Roseberg, OR to La Grange, CA – 522 miles
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The truck stop I boondocked at had no fewer than four score and seven trucks bedded down for the night. I wedged my vehicle between two big rig trucks that cycled generators every thirty minutes or so. Add to this annoyance that when I did the death cleaning of my trailer, I forgot to put back the metal fence piece so I had nothing that would keep my blankets from draping down into my heater (I’ll note that I found a Home Depot and replaced it during the day today so I don’t have to worry every night). As you can imagine my sleep wasn’t the best ever recorded. On the plus side, I think I have the temperature control inside down to a reasonable art. I was never too hot or too cold. And I actually had room to move about. I never felt like I was totally jammed up. Getting to things is still like one of those number puzzles where you have to move the tiles around to get the numbers in order, but imagine instead of one empty space in the four by four grid, that there were two or three empty spaces. Much easier.
I knew that not making Ashland would have its consequences. The time in saddle today proved it. I woke up, performed my ablutions, wrote for an hour (yes, I take the time to write when possible), and had some cereal for breakfast. I hit the road at 8AM. I didn’t arrive at my destination until 9PM. I stopped for necessary breaks such as toilet, gas, and drive-through food, but that was pretty much all. I felt every one of my years of age by the time I put up in front of my parent’s home. I’ll try NOT to do that again. Thirteen hours is too much.
For those who don’t know, the border between Oregon and California is mountainous. Via I5, the trip is all up and down, up and down, rinse and repeat. My poor RAV4 strained up the steep mountain sides but did it nearly at speed, dodging around trucks plodding up at significantly less than half the posted limit and trying to stay out of the way of high-powered cars racing up like it were a segment of the Tour D’France.
As I was focused on the end point, I missed two photo opportunities (Welcome to California sign and the mountain pass elevation sign). My apologies. I did get a pic of majestic Mt. Shasta. I still prefer Mt. Rainier, but Shasta is also quite the imposing visage.
For those of you who have never had the joy of driving solo on a long trip, you have to keep yourself amused. I have four main activities to keep me from going berk while driving. 1) music… I love my music. Usually Pandora radio running eighties music (Sir Elton John, the Beatles, most anything from the eighties, and more. 2) Letters to/from a friend. No, I don’t read/write an actual paper letter while I’m driving, but long ago a good friend and I started sending cassette tapes back and forth instead of paper letters. We’d blather on as we drove and that would keep us up to date with one another. We’ve grown with the technology and now send audio files back and forth. I can listen to his adventures (he is a huge travel buff), or record my own daily activities. 3) Write / Author. No, I can’t actually type words while I’m driving and I never graduated to the voice recognition software, but I CAN develop plots for upcoming books / stories, hash out the next scene of my current writing project (Of Demons and Coal). For those that care, at the moment I’m dealing with a character who is feeling survivor’s guilt for somehow not saving some people. It is emotional writing. 4) I listen to movies. I did say that correctly. If I’m paying attention to my driving, I’m obviously not watching movies, but I can listen to them. I pick movies I’ve seen before that have a good deal of dialogue and don’t necessarily rely on visual effects. A really bad choice of movies for this would be: Any JJ Abrams movie, Castaway, Live/Die/Repeat, Dances with Wolves, Godzilla, Jurassic Park, etc. For the record I listened to three movies on this long trip segment. Apollo 13, My Cousin Vinny, Ike: Countdown to D-Day.
Off topic: Looking through my pictures I realize I forgot to share my booth set up at RadCon last weekend, and a mystery guest who I just had to grab a snap of (No, I really don’t know who it is.)
And finally, as promised, a couple of shots of my “desk”. Yes, it is crude beyond belief, but it works. Totally worth the time and lumber scraps I threw together to make it. It doubles the usable space.
I won’t be adding to this blog for a couple of days as I’m visiting family. Important to me, but likely boring to the extreme to anyone else I’ll touch base again when I get on the road south toward LALA Land. By plan that will be the 21st.
Next Post: Well THAT wasn’t a good idea.