down south, 12 hours, 1-5

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Sunday, March 15, 2009
LONG STORY SHORT: One of my aunts got her U.S. citizenship last week and a bunch of us went to fresno to celebrate. I could go into long involved stories about how so and so is related to whosits, and how I'm related to most of these people twice (nothing creepy, don't worry), and how my one uncle wears a combover, sunglasses, and bluetooth headset in the living room, which makes me rageful, but ultimately it takes too long to explain. So I will say my sister, mom and I drove down to Fresno last week and met up with a bunch of other relatives and everyone had a delightful time.

some further facts:

++If you want to hide in plain sight in the San Joaquin Valley, you will drive a large white pickup -- Ford, Chevy, or GMC.

++car GPS combined with cellphones combined with certain members of my extended family means hilarity, insanity, tragedy, or full on rage blackouts, depending on how big of a hurry you're in. (in some instances technology is NOT YOUR FRIEND, Grandma/Uncle Pig! the machine is not always right!)

++ best directions for getting to fresno from portland are these: 1-5 for miles and miles and miles, go THROUGH sacramento and keep driving to Peltier road. Take that exit, cut through scenic vinyards, and join up with 99, no sleep till Fresno, etc.

Here are some pictures:

rainy in oregon
overcast, rainy, typical March in Oregon weather. (Note the spot monster lurking in the corner.) I was trying to catch the wiper blades moving -- I have about 6 pictures exactly like this, except the other cars on the road are in different positions.

clouds and mountains
Bec took this with my camera since I was driving over the Siskiyou pass (highest point on 1-5!!!) and couldn't do it myself. Still cloudy, but they were breaking up -- look at those mountains! It is unbelievably beautiful through that area. Also, unbelievably steep. 6% downgrade for the next 6 miles steep. runaway truck ramp steep. don't look out the window put that camera down you're driving steep. spy movie car chase steep. steep steep steep.

I think of the Shasta soft drink jingle every time I go by the mountain. That's so sad! But the mountain is GORGEOUS and I always dig these old-school signs. (There was no one at this viewing area when we stopped, and about 10 people when we left. I like to think we were touristy trend-setters.) Shasta is the second to last mountain in the volcanic cascade range. (Lassen is the last.) Goooo Volcano! (p.s. bobby jindal is out of his mind if he thinks volcano monitoring is a joke.)

springtime out the window
Some in the valley, out the window fruit trees. Oregon trees are barely starting to bloom, these were much further along. So pretty! (I will spare you detailed descriptions of the baby lambs in both Oregon and California that were gamboling about in the green green grass. But I will say they were STINKING CUTE.) Anyway, I love the green of the grass, the pink of the trees, and the purple/blue of the mountains in the distance. I'm not entirely sure where this was, but if I had to guess I'd say just south of Redding.

just north of sacramento -- look at that light! compare with the first picture. California really is a golden state and I love it.

part 2 tomorrow!
2 comments on "down south, 12 hours, 1-5"
  1. I love your pictures and I know know know that there is so much more to these little blips of stories and I can't wait to find out more

  2. Thanks, BBD! I will have to give you the MTV "Keep it Real" version next time I see you.

    (and then they had a hair pulling fight that lasted an hour!) (just kidding! more like: and then they talked about commercial construction for four hours, while I wondered if anyone was ever going to pick a restaurant.)


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