Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Redding: Brain Cramp

I did get away at about Noon today, slightly earlier than I scheduled but not as early as I would have liked; OTOH, having the extra hour of sleep helped, as did the big breakfast (eggs, mushrooms, bacon, scones) that Lisa made. We did much of the equipment packing last night, and while finishing it, I realized that I could leave the largest box behind, empty, because I am leaving some pieces of equipment in Oregon that I don't use in California and that were packed in that large box. Just before leaving, Lisa handed me a bag with some food for the road, including the last two scones, which I then proceeded to eat after picking up a coffee from the Java Stop out on the highway in Mehama.

It was raining as I left, and it kept raining continuously as I drove south, with the only variance being between heavy and very heavy rain. As I'd been loading the van, I determined that a leak in the rear door seal that I thought I'd licked was dripping, and so I carefully didn't pack anything near the center rear and put a towel over things just beyond the drip zone. This proved to be good. At my first rest stop, the towel was sopping wet. I tried putting a piece of plastic in the door in the area that seems to be leaking, but it did no good. The rain was just too much for it. Still, nothing got damaged and the water will dry out eventually. The rain started to fade around Grants Pass and faded away entirely south of Ashland.

Thanks to the food fortifications from Lisa, I didn't feel hungry enough to stop for lunch, and simply pushed onward so I could get to Redding sooner. Instead of a full meal stop, when I stopped at Central Point, I picked up a burger from the Pilot truck stop and ate it in the van. I decided not to try eating it while driving down the road, which proved to be a good decision, for when I drove over Siskiyou Pass a few minutes later, I drove into extremely heavy fog. I mean get over to the right, both hands on the wheel, slow way down and make sure you can see the fog line type of fog. I was happy that I got into a line of slow-moving vehicles, because otherwise I thought I might get rear-ended by some idiot trying to drive 80 mph in zero visibility. Fortunately, it only lasted a few miles, and by the time I cleared passport control the Ag inspection station, things were nice and clear. It was a nice change from the snow and ice I had coming north.

I-5 through the Cascades is a nice drive on a clear day. I don't enjoy it at all at night. I got a little fright when I missed one of the speed warnings and went into one of the 50 mph curves at 65 and hit the rumble strips. No harm done, but it got the blood running fast.

Thanks to not stopping as often as I usually do, I made the just-under-400 mile trip from Mehama to Redding in about 8 hours and got to the Holiday Inn Redding over an hour before I originally expected to arrive.

I pushed further south than usual (normally I would have stopped in Central Point, Medford, or Yreka) because I need to collect a "regular" Holiday Inn, not an Express, as part of a promotion that should, if I hit all of the latches, earn a boatload of points. When I got to the front desk, they informed me that they had no reservation for me.

"That's strange," I said, and got out the printout of my reservation record. I peered at it more closely and smacked my forehead. "Oh, no! I made the reservation for last night!"

The desk clerk checked, and I was indeed a no-show for last night. However, I was not charged for the room night, and they were able to give me a room at the same rate, so there was no harm done.

I've never stayed in this particular hotel again, but I did stay once right next door, at the Red Lion Hotel Redding, where I stayed over twenty years ago at the final version of Fantasticon, a Northern California SF/F convention that happened five times in various places, although I only attended the fifth and last one. This Holiday Inn is clearly in the midst of a makeover as they try to bring it up to the modern Holiday Inn standards. My newly-remodeled room is nice enough, but because of the room layout, it's a huge room that really only is suitable for one person, because of choke points in the floor plan. It does have a refrigerator, thought, which is nice, and the wired internet access is free and works. OTOH, the cable for the internet was coiled up and stuffed under the desk. I suspect that most people only use wireless these days and didn't even realized there was a wired alternative.

Having arrived early enough to do so, I went and refueled the van tonight, picking up some milk and a sandwich from Togo's — nothing fancy for me tonight; I just want to eat my dinner and get some sleep, as I have another 350-plus miles to go tomorrow.
Tags: lisa, travel
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