March 11th, 2007

Wig Wag

No Wonder the Tap Water Tastes So Good

Today I'm not in nearly the rush I've been on my previous travels, so I had time to go take a walk after the hotel's included breakfast. (And a good thing, too, as my blood sugar was 165 with a 30-minute brisk walk; no telling how bad it would have been without it.) I saw the railroad tracks of the Central Oregon & Pacific a short distance away, so I walked that direction and along the tracks for a while. Beyond the grade crossing, I saw the entrance for Crystal Geyser Water Company's Shasta source, so this is where they bottle my favored brand and variation of bottled water. I expect one of the reasons I like the water from around here so much is that I lived here for a few months when I was about 4 years old and thus my taste for what water should be was formed by the local tap water here.
  • Current Mood
    chipper chipper
Conrunner Kevin

Welcome to Paradise

Well, Williams, actually -- Paradise is over by Chico on the other side of the value. I've stopped here again to get a coffee and take advantage of the free internet connection, which works just fine on the backup computer. Although iced coffee might be more appropriate, for it is a glorious fine sunny day here in Northern California. It's the first A/C day of the year -- it was warm enough driving down out of the Cascades that I had to turn on the air conditioning on the van. And this is only March. Days like this are nice, but they remind me of how blisteringly hot it can get up here in the Sacramento Valley.

I am taking my sweet time driving home today, stopping about once an hour or so. I stopped near Corning at the Indian casino to use the restroom, and couldn't resist the temptation to play a bit of blackjack. I put down $80 with a goal of doubling my money. I was $5 short of the goal when I hit a run of terrible luck, culminating in a hand where I thought I had turned it around but did not: I had 16 versus a house King. I hit the 16 and got a 3. The dealer's down card was another 3, but he made a hand of 20, and I decided that the cards had turned against me and left, only $5 net poorer.
  • Current Music
    KNBR: Giants pre-season baseball
Conrunner Kevin

Made It Home

Having no deadlines to meet or schedule to keep today, I continued to dawdle on the way home, stopping for dinner in Vacaville. I did remember a bit late that it was not really that smart to slot myself into I-80 through Vacaville-Fairfield on a Sunday afternoon, as I got to put through heavy Fairfield going-home-from-the-mountains traffic.

In my Williams update earlier today, I forgot to mention the spot of trouble I had at Redding, where I'd stopped at the TA truck stop to use the restroom and get a drink. Walking back to the van, I realized that I'd locked the keys inside. No problem, I thought, as I have an emergency wallet key that I had made by AAA. Unfortunately, the key did not want to turn in the lock. I tried the passenger door. There it would turn in the "lock" direction, but not "unlock." Similarly it would not open the sliding door, and of course the back door is broken anyway.

Possibly the plastic was warm from being in my wallet. I thought about going back inside and getting some ice to try and cool it down enough to get it stiff enough to turn. I certainly didn't want to force it too hard, as it might break off inside the lock, which would have been very annoying. I could of course call AAA to do a lockout service, but I didn't really want to do that. After much fiddling around, I finally got the key to barely turn -- but it was enough to get the door open. Whew!

Including stops to get gas and milk in Fremont, I got home at 8:15 PM, having left Weed at 10:45 AM. Net result: 313 miles in 9:30, an average of only 33 miles per hour. But that's what happens when you stop six times between Weed and Fremont.

The total door-to-door trip distance works out to 644 miles over two days. I'm such a wimp compared to my friends who seem to think nothing of thousand-mile days.
  • Current Music
    Peace and Quiet