Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Thursday, May 12, 2016

An Adventure, No Matter the Length

Tall Ship Days @ Coos Bay, OR
Day 3 [Conclusion]

Though I was still up for more adventuring, when we woke up at 6:30 in the morning I could tell that in the short period that we had been traveling that it was a bit more intense on my companions then we originally anticipated. For those wondering what I mean, normally when we travel up to Washington state, we take I-5 and it takes us 2 days to get there. Yes we miss a LOT of things along the way and don't get a chance to explore but the journey is relatively quick. The route that we had taken up to that point was, though short in appearance on a map, felt twice as long due to the constant twists and turns along with only being able to go 10 to 45mph. Due to this, it took us 2 days just to get to Oregon. So collectively we agreed that for this time around we should cut across Oregon, catch I-5 and head back down to California. Though internally just a smidgen disappointed that we had to cut the trip short, I was glad that this time around we had no plans to begin with and that I got to see things that I hadn't before.

7:53am - Coos Bay, OR
Tug Boats Awaiting Repairs @ Coos Bay, OR

Checking out of the hotel we were at, we grabbed something for breakfast along with some gas but there was one thing that I was determined to do before we left. I had discovered that Coos Bay had a couple of ships in their harbor for their Tall Ships Days. The sign that was up had said that the historical vessels would only be there until May 15th so I wasn't about to miss the opportunity to take at least a few pictures of them along with the various tug boats that were available. So of course I ventured around the pier armed with my camera and took as many pictures as I could before we piled into the vehicle and made our way. The plan was to cut across the state from our general location over to I-5.

9:47am - Sutherlin, OR
Cliff side Vegetation 

Jokes of course occurred as did the battle with the radio to find something to listen to which wouldn't end up having a ton of static due to our mostly remote location. We couldn't help but be amused over our uncanny ability to stumble across yet another batch of road work along the way. Of course I took the opportunity while being at a stand still to take a few pictures of the plant life next to us before we had to move along. After a scenic drive along the Umpqua River, watching the morning sun filter through the leaves of the trees along the way then roaming the rolling hills and passing through small communities, we eventually reached Sutherlin. Topping off the tank and stretching our limbs, we checked the map just to be sure we were on track with our journey before getting onto I-5 while aiming for the California border. Along the way, we marveled at the amount of snow on one of the peeks we were passing. We couldn't tell if it was White Rock Mountain or Battle Mountain but it was quite lovely.

12:42pm  - Californian Border

Cliff side Vegination 2
We've entered California several times before from both Oregon and Nevada so we were prepared for the usual list of questions: Do you have any produce? Are you bringing in any plants from another state? Do you have any drugs? Do you have any weapons? You know, the usual line up of inquiries
before they allow you to pass through the border into the state. I'm not quite sure if we caught the guy on an off day or what but all he did was look at our plates, told us to have a nice day and let us through. The literal interaction with the man was maybe 15 seconds, if that. So onward we went, though collectively confused. We joked that it was because we were Californians and he was just welcoming back one of his own. It wasn't long before we saw the familiar majestic form of Mt. Shasta. It had been quite some time since we had seen that much snow on its peak so we were actually quite thrilled with the site. Of course, like in usual Californian fashion, we quickly ended up in traffic as crews worked on repairing the roads before the Summer vacationers began their trek to our more northern neighbors.

2:55pm - Redding, CA

Nearing the Californian Border
There is a joke that we have whenever coming back from a trip and that is whenever we do return, the state welcomes us by being on fire. With unseasonable warm temperatures as we made our decent through the valley, we were greeted by a fire near one of the towns we were passing. Of course one of us had to go ahead and make the comment of "Ah, mother's milk" as they breathed in deeply. This was of course greeted by a round of laughter and comments about how the state wasn't even in its official Summer month yet and it was already catching fire. Reaching Redding to fill up on gas, we realized that by the time we hit Sacramento, we would be hitting the evening traffic. That was when the feeling of dread began to fill us since we knew what kind of mayhem we would face once we entered the area.

5:15pm - Sacramento, CA

Mt. Shasta - Shasta, CA
Just as we feared, once we reached downtown Sacramento, we were absorbed into the blob that was the evening rush hour traffic. Honestly I have no idea why it's even called rush hour when we were
literally sitting in our vehicle inching along while large expanses of the highway was at nearly a stand still. If it was any other time of the day, we would make it back to Elk Grove in about half an hour. Due to the traffic, it took us over an hour to even make it to the Elk Grove city limits. Opting to grab dinner since none of us had the energy to cook, we returned home and relaxed from our trip. Of course, we're making plans for future trips but that will wait for a later time.

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