"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Apr 17, 2013

On the Road, Again

It’s the morning of Day 6, and I’m as far as San Jose; four hundred-plus miles from where I started.  Took me two days to get here from Southern Oregon; I can’t drive as long as I used to, and I must have stopped at every other rest stop along I-5.  More for BC than me in that regard, thank you, but I kept trying to figure out the nice GPS my friends gifted me with before I left.

I’ve used a GPS before (unable to navigate by the stars on Ruff Life), but the one the Captain selected in 1997 looked a lot different, plus it didn’t talk.  Impossible, I reached for the Road Atlas (her gift, since she, like me, is technically inept), and since I don’t have a co-pilot who can read, I had to pause.
I felt lost in California the first time I stopped for gas.  Where the hell was the guy anyway?  Neither Oregon nor New Jersey (my family-home state) allows us to pump ourselves. And me with my electronic incompetence; I hadn’t a clue how to use the automatic gas pump.  I felt like an infant as the nice (younger) woman walked me through the process.  And that was the last time I saw my Debit card.


Here’s Mount Shasta. I love these Western peaks, as long as they don’t suddenly blow. No elevation or other travel info here; if you really want to know, look it up. Or better yet, come see for yourself.
This was my first time driving through this part of Northern California.  Fruit trees, olive groves, and then it just gets hot.  I would have liked to glance out the side windows more, except, like cattle, I kept being driven by Californians behind their wheels.

“So, y’all just ignore speed limits?”
“Pretty much…just go with the flow.”  Except I still suspect cops prefer tagging out-of-staters.
I spent my first night trying out my truck-turned-motor home, at a rest area off the Interstate.  Wasn’t bad, except, as usual, I over-packed, and in order to move an inch I had to rearrange my mountain range of Bolga Baskets, plastic tubs and prized Omaha Steak cooler.  I parked amongst the truckers…well, it was empty when I stopped.  Apparently they come and go all night, which was kinda comforting.  So, now, been there…done that…nothin’ to be scared of.
Oh, two days before leaving the comforts of Oregon, I accidentally tossed my (only) phone into the washing machine.  I thought it sounded louder than a nickel.  I couldn’t get a replacement in time (I’m on my Sister’s family plan, thus have no rights of my own); good thing my relatives like me (I know they love me), since I’ve been sitting, waiting for replacements, since Saturday.
Everyone was so concerned that I was heading out before receiving my replacement phone, but for heaven’s sake, what did we do 20 years ago?  Sis pointed out that that was when there were public payphones, but I said that if I had an emergency, I’d just dig out my laptop, plug in the modem, and call via Skype.  What an absurd backup plan.
The bank card was another episode in foolishness.  After tearing through my purse, parcels and truck for the 3rd time, I bit the bullet and called to cancel.  I couldn’t get a temporary because my account was opened in Oregon and I’m in Calif, so I had to withdraw all my cash (not much, granted, but all I have).  Aren't we all Americans?
The Real Deal couldn’t be shipped, either, because of security, so I paid the five bucks to expedite (from 5-7 business days to 2), notified friends in Oregon to check my P.O. Box, and then, depending on where I am, forward it to me.  What happened to the days of Karl Malden’s,  “Don’t leave home without it.”
They cancelled my account years ago.
Oh well, it’s not life threatening, and I cackled through gritted teeth when I found the card yesterday morning. Apparently, while attempting to change clothes in all that mess (you know what it's like to wiggle into...or out of... a pair of jeans lying down, dontcha?), the card slipped out of a pocket and landed in one of said baskets. 
So I'm sorting all my belongings yet again.  I won't need that lined, wool skirt after all, and I'm determined to have a more spacious interior when I leave San Jose than when I arrived.
BC's perch
Which should be the end of the week, beginning of next.  My Cousin has a birthday this coming Sunday and I’ve been asked to stay for the festivities.  I’m not exactly on a strict timeline, so what’s the rush?  And as I’ve been learning, what’s more important than family?

So that’s where I am.   A few bumps, granted, but I’m at least I’m still vertical.    And just in Case you're wondering which ho-dunk bank I have...guess.

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