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Road Trip Logs Yet Unposted

Here are the logs that I had not posted because I didn’t have them…

Day 12 (Friday, December 12, 2003)

We didn’t quite get the jump on the road that we were hoping to, but were on the road by around 9:30 am. Reset the trip odometer at 301 miles.

11:16 am — 146 miles: Two hundred miles left to Los Angeles. Gas prices took a huge jump after the California border, the only border we have come across that had inspection points set up for all vehicles. Of course this is where I we choose to stop for gas, and its my turn to pay. Clearly, dumb liberal policies are destroying this state. Hopefully the Terminator can fix things up some. Also, Scott and I agree that California should be split into at least two smaller states — I would say three states myself. Too bad this country has forgotten about state rights and the need, as expressed by Thomas Jefferson, for constant revolution.

11:55 am — 193.5: We enter Joshua Tree National Park, but learn that there will be a $10 entry fee that we do not want to pay, so we decide just to drive a very little bit and read one of the signs before tuning around and continuing to Los Angeles.

Scott, being lazy with the log, doesn’t bother to write down when we get to Los Angeles, what we think of the smog, the hugeness of the city, our meeting with Brennan at Venice Beach, our thoughts on the Venice Beach culture, Jim and Pat’s enthusiastic welcome, our chat with Jim late into the evening — I suppose I could have written about that last one, but the rest of the time I was driving. Los Angeles is a bit hectic, but I had no problem dealing with traffic, even at rush hour. People were mostly polite and nice, except for a few idiots — such as one lady who had her blinker on for several miles. She didn’t notice, even though she was changing lanes — she apparently never uses her turn indicators. The smog over the city obscures the sun with unnaturally tinted hues, and accumulates in the back of my throat, feeling slightly acidic. Maybe that’s in my head, but it still feels nasty. After Venice Beach, where we saw a man on roller blades playing a distorted electric guitar to passers-by, a man in a speedo-type suit holding snakes with a log balanced on his head, the classic Cobra car with a bikini model posing next to it, numerous street and street-side enterprises including palm and tarot card reading, temporary tattoos, real tattoos, junk food, and art of all kinds. We then drove on Santa Monica Boulevard to a highway that we took into Simi Valley, where the Jim and Pat live. Simi Valley is the Bellevue of L.A., we decided. It’s clean, nice, and moderately upscale. We chatted with our hosts, got suggestions for the next day’s drive, were fed, and talked politics, engineering, life decisions, and more with Jim before getting to bed.

Day 13 (Saturday, December 13, 2003)

8:00 am: We get up, have breakfast, and then I drive with Jim to the mechanic to ferry Jim back home while Scott showers. I shower after we get back, then we say our goodbyes and head up the coastal highway at about 10:00.

11:00 am: We stop in Santa Barbara, where there is supposed to be an interesting market on Saturday morning, but instead all the Mexicans seem to be out in force. It looks like they town is prepping for a parade of some sort later in the day. We refuel, and unable to find the market, we quickly leave.

1:30 pm: We stop at Pismo beach, walk on the sand, spot no hot girls in bikinis (I guess its too cold for California girls), play with the surf, and eat lunch.

3:00 pm: We stop at Morrow Bay — there is a big rock hill spit and beach all around. There are surfers and many other tame animals. Scott takes a large format photo and I get some “tamelife” photos with my telephoto lens and some scenic shots with my regular lens.

3:50 pm: We recalculate our trip, trying to make it to Colin’s place by 7:30 for dinner. It looks like we can make it if we maintain speed and don’t stop for more than 15 minutes.

4:50 pm: Along US-101 we notice a car in the ditch, Ryan and I both ask each other if there was someone in that car. We make a u-turn and check and sure enough there was. A kid who couldn’t have been older than 17 was in his car, unharmed, but definitely shaken. The kid admits that he is sick and had taken some cough medicine. His car wasn’t starting. He tries it again and is now somehow working. Ryan and I don’t know what to suggest to the kid, being that we don’t know if he is likely to doze off again. He drives off and Ryan and I still don’t know what we should have done. Will the kid drive off into the ditch again, we don’t know.

Day 14 (Sunday, December 14, 2003)

Ryan and I enjoy a scrumptious breakfast with Collin’s parents, Mark and Anne, his brother Greg, and his girlfriend Katie (I set those two cuties up).

We take the plummet into the abyss of San Francisco, have no fear, we don’t care that there are liberals here (We are “tolerant”).

First thing first, we headed for downtown San Fran. On the way I called Yeung Chan, woodworker extraordinaire. I chat with Yeung for a little bit and ask if I could stop by and see his shop. Yeung is very generous and invites us to dinner with his wife and son, who arrived back from MIT that very evening. We exchange phone numbers and agree to have dinner.

Ryan and I continued our journey in San Fran. We went in the general direction of downtown. Ryan and I had both previously been to San Francisco and had seen the major touristy sites, so we decided we would take the wanderer’s approach to seeing the city. We began our wondering and came across a scenic drive sign, which takes a tour of all the best parts of San Fran. My brother and I had previously taken it and I suggest to Ryan that we start our wandering there, ha, organized wandering.

