The Epic Road Trip
we left early. a nearly ungodly hour--6:30 we were out the door.
we drove a long way. a long long way. in very boring country--south central washington, eastern oregon, and north-central california...all desert, desert, and more desert.
Highlights of the day: very bizarre looking animal statue (about 5000 times larger than life) that was very distressing...mom called it a tapir, and i called it a messed-up-looking cow. whatever. it may have been made of metal...it was black, and we later found out that it's been there roughly, oh, forever.
we stopped briefly at castle crags state park to see what was up. the park ranger gave me the world's most blank stare when i asked her "what's in here?" and ultimately she gave us some made-up info about the rocks inside, then looked at mom and i (dressed in shorts and t-shirts, i was wearing sandals...) and said "it's rated one of the top fifty rock climbs in the US." hmm. do we look like rock climbers? and if we were, wouldn't we know what was in the park? anyway, we didn't stay and check it out because it was $4 just to go in, and it was 2.7 miles hiking, one way, to the base of the rocks. so we looked at them from the freeway as we were driving away. oh yeah, she also claimed there were lovely views of mt. shasta. Lady, we drove straight at the base of the mountain for about an hour, on a completely clear and sunny day. we've seen the mountain from two sides now...don't worry.
next detour was lake shasta caverns. the drive up the hill was kind of distressing--i was so sure that mom would drive us off the edge of the cliff. thankfully, not. anyway...we got up there, looked around, but didn't go in the caves for several reasons. One, the pictures looked remarkably like Mammoth Cave. Two, it took two hours. Three, it was $18 per person. Four, we are visiting Carlsbad Caverns later in the trip.
partway to sacramento, in corning, we HAD to stop at the Olive Pit. olive tasting, a deli/restaurant, and more kinds of olives than you've ever seen made for a thoroughly enjoyable hour. that's right, an hour. we tasted, we debated, we went outside to talk on the phone briefly, we tasted more, we looked, i had a milkshake, we looked, finally we purchased. they were so good--i tasted green olives stuffed with parmesan and romano cheese, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic...i tried ranch-style, and some other ones i don't remember...mom tried anything hot--chile, mexican, texas something-or-other, and the blue cheese (not hot, but apparently very tasty). anyway...yeah. fab.
so anyway, we drove to sacramento. we got there at about 7:30...13 hours. with two hours of stops. so the total drive was 11 hours! hmm...speeding? maybe just a little. literally--mom drove the whole way and she normally won't go above 10 miles over. whatever...just wait until i get in the driver's seat and we're driving through new mexico desert!!
anyway, we got to my grandma's cousin's house around 7:30, and my grandparents were already there, of course. we chatted for a long time, and went to bed around 10. good times.