glowing

In which I reveal my inner road nerd.

10 hours of driving yesterday, home from Las Vegas. I spent very little time on superslab in this variation of my route. And most notably, I got from the San Joaquin Valley over the coastal range on California route 198, which was a little gem of a road. 50 miles of excellent pavement, twisties tight enough to discourage trucking, and swooping elevation changes. A perfect road for motorcyclists and sport drivers alike. And as trivia for those of you who remember this story, Giles & Buffy drive along the other half of this road in "Reconnection" on their way to Sequoia National Park. The story also makes an oblique reference to Coalinga, my favorite California place name.

On the other end of the road spectrum, there's Route 395. The southernmost segment of it is a straight line in the desert, perfect visibility. I was passed by somebody on that stretch going at an unreal speed. And I was not exactly a slowpoke. The Mojave is such a strange place. Dust, sand, rock, surreal patches of Joshua trees, always a few cars on the road moving through and never stopping.

Home now, where the cats are pretending indifference and the dogs don't appear to have noticed my absence. Mr Pedia was welcoming, at least.

My copy of the Anna.K Tarot arrived while I was away. Today's agenda: fiddle with this new deck, do laundry, revise Remix story, work out, go bouldering at the climbing gym with friends, collapse.
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I see a sign for Coalinga on the road or the map without thinking about the old Jack Benny gag where the train conductor calling out all the station names always ends with 'and Cooohhhhhhhhhhhhh-ahlinga!'
Ack! I was thinking of Cucamunga, which I've also ridden past, by and through a lot. My brain is still a bit Malaroned....
Sounds like a great road trip. The smaller roads are best, aren't they. I once had a terrifying drive across the coastal range to Mendocino where I discovered part way through that my gas tank was empty. The road was really narrow and switchbacky and there was hardly any traffic. I watched that needle rise slightly above the E and then drop below. It was a stomach churning, white knuckle drive all the way to the coast. Can't believe my car managed the last 20 odd miles on fumes. Got to an old gas pump outside a general store all by itself on Hwy. 1 in the middle of nowhere, and I swear my car wheezed its last right up to the pump. Scariest drive I've ever done, so I didn't fully appreciate the beauty of the route.
Aaaaah I hate that "will I run out of gas?" tension. It does ruin otherwise lovely drives as you keep gauge-watching. And most gas gauges are completely unreliable and weird. They show empty when you have a gallon left. Or they show half-full when you're really at only a quarter full. This is why I refuel whenever I dip below a half. Get out, stretch, walk around, ensure I won't run out if things get weird. This tendency of mine drives my husband mad: he likes to run it all the way to empty on long road trips.

Probably you were mostly going downhill the last few miles, right? Bet that helped.
Mostly. Weird thing was, a town appeared to be on the map once you got to sea level, but when we finally got to the flat there was nothing there. Seemed we drove ages to the coast, still nothing. Hooked a left (south) and drove for more miles till we came finally to the gas pump. I have never sweated a drive like that one. But it was a brilliant road trip down hwy. 101. One of the best drives in the entire world.