, 2008 2:12 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Isn't the licence plate game fun!..
My brothers are proud of their work.
As I sat on the front porch this Friday past,I felt as though there was something missing.
No joke.

June 23, 2008 5:19 PM  
Blogger CRAIG & DIANE opined...

Can't wait for more. You're in good company with the semis in the slow lane, won't meet a nicer group of people, but then I may be biased.

June 23, 2008 5:22 PM  
Blogger jp opined...

I feel like I was there.

But I'm pretty sure I wasn't. Was I?

June 23, 2008 8:03 PM  
Blogger D.A. opined...

If only all mornings could start like this. It's sunny, I'm at a Starbuck's (hey, that counts as a Seattle connection right?) near the Old Bailey, I've just had a granola bar and I've thoroughly enjoyed your delightful post on my cell phone. Oh, and they've just started playing a track by The Shins! This is turning into a cool day! Can't wait for your next instalment.

June 24, 2008 1:36 AM  
Blogger Buck opined...

The others are right - - I can't wait for the next installment.
This is like literary crack!

June 24, 2008 6:50 AM  
Blogger LostInCO opined...

What a nice trip! Can't wait to hear more. Auld Hat, spoilers!!

June 24, 2008 7:04 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

KA, yes...we thought about stopping in Weed for some paraphenalia but after the hr long search for lunch there just wasn't time. Or inclination.

Oh, Hat, it was supposed to be a secret!

Anonyba, we bump fists for Slug Bug and by the end of the trip all we were doing was calling 'em. Rather a lot of slug bugs in CA, turns out.

SCG, pork - the food of your people.

It was wonderful, Mom. The best is yet to be. Oh. Wait. That's your line... well they should be...some of those license plates are truly works of art. And I know what you mean, my friend; I know what you mean.

C&D, not only are they nice, but I got to watch in glee as a few of 'em boxed in a driver who was being particularly obnoxious to myself and others. Love that vigilante justice!

JP, if references to "JP said" and "when JP was in Seattle" and "That JP is so..." count, then yeah, I'd say you pretty much never left us. Which explains why the bed was so crowded.

DA, golly that does sound like a cool start to a day. I want to eat a granola bar near the Old Bailey.

Buck, you're gonna bring on a case of writer's block with that thar kind of talk.

Lost, know how it is when you look forward to a trip and all you can think of is the potential good stuff and you don't worry at all that anything can go wrong and then not only do you have a good time but it's better than you hoped? It's like that.

June 24, 2008 7:47 AM  
Blogger Willym opined...

You have such fun road trips - more fun than Bing, Bob and Dorothy did! We need you over here to drive and Hat to navigate!

June 24, 2008 12:15 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

I am intrigued, and yet I have to admit my ignorance.

What is O-town????

I am probably the only blogger who doesn't know. I feel so out of touch! :)

June 24, 2008 9:23 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Willym, I think we sang at least as much as Bob et al, too.

MHP, it is a mystical land, the name of which can only be known by those taking part in a secret ceremony in the Blog Temple. Plus, it helps if you promise an applesauce cake in exchange for the directions.

June 27, 2008 5:02 PM  

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