Week of June 27, 2004

June 27, 2004 00:58 – 00:58

Friday, July 02, 2004

It’s Friday night, about 6:52 pm local time.

We’re in Vancouver, with Karen. We had a late lunch at Celene’s Fish & Chips. We’re paying $11/day for high speed internet access. This might be our last connection for a while, though, since we’re heading off towards Jasper National Park tomorrow morning. Later.

1:08 pm

Friday morning. We’re getting ready to head up into British Columbia. It’s nice to be going home to Canada.

I added some pictures to my Thursday entry. See below. Given that connectivity is spotty up in the Dominion (MSN dialup doesn’t have a presence there), blogging might become less regular, but I do still have GoCanQuest. Ve shall see if it works. Ciao.

12:58 am

Tacoma, Washington, in the King Oscar Motel. It’s a wee bit more expensive ($82/night). We ate at Old Country Buffet.

Today, on the way up, we saw Mt. Rainier (in fact, we can see it from outside the motel), and drove partially up the Pacific Coast north of Seaport, Oregon. We took a walk on the beach. I think I saw a guy I know! But, I haven’t seen him in 20 years, so I can’t be sure. But, it sure looked like Clayton Best.

He & I worked at INSLAW back in the early 80s. He married Cathy Conly, also of INSLAW. Cathy was from Delaware (rich family, friend of the DuPonts), and Clayton was from southern California (Ph.D. in PhyEd… either UCLA or U of MD… I forget which). I went to their wedding at a posh country club in Maryland, near Ft. Washington.

We also stopped to see the largest sitka spruce tree in the U.S. It’s so big that I couldn’t fit the entire thing into a single picture. It’s not as big as the giant sequoias, but it is quite huge.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Wednesday night (not Thursday)

We’re now in Roseburg, Oregon, in a dive motel called the Casa Loma (which is Spanish for condemned village–not really). We had dinner at Round Table Pizza. It was excellent pizza, albeit expensive. It’s a bit closer to what I used to get in Lexington, MA from the Lexington House of Pizza. The Salad bar was SAD. Good thing the Titanic wasn’t around. All that iceberg lettuce would’ve sunk it.

Today, we went to the Jelly Belly factory (pictures above). Ronald Reagan was very fond of jellybeans… above, there’s a picture of RR done entirely in jelly beans. One wonders what the appropriate media might be for a similar portrait of Bush… maybe the faces of all the people who have died or been tortured for his Oil War. But, I digress…

We also went toad rock/jewelry store, Castle Crags State Park (in California), and saw Mt. Shasta.

Tomorrow… who knows. We might decide to go through Mt. Hood. Then again, we might just try to make it the rest of the way to Vancouver and surprise Karen.

For lunch today, we stopped in Williams, CA at a little roadside Mexican place called La Taqueria. We had the Super Burritos. Mine was asada (beef) and Katie’s was chicken. They were both scrumptious.

More later. Ciao.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Although this says Wednesday, it’s really Tuesday. It’s only “Wednesday” because it’s about 2 am back in the Eastern time zone.

Katie & I are in Vallejo, CA, about 40 miles NW of San Francisco. Along the way, we got caught in some bad traffic jams… eventually detoured around them. We went to Ghirardelli and had hot fudge sundaes… went to Los Gatos and rode on a small train.

Tomorrow, we head up to Oregon. Ciao, blog.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Well… here I am in Long Beach. It was just under 3,000 miles.

Nothing eventful… but the Motel 6 I stayed in last night might just be the last Motel 6 I ever stay in. People were yelling and screaming in the parking lot… some jerk pulled up in the handicapped space outside my room and turned the volume all the way up blasting rap music. The manager chased him away.

Then, at about 1 am, the idiots in the room directly above me arrived back from somewhere. They spent the next two hours taking turns dropping bowling balls on the floor… or so it would appear. Every time I’d almost get to sleep… BOOM! They’d drop another bowling ball.

The Garmin is terrific. It brought me right to the Hilton. I didn’t need to think at all about which route to take… it told me exactly what to do, right down to the last turn into the parking garage. I didn’t even see a Hilton sign until I was underground.

One problem with the Garmin, however, is that not all of it’s list of places is up to date. Once, it directed me to the middle of a mining area where it thought there should’ve been a Motel 6. Hmmmm…. maybe it was trying to tell me something. A few other times, it took me to places whose names/addresses had changed. Hopefully, when Garmin issues an update, it won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Later, blog…

Earlier

I’m in another Motel 6–this time, in Victorville, California. Unfortunately, there’s a very noisy crowd here. I hope they get tired and go to sleep early. Also unfortunately, there’s a terrible smell here… like something burning. It must be a local industry… probably a company that specializes in manufacturing air pollution.

Coming through the desert before Las Vegas, the temperature reached 113. That was at about 3,000 feet above sea level. Then, between Vegas and Baker (good name for it), it reached 117 degrees. Here in Victorville, it’s in the 70s, and tonight should be in the lower 50s.

Tomorrow, I drive the rest of the way to Long Beach… about 98 miles.

Today, I was in 5 states: Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. The scenery was spectacular. Sweeping canyons. Snowcapped mountains. Ancient riverbeds. Lava fields. Hoodoos. Arroyos. Badlands-style terrain. Painted deserts. Rattlesnakes. The Mojave Desert. Tumbleweed. Cactuses.

I also drove through two dust storms. I had to slow down to 20 MPH to avoid being blown off the road.

I also finished Le Mariage. Very weird book. But, also, very very funny. I’ll have to read some others by Diane Johnson.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Tonight, I’m in a Motel 6 in Grand Junction, Colorado. It’s a very cute and clean little town. They have several Safeways, an Albertsons… and they even have a Unitarian Society. It’s located on the campus of Mesa State, and is called Uncompahgre Unitarian Universalist Society.

Given that Mesa State appears to be a state school, one wonders how exactly it happens that the local UU church meets there. Maybe UUs don’t count when it comes to that separation of church and state thing? Hmmm…

In any event, it has 121members… which seems quite sizeable for town of this size (41,000).

Going through the Rockies today, I saw quite a bit of snow. At 12,500 feet, I took a walk up a path (took some nice flower pictures), and then heard thunder about 10 minutes into my walk. So, I quickly turned around. Just as I got back to the car, it started to rain… and thunder/lightning were quite vehement.

About three miles down the road, I glance at the thermometer. It was down to 48 from the 57 it’d been a few minutes earlier. Then, about a minute later, I heard what sounded like ice hitting the windshield. “Nah” I said, “Too warm.” I glanced at the thermometer again… and this time it was down to 38! A few minutes later, it was sleeting and snowing!!! And the temperature was down to 35.

Tomorrow, I plan to drive THROUGH Utah and get either to Nevada or to the eastern part of California. That’ll put me in Long Beach sometime Monday afternoon.

Glancing at a Phoenix TV weather forecast… 106, 102, 105, 107, 104, 105… those are the forecast highs for the next six days. Glad I’m not down there… although Grand Junction is high desert. I will be going through lower and hotter desert tomorrow and Monday. I-15 takes me through the Mojave, and just south of Death Valley.

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