We head out today. Once again on the road. Am excited. I almost feel like I’m relocating. The car is packed and I compartmentalized everything knowing full well that along the way the interior will turn into a chaotic mess where I will not be able to find the most essential necessities. But I’m okay with that.
It’s early in the morning and we have about 8 hours, 545 miles to reach Redding where we are staying on our way to Seattle. Never been past San Francisco so I am all revved up to go and explore. As usual, I only know what Daisy, my GPS, chooses to share with me. Though I have sort of mapped out through http://www.roadtrippers.com our route, I basically am ignorant of what terrain we are crossing -something that later on in the trip I will learn to regret.
So far, the 5 North has proven itself to be exactly what I thought it would be. Lots of traffic and with stretches which are absolutely, hypnotically boring. But I like driving and it doesn’t phase me. There is good music on the stereo and I can go on forever. When I was in OZ and NZ my guy did all the driving. I was not to keen (an Aussie expression) on driving on the wrong side of the road or, as in New Zealand, having the stick shift on the left. Too much to concentrate on! So while he was in the West Coast I was intent on doing all the driving. Good intentions. Not so good on the execution of it.
About 4 hours in more or less, we pass Gustine, CA. Actually, we don’t pass it since I see a big sign that says Andersen’s Pea Soup Company and Baby Blue (aka: my Prius) perks up and suggests that my Aussie passenger should experience a bit of Americana. Now in its 75th year of existence it is more an experience than excellent dining. Baby Blue goes in. I have pea soup and chicken salad. Aussie has steak and eggs. Both on the mediocre side but heck, we are experiencing part of American history!
And the trip continues with not much more excitement. We use airbnb often when we travel. Staying in a local person’s home who guide you as to where to go and what to do is so much more welcoming and holds more warmth than staying at a hotel and usually paying more. It also comes with some perks. Our hosts in Redding, where we arrive 4 hours after our coma-inducing ingestion of food, have a Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy (Is there an Aussie theme here?) of about 3 months that is so fun to play with! She is the size of a chihuahua for now and will grow to only about 10 pounds. Jamma (which I am sure is spelled wrong) was such a happy little girl that she would not stay still for a photo.
Morning wakes us up to a dreary rainy, cold day (34º F). But off we go! On our way to Portland, where we have decided to head straight for. The drizzle is constant but I am unconcerned. But less than an hour in we are heading up and it’s starting to get colder and now the raindrops have turned into snowflakes and they are swirling on my windshield. We are about 3,000 ft up the mountain. I’m not liking that this is combined with mountains and curves. Oh my! Then the windshield wipers aren’t wiping as well and I’m noticing Baby Blue’s windshield is icing up. My legs start trembling. Remembering my friend Dani Kehm who has a blog about panic attacks. (I’ve linked her name to her blog.) Haven’t had one in eons but my heart is beating way too fast… Dean asks me if I’ve driven in snow before. The answer is no. Do you want me to drive? Yes. Yes. Yes. Please! I am surprised as to how scared I am. Feeling like a wus but that doesn’t stop my legs from shaking. So I pulled into Dunsmuir. A lovely town. If I weren’t so nervous I’d notice how the area is so incredibly beautiful under snow. The exit ramp is icy and snowed in.
Dean is guiding me as to what to do. We pull at a gas station and I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for not being alone. We still have 5 hours to Portland. He drives for a few hours while it’s still snowing and icy and yucky. Eventually we go down the mountain and it stops snowing.
We arrive in Portland mercifully after rush hour. It’s about 8:30. The city surprises me as to how huge it is. It’s a maze of intersecting freeways. I’m at the wheel now, tired, cranky, and missing most of my turns and exits (which is not that unusual with me). We once again have booked through airbnb. This time I had communication with the host on the road. We arrive at a charming craftsman-style house. It’s chilly and it’s still drizzling but as soon as we come in we are greeted by the most welcoming human host and two of the sweetest and cutest cats ever.
These photos were taken in the morning.
Phineas, her brother, a shiny black cat that wears a bow tie with grace and pride. The house is warm, our room is perfect and I am extremely content to be here.
Our bed is super comfy and it doesn’t take long to be in the arms of Morpheus. I dream of flat terrain and no snow and a day when I can transport myself with no other means of transportation than my mind.