Lost Hills, CA: On the road again!

Center map

I found them!

Rest stops and gas stations…

With the Sienna maintenance completed and a full tank of gas, I have headed out into the semi-unknown once again. I say “semi” because I’ve been driving north in California many times, since my brother lives in San Diego (where I call home now) and I used to live in Los Angeles when I was producing television.

I’m several hours past the City of Angels as I head towards my latest—and repeated destination—goal: Crater Lake, Oregon. And still it’s like I have never been here before! When I started my Roadtrip 1.0, I followed essentially the same route. The only difference: it was cold and snowy then and hot and sunny now!

It’s truly very different.

Although the topography is exactly the same, the scenery is now a new experience. I breezed past Diamond Lake, with no ice on its surface. The mountains are showing their rocky underbottoms, sans a covering of snow. And the roads are dry—I’m not sliding around as minivans are want to do in icy conditions.

The traffic itself is completely different in driver behavior. With snow on the road, everyone drives pretty darn carefully. That’s not the case now! Both the cars and the trucks all seem to be running late—to their own funeral. Now, I’ve discovered long ago that going the truck speed limit (55) is seldom adhered to by actual truck drivers, but it’s not only less stressful, it saves a ton of gas for me.

There’s plenty of time to see everything along the way when you’re not in a rush. And I’m not. I can, however, tell there are some drivers who are miffed by anyone going the speed limit (California, ya know) and more so for anyone driving under the speed limit!

Road rage!

I have determined some drivers have even gone to the lengths of thinking I’m a car so, “why on earth is he going the truck speed limit?”

I wish they would think about other things! You know, like driving. Sounding your horn while racing past my side window is hardly the purpose of a horn. It’s purely intimidation oriented in nature because it serves no purpose other than to show me your need to be a total jerk! It’s also startling when it’s right next to you. There’s not much I can do about it, aside from crashing my old car into their expensive new car!

I wouldn’t do that to Sienna; I love her.

The bastards that get right on my bumper when I’m in the slow lane? I take my foot off the gas and slow down even more. I want it to have maximum effect, so I watch for other traffic in my side view mirror and make my move when there’s no chance Mr. Tailgater can make his. I’m almost guaranteed to get a horn from these people—but I’m expecting it, as they blow off their frustrations. It’s a tiny little “get back” but it always makes me smile!

Women, you should know it’s always a man who behaves like this!

As I have previously told you, I’m not in any hurry to get anywhere. With that in mind, I expect to reach Crater Lake as late as Wednesday and, possibly, Thursday. The last time I was there, I waited out two snowstorms and still failed to make it there (never was there less than 22″ of snow on the ground). I can wait a little longer if need be.

And I’ll probably be staying there for a week, at least.

Slowly but surely!

Right now, I’m about two hours south of Sacramento, California’s state capital. I’m using “the 5” again to head north. There are 29 rest areas along the way—and a slew of truck stops. My earlier complaints about the price of gas have been assuaged: typical prices range in the $2.40/gallon area. Quite a difference from the closer-to-4-dollars I was paying last fall!

Victim of a crime.

Yes, I was robbed from right under my nose at a Starbucks in a San Diego suburb! My phone backup battery, a self contained 12,000 mAh battery pack, was stolen while it was charging in an outlet just a few feet away from me. Able to charge my phone at least three times, it was a necessary addition to my menagerie of devices and I would have missed it, without a replacement.

My new one is smaller and doesn’t have a built-in plug but, I have several chargers I can use to keep it topped off. I am still smarting from being the victim of a thief while I was at home. After thousands of miles, to be ripped off when I was at home just irks me to no end.

“What’s wrong with the world today? It’s people… they’re just no damn good!”—Mark Twain, circa 1860

I’ll be writing again, no doubt, before I disappear into the wilds of the forest.

Happy trails my friend!

San Diego: Takin’ care of business…

Center map

Got my sticker!

The new catalytic converter worked and the “check engine” light is satisfied—and off! The Sienna has passed her smog test (with flying colors) and after a short line at the DMV sticker machine, I was issued a new “2018” orange plate sticker.

How do I spell relief?


Preparing to bounce.

I’ve been doing the standard not-on-the-road stuff: watching some TV, eating kitchen-made food, washing clothes and bedding, shopping for “must haves” like paper towels, cowboy foods and, of course, Mini Moo’s for my morning coffee!

Yes, those Mini Moo’s usually come in boxes of 22 but, this box—from Sam’s—has 192 of them!

I’m expiring!

I’ve been getting notices—as though the world is ending—to update the information on my credit cards. I typically don’t use cards online to pay bills (I always use my bank pay to do that; don’t want companies to have access!), but some things, ya just gotta!

So, by default, I have to wait for new cards to arrive in the mail (how quaint!) and that means I’ll be “stuck” in San Diego until the week of the 19th.

I’m heading to the alignment place this morning to get the back wheels aligned (so I don’t have to replace those tires every 3,000 miles)! I’ll be talking with you before I leave …for Crater Lake!

Happy trails my friend!