Two 12-hour days of driving and I’m nicely ensconced in the little casita at Janet and Pat in Chelan.
It was quite a mission, but the drive was great. I had forgotten how beautiful the blue highways are in this part of the world. I am usually on a mission and go on the freeways, but the idea of driving I5 was daunting, as I hate all the huge trucks that barrel up and down that main California artery. So taking the less-traveled roads was well-worth the extra couple of hours.
Once out of Los Angeles and on 395, traffic really thinned out even though it was Saturday. Long stretches of open road, running first through desert, then high desert and into forest. Small hamlets that looked deserted 20 years ago, still look the same. With maybe a bit more graffiti.
I passed acres and acres of solar farms and wind farms as well as huge fields of stuff growing! I couldn’t ever tell what it was, but even the hills were still a bit green after the very wet winter we had. I had expected it to be really hot, but it was a pleasant 80-90F all the way.
Saturday night, I reached Susanville (yes, I set my sights on spending the night in a town named after me) and managed to get the last vacant room in town. I got in before dark and readied myself for a drink, but discovered the soda machine was sold out of everything. So not wanting to get in the car again to find a grocery store, I made do with what I had, and invented a new drink! Myers Dark Rum and Raspberry Emergen-C! Keeping my immune system up on the road.
Next morning, after a full, complimentary breakfast at the restaurant across from the hotel (no stale bagels, waffles or yogurt for me) I listened to Lucy, my navigation system and headed out on even smaller roads, to be rewarded with amazing scenery and almost non-existent traffic.
This is when I wished I had a campervan and months to travel these roads, stopping often for photos. (I only did one u-turn for photo I couldn’t pass up) And to stop at every historical marker; something I wanted to do years ago. There are so many little communities to explore and tiny roads to drive.
It’s the first time in a long time that I really felt like exploring places. I’ve spent so much time in the last couple of years, just focusing on keeping my head above water so it was very freeing and my car is such a comfortable traveling vehicle. Good mileage and comfortable.
Driving up-lake on the last leg of the trip, I saw the new houses being built where fire had destroyed the old ones a couple of years ago. Lake Chelan was very choppy with a howling wind, but beautiful.
What a pleasure to see two of my favorite people. We figured it was 2 years since I was last here and since I saw them, so we had lots of catching up to do. And still do. Janet and I decided that we just want to hang out together, go for walks and talk. Yesterday, we walked the lovely River Walk in downtown Chelan.
Today, we took the car to the tire place as I knew the front driver’s side has either a slow leak or a bad valve. It turns out the tire had a very distinct bulge in it, a real hazard, so I had to buy a brand new tire and they replaced the valve. More than I wanted to be spending, but at least I know the tire won’t explode on the freeway and cause myself and everyone around me, damage!
After that, Janet and I wandered around Chelan, checked out the cute stores, and stopped for an enormous huckleberry cheesecake ice cream. We just finished dinner at a cool, funky place where we eat before, then came home to watch the first of the democratic debates. (Heaven help us!)
Tomorrow is the local farmer’s market and then Friday, bright and early, I’ll hit the road again for Kalispell and Cody, Melissa, Oliver and Everett. Ryan get’s in late Friday night, so looking forward to a fun, family weekend.