i have lived in LA for almost ten years and i have never driven north of san luis obispo, and never north of santa clarita on the 5. now, that’s just crazy.
for the drive home,i was researching if i should take the 1-5 or route-99 . people online claimed the 5 was a boring drive…but clearly these people have never driven on 1-65 in indiana in the middle of winter! i found the 5 to be quite lovely. sure, it is flat and a bit mundane, but that was sort of a relief after driving through curvy mountain freeways. i am a bit of a grandma on curvy roads, especially when it is raining. pretty much everyone passed me that shared the freeway with me.
the drive north i did in two days only stopping in sacramento for the night. luckily my hotel was right by the historic district, so wylie and i went for a little walk. i was totally thrown back by the old west aesthetic. unfortunately, all i could think of was disneyland. sacramento was not what i expected, nor was the middle of california. i expected something brown and desert like, and it was actually much lovelier than i thought.
so, now let us fast forward to after the oregon part of the trip. i spent the night in mt shasta,california. mt shasta is the second highest volcano in the continental US. this photo below is from the drive north when it was gloomy and rainy. to be honest i am not even sure this is actually mt shasta. i think it might be another mountain close to mt shasta, because when i was driving south, and it was sunny, i saw another huge mountain. pretty sure that was mt shasta…but it looked a lot like this, just bigger!
(this is part of my driving series of photos. total clark griswald moments, if you know what i mean!)
i stayed at the best western plus tree house. i choose this place, let’s be honest, because of the wood panelling. i love a good wood panel. the hotel was just fine. a bit dated, but that was part of the charm. ordered room service with the pup, hard to go out to eat anywhere because you can’t leave the dogs in the room alone…and wylie is a whiner! the dinner was decent, but the free breakfast was horrible. hence, the word “free”.
the next morning i woke up early with anticipation for the 10 hour drive ahead of us. before getting on the freeway i did some early morning detours. my favorite part of mt shasta was all the crystal and gem stores(to be bad they were closed), and especially this one which was clearly a gas station converted into a store. the pumps were removed and replaced with benches and painted concrete. i also did a little drive by of another motel i really wanted to stay at, cave springs motel. it looked adorable. they have cabins as well as a motel.
south of mt shasta is mt shasta lake. man, this place is beautiful!!!! it totally sneaks up on you on the freeway. you are driving through flat land and then all of a sudden, boom!!! there is this gorgeous lake with water like an opal! i couldn’t find a good stop off to get the view from up high. when you are on the freeway you are above the lake, so you get these breathtaking views of the curvy shoreline. you have to see it to even understand it!
then, it was onto the agriculture part of cali! but not before a stop off at the olive pit in corning, california. my sister-in-law, addie, grew up in orland, california. she loves her olives! i was starving after the horrible breakfast at the best western, and thought something other than fast food would be oooh, so nice. so, in honor of addie i made a pit stop. i bought a can of olives, a breakfast sandwich on olive bread, and last but not least, a lemon olive oil milkshake. yes, it was 10 in the morning, but how often are you presented with a lemon olive oil milkshake? i had to do it, plus i knew i was going to start juicing again the second i got home (and i did)! this shake was soooooo good. lots of inspiration for olive oil flavored sweets! the breakfast sandwich was pretty damn good too!!
from here on out, my focus was HOME! wylie too. poor guy. he kept looking at me like, really? three days in the car…really?
we stopped at rest stops for wylie to roam, but that was it besides my stop at a farm outside of the LA vicinity where i bought some blood oranges and raw almonds. the landscape was so just lovely, to me. i loved seeing all the orange, lemon, and olive farms along the freeway. could have done without that stock yard though. yikes! here are a few driving shots from the iPhone. no-time-to-stop.
the last shot was driving into the mountains outside of LA.
and of course, here is one of wylie making himself at home in the backseat.
i have to admit that i sometimes forget i live in california. as a kid, that was all i wanted to do. i remember we had this current event class in 5th grade and every little newspaper we got seemed to say that everything was happening in california. i wanted to be part of that. hard to believe that i have been living that dream for 10 years this august. LA can be a bit of a bubble sometimes,and i admit it felt good to drive out of the city. driving through the rest of the state kind of made me feel like LA wasn’t even part of california.
the trip through cali made me happy that i have lived here as long as i have…that i made one of my dreams come true, for 10 years!