Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Road to Mehama

I didn't push things too hard going out of Yreka, taking the secondary roads through Montague and Hornbrook first and sort of following the old SP route. One of the crossings still has an old "wig-wag" type crossing warning. In Hornbrook, I noticed a monument trackside commemorating the president stopping here briefly on a train trip in the 1920s between the Bay Area and Portland -- this used to be the main north-south rail route -- to sign the local American Legion chapter charter.

Then it was back on to the freeway. No rain, which was good, and I made excellent time, which gave me more time to recover during my rest stops. As usual, I stopped at the casino in Canyonville. They've removed the human-staffed blackjack tables in the non-smoking portion of the casino and replaced them with computer versions. I sat down at one of them and fed it $20 and played for a little while. At one point, I got very annoyed in that I had a $10 bet down and was dealt 8-3 with the dealer showing a 6 -- which is pretty much the most ideal double-down situation ever. But the double-down light wouldn't come on, and I simply had to hit. (I won the hand.) It wasn't until I was walking back to the van later that I finally realized that the reason I couldn't double down was that there was only $2 left in my "bank" after the original $10 bet, so in order to double, I would have needed to feed the machine $10. Anyway, I did win that hand, and after I a little while, I found myself with $42 in the bank. Deciding that double was better than nothing, I cashed out and left, taking my small profit against the long-term odds and continuing north.

At Cottage Grove, I stopped for lunch and fuel. Driving to the gas station, I noticed a paved walking trail that looked like a former railroad right of way. Of course! That must be the right of way of the Oregon, Pacific & Eastern, a short line that operated from Cottage Grove and made famous by such movies as Buster Keaton's The General and Emperor of the North. It's all gone now, and the right of way is a trail and what I assume must have been the yard, turntable, and shops are vacant land with signs announcing a future park. After fueling the van, I spent half an hour walking the trail into downtown, where there is a large building-side mural of Buster Keaton and The General, before heading back to the van and entering the final stage of the trip.

I got to Mehama just before 5 PM, about when I originally expected, after traveling since 10 AM with two longish stops and several shorter ones. I was very tired and not particularly good company, so after unpacking some and having dinner, Lisa told me to go to bed early, which I was happy to do.
Tags: casino, lisa, railroad, travel
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