05 January 2004

The Least Boring Thing I've Ever Done

Well, we made it.

After a false start due to snow and ice, we finally hit the road for California on January 2nd. Here is a semi-brief recap of the journey.

We took I-5 as far as Roseberg (home of the Northwest's most disgusting bathroom) where we learned that I-5 was closed at Grant's Pass (one hour south). So, we detoured down Hwy 40 to connect to Hwy 101. The 101 is not a direct way to California by any means, but it was our only option.

Not too long past Brookings (where the power was out) we crossed over the Oregon border. Barry phoned me immediately to say, "Welcome to California, your new home," and as my eyes gazed accross all-night liquor stores and neon Oakland Raiders signs, it was all I could do to keep from flipping a U-turn and gunning for home. We continued on in the dark through a grove of redwoods (cool) and a 7% downgrade covered in ice (not cool). Luckily, we were able to get behind a plow and a de-icing truck, otherwise we would have had to turn around. Twelve hours from the time we left, we arrived in Eureka, California.

With no logical route back to I-5, we decided to continue down the 101 into San Francisco. As we checked out that morning from the Super 8, the person behind the desk said the 101 south was closed. "Southbound? Surely, sir, you have your head in your ass." In fact, Hwy 101 WAS closed due to a rock slide. Luckily, by the time we reached the stretch of closed road, the highway had been cleared and re-opened.

I was excited about driving my little red car over the Golden Gate Bridge, but as it turned out we crossed over on the Richmond Bridge in the north bay. That bridge is insane. It is so long, I listened to two full Sleater-Kinney songs before we finished crossing. They were doing construction and you could actually see the water, hundreds of feet below, from a space between the roadway and the "guard rail." I don't know how San Franciscans manage to confront their mortality on a day-to-day basis.

The sun was setting as we curved around and headed for the east bay. As we approached the 580 (or was it the 680?) I had my first glimpse of the future... 12 lanes of solid traffic. WOW. It was marvelous except for the fact that I was getting cut off left and right while trying to keep track of Mr. I'mtoocooltousemyturnsignal Barry Crow. Things cleared up out of the Caldecott Tunnel and we arrived in Danville California (where Barry's parents live) around 7 p.m.

Given everything that had happened in the two days previous, I was ready for anything: locusts, tsunamis, ghosts of the Donner party. etc. My car was holding up okay except that the temp. indicator said the engine was running very cold. Barry surmised that the thermostat was malfunctioning and nothing was wrong with the engine. I was cheered when I calculated my engine efficiency to be 40 miles per gallon.

The final leg of the journey was uneventful. Aside from some very creative driving on behalf of the Californians, who have safety concerns comprable to that of a seventeen year old, there isn't much to mention until...

We stopped in Hollywood to pick up some pet supplies and I realized I was sweating! Sweating!!! WOW. I don't know what the exact temp. was, but the sun was out and it seemed to be about 65 degrees. We dropped off Heidi (the cat) in sunny South Pasedena and then headed for Orange County. Traffic was blissfully clear, but Orange County still turned out to be a fair distance from South Pasadena. By the time we arrived in Lake Forest it was dark, and as I pulled in I could just barely see Barry's Aunt Cindy was waiting for us at the door. Welcoming us to our new home.

Thank you to everyone who sent messages of support and encouragement, and I'm sorry to eveyone who I didn't get to see before I left.

New but TEMPORARY mailing address.
Megan Denny
Lake Forest, CA XXXXX
phone and e-mail remain the same.

Love to you all.


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