Two from the Road


Drove back from Eugene last night and this morning. Started at 5 p.m. or so, stopped at the cheap gas station (a 76 station just south of town that is always at least a nickel or a dime a gallon cheaper than what you find near the university), then got on Interstate 5 southbound. The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend: I recommend it for your long highway trips. Very few people were on the road, and by the time we started the climb up toward the last Oregon summit on I-5, in the last hour before the sun set, it was like driving in the middle of the night.

Most of the way through Oregon we drove through sunlit showers, and for a while saw a rainbow around every bend in the road. The shot above is from the stretch between Yreka and Weed, in far northern California: Rain refracted in the last light of the day, a semi-rainbow. The peak near the center is Black Butte, a small volcanic peak just to the west of Mount Shasta. The shot below: from the climb up the northern side of Canyon Creek Summit, a little more than halfway between Eugene and the California line.


Back South

We were gone 51 hours. Drove 1,035.3 miles. Left Eugene today at 1:51 p.m. and got home (514 miles later) at 10:34 p.m. Stops in Weed, Redding, and Williams. And in Dorris, California, too, to snap a picture of the Elm Motel (see below).


5:03 p.m.: Dorris is the first town you hit in California as you head south from Klamath Falls on U.S. 97. The highway makes several turns in town. This place is just south of the last bend, and just across the street from the big restaurant in town, a divey-looking place called La Tapatia. In addition to these two establishments, Dorris (population in 2000: 886) boasts that it’s the home of the tallest flagpole west of the Mississippi. Whether the claim is true or not (and I can’t find anything right now that contradicts it — stay tuned), the flagpole is an eyecatcher.


5:11 p.m.: You could see Mount Shasta for well over 100 miles to the north along U.S. 97 today, despite partial overcast. This is from closer up — it was probably about 45 miles to the northeast of the mountain and just a few miles southwest of Dorris and the warm welcome waiting northbound travelers at the Elm Motel.


7:13 p.m. At the In-N-Out in Redding. There were two Vettes parked just outside. This was the nicer one and the better picture.