Day 15 (Monday, December 15, 2003)

7:00 am: Hit the road jack. No hitting road jacks hurts, so instead we started out.

7:12 am: Instead of hitting road jacks, Ryan decides to take his aggression out on a seagull, hitting it smack on with the car; that is one dead bird.

10:48 am: Scott takes over driving so he doesn’t lose his breakfast on Ryan, immediately after a stop on the coastal highway to take a picture of an arched rock. Previously, while Ryan was still driving, we stopped at another beach and walked on the shore and took pictures. At the arched rock beach, Ryan went to the beach itself, down nearly sheer muddy cliffhanger walls while Scott took a large format picture and Ryan climbed rocks on the shore where, at times, he was surrounded by swirling ocean currents of death. Fortunately, strong legs enabled Ryan to jump to safety while Scott continued to figure out his large format photograph. By the time Ryan completed the death-defying scramble back to the top of the sheer cliffs, Scott had almost decided on how he was going to take the picture. After Ryan gave Scott some useless advice, cleaned off his shoes, reorganized part of his gear, had brunch, and simply did nothing for a while, Scott finally took the picture, packed up, and Scott began driving, letting Ryan partake in the loose stomach feel for a while.

12:00 noon: Five hours after leaving, we begin to worry that we might have missed Fort Bragg, which Scott tells me is Mecca for woodworkers. Now Scott is making his pilgrimage. However, we look at the map and find out where we are, and learn that we haven’t gone harldy anywhere at all. It looks like we’ll be staying in Brookings tonight, since Portland via the coastal highway would get us in no earlier than 6:00 am, tomorrow.

1:16 pm: We are getting ready to leave after stopping for lunch in a small Oceanside town along Highway 1. Along with the sound of the waves are the incessant chanting in various languages of a man who may or may not be crazy — we can’t quite figure that out. He talks half like a preacher, half like a political activist, and all with a hint of lunacy. Its quite interesting.

3:05 pm: We stopped at the gallery for the College of the Redwood Woodworking program among other works of art. There were some pieces that were absolutely amazing, some obviously influenced by Krenov.

4:00 pm: We stopped by the College of the Redwoods and met with David Welter, who kindly showed us around the shop. The students were just finishing up there first pieces, some of them had already left for the holidays. The people there all seemed to be a jovial bunch.

5:04 pm: Yowzers, look at that sunset. Ryan got a panorama with his digital camera.

5:12 pm: Ryan and I notice the coastal highway pattern for hills and turns: downhill right followed by uphill left.

Around nine, we pull into Brookings. Scott chooses not to eat and is in a foul mood. We are overdue on an oil change too. Christine gets back maybe 15 minutes after we find her place, gives us a call, and we meet with her. She is very nice, and after a brief chat we all get ready for sleep. No cell internet access here it looks like, so no update tonight. Portland should have plentiful WiFi though.

Day 16 (Tuesday, December 16, 2003)

8:35 am: We leave Christine’s house after more talk about the trip, the cat, and family. We are both showered, I feel well rested, but the first part of the journey is very quiet.

9:15 am: We stop to fill up — its over ten and a half gallons, and the biggest fill-up to date. The attendant who fills our gas tells us where we can get our oil changed up the road. Still no talk today.

10:00ish: We stop at Battle Rock Park in Oregon. Here, 9 settlers were holed up on a small rock island outcropping on the ocean shore while natives surrounded them. The settlers escaped one night, and returned with a stronger force to more permanently settle the town. Scott took a large format photograph while I climbed battle rock and made my way to the side facing the ocean. The winds here were so strong and constant that I had to lean into the wind to maintain my balance, and I walked very carefully to avoid a slip that, with the wind, could have sent me into the angry ocean below. I took pictures with my digital camera, including some I hope to make into a panorama later. After I returned from my extravagantly long and luxurious trip up Battle Rock, Scott was having trouble with camera movement due to wind, so I helped by holding the camera while he opened the shutter.

10:34 am: I have added a sheet to the trip statistics excel worksheet calculating total costs of the trip (that we have recorded) — and it looks like our total expenses will be below $600 and our out of pocket expenses will be below $400. Seems like a good place to be, considering we are almost home and how many places we’ve been.

4:30 pm ish: We arrive in Portland earlier than expected — we may go home today.

7:30 pm: We make contact with Brita, have a good chat and pick up some take and bake pizza. We are well fed and on our way home tonight. It would be a pleasant surprise for both of our parents, except that Scott told my mom. Bah. Joska, my nephew, is bright and rambunctious as he always is, Brita loves to talk about her plans, and Jason is as nice and mild-mannered as ever. Their house is looking pretty good, sporting a new fence and with some interior work as well. We were sorry to cut out stay so short, but be are also excited to get home, and we are well fed with pizza and salad, ready for the final leg of our epic journey.

10:26 pm — 125662 miles on odometer: We arrive at Scott’s house and declare the road trip officially over.
Total Time: 15 days, 14 hours, 56 minutes.
Total Distance: 7025 miles.
Verdict: Success!

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