Thursday, October 21, 2010

day 8

Our seventh day was spent at the beachfront hotel in Brookings. We wanted a lazy no travel day and this was the perfect place for that. We wandered along the beach, napped, drank wine, and watched another sunset while listening to the constant hum of waves on the shore. It was just the day we needed before the final couple of driving days ahead.

We left Brookings and after a few miles found the California border. Apparently California has some really paranoid ideas about foreign flora and fauna invading its territory, since we were stopped at an inspection site and asked if we had any produce hidden away in our car that we were trying to smuggle into the state for some nefarious purpose. Honest guy that I am, I told the inspector that, yes, I had two apples in the backseat, but wasn’t sure if they were planning any kind of mayhem. They must have appeared innocuous enough to him because he told us to continue on and enjoy our visit to his pristine state.

Our drive took us through the redwood forest, but we didn’t stop along the way since it was very hazy and damp along the ocean drive. Our intention was to head east inland to Reddings through the mountains leaving the ocean views behind. We took CA 299 east. The mountain drive was challenging to say the least. The twists and turns and rise and fall through the landscape required constant attention. I don’t think we ever topped 45 mph the whole way and mostly kept it at half that. The first hour or so was awe inspiring with each turn bringing another spectacular view of the mountain landscape.
But that got old after awhile. We tired of the difficult driving and found ourselves wishing for the flatlands of Kansas and Nebraska. It didn’t help much that the locals seem to be impatient with the tourists on their road. We just don’t move fast enough for them. I suppose if I spent the next year driving that same road, I too would start to careen around those corners at 60+ without worrying too much about it. Apparently they, the locals, are used to driving that fast to get away from law enforcement. We found out later that the road we traveled ran through some of the most productive marijuana farms and meth labs in the state. And they were worried about my two apples.

We made it to Reddings by late afternoon ready to get out of the car and relax for the evening. The fact that it was 104 degrees meant that that relaxation would be indoors. That was fine with me since all I wanted was a TV to watch Monday Night Football, Packers/Bears. It just so happened that the hotel manager was a Green Bay native, so we spent a few extra minutes discussing the upcoming game. I told you, Packer fans are everywhere. Unfortunately, the Pack lost so it was not a particularly restful evening after all.

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