Thom and I drove up to Eugene from Berkeley on Sunday (with his dorm-mate Sam, who rode up with us after getting stranded in the San Francisco airport on his way back to school from New York. A 500-mile trip, and a lot of the Oregon stretch that had been alien territory is becoming familiar: the four low summits between Grants Pass and Canyonville; the Seven Feathers Casino (free and not-too-awful coffee at the tribe-owned gas station and mini-mart), the two sharp mountainside turns at Myrtle Creek (they get your attention because the I-5 speed limit drops to 50 mph there). I’m starting to have a Eugene-trip routine: We drop Thom’s stuff off at his dorm, go to dinner, then I head back south. As when I made this trip in November, I got as far as Yreka (home of my favorite non-existent bakery) before my brain said, “Enough.” I got a room around midnight in the Best Western at the bottom of central Yreka exit ramp. A sign that I’m becoming an I-5 regular: The clerk recognized me.
Off again now to return to Berkeley. Stay tuned for pictures of 24-hour drive-thru coffee and the 70 mph dog.