Still haven’t finished all the posts from the last trip and here I go again… Left work early and headed out through the East Bay to catch I-5. Many people complain about 5 being boring, but I guess I haven’t driven it enough to feel that way. Yes, it’s mostly flat and straight, but it does have its own sort of beauty.
On that drive I always think of a Japanese teacher I had years ago. She would have friends or relatives visit from Japan and would take them to see Yosemite. Which, to most Americans, would be the point of the trip and the most interesting thing. However, she said that often the Japan Japanese would be more impressed or at least have more comments about the drive through the Valley, perhaps that they weren’t expecting it or hadn’t seen pictures of it like they probably had of Yosemite, but mostly just the wide open, sparsely populated areas were so different from anything they’d ever seen. I can imagine, coming from a compact, highly urbanized country, there is a certain grandeur in the expanse of the Central Valley.
Especially on a lovely spring day, when everything is green green green. There were swaths of yellow mustard, and orchards in bloom. Windblown petals looked almost like a dusting of snow on the ground beneath the trees. The blue blue sky was filled with splendid poufy white clouds. A few brief rain squalls required some swipes with the wipers as they were blown past. As the angle of the sun lowered the clouds piled into God Clouds, with the heavenly fingers of light streaming through.
Felt like part of some grad student’s research on particle motion, as I streamed southward at the speed limit plus, only to be stoppered up by an 18-wheeler pulling out into the left of the two lanes to ease by another truck going marginally slower in the right hand lane. As he pulls over the cars surge forward again, until the next.
Billboards, truck stops, valley towns. Time for some gasoline and a stretch. Dang it’s windy out. Let’s see how far I get today.
Here’s the Grapevine. Up up up we go. Hey it’s getting chilly, what’s the elevation again? And what’s that white stuff? Yes, it’s snow! For reals snow. I was not expecting that!
OK, one more picture. Yes, big novelty points, I don’t see snow too much.
Fortunately the snow was just on the hillsides on the sides of the road and the road was clear. Although I did hear later from the woman at the front desk at the hotel I ended up staying at that the road had been closed on and off. I did see a television news van parked on the side of the road near the summit.
Twilight and probably could have gotten a bit further, but needed a bio break so refueled too. One of my cousins and some of her friends were at the happiest place on Earth, and I’d been thinking maybe I’d try to meet up with her for dinner, but as it gets dark I realize I’m not quite up to trying to coordinate and find my way to somewhere I’m not familiar with. In fact, I’m pretty dang tired. So I found a hotel and called it a day.
>>> next day >>>