We are driving west for the last time on this adventure, going down the curvy freeway over HWY58 Tehachapi Pass heading into black scary looking clouds over Bakersfield and fighting big trucks that smell like nasty diesel smoke as they gear down for the grade. We left Mojave at 6am knowing that we need to get to Jamestown before the big storm really hits hard. The weather service has changed the high wind watch to a high wind warning for northern and central California with winds up to 65 miles an hour in the valleys. Valleys? One storm after another is predicted with the really big ones to hit tomorrow. Let’s hope that they are right and that one more time we are just out of reach of the worst of it and safely home and parked. Sonora has rain and wind predicted for the next week. A great time to lay low.
After a good night’s sleep we woke around 5 and decided that we could leave in the dark, a good plan since as I said, we are trying to beat the big scary storm that is on the way. I may need to just give up on typing now as well, since this pavement is too bumpy to manage a full line without having to backspace and make a ton of corrections.
Ahh, back on HWY 99 going north now, passing through Bakersfield, and the road is so rough I can barely type, the air smells like oil and there a lots of trucks. California. Maryruth doesn’t like it when I say these things, but I just can barely tolerate being anywhere here anymore. Especially now, after traveling more than 6,000 miles, the contrast between most of California and the rest of the country is intense. Most of the population density in other places seems to be concentrated, and as you leave the cities you can escape the pressure. Here it is just everywhere, and the infrastructure is aging and there is more trash than anyplace else on the trip. It just feels so old and dirty . As dirty and worn down as New Orleans felt, I still didn’t see the kind of trash along the highways that I see here in California. I really don’t understand this part, all the other states seem to manage to do a great job of cleaning up highway trash except this one. What is that all about? Driving along the highway here the smells are overpowering as well, cows, onions, diesel, and oil fields. Yum.
Once more, reflection is left till the end and goes wanting. It’s the last day and we are going home. Maybe some reflections on the trip overall will come on a quiet evening at home when it’s all done. But more than anything, I have to be thankful for how safe and blessed we have been throughout this entire trip, as though angels were following us and leading us and making the way. It can’t just be coincidence for 6000 miles, I don’t believe, I do believe we have guardians watching over us keeping us safe, and even keeping me from having to do the painful loss thing that I thought I was going to have to do with Teddy. Thank you is too small a phrase for what I feel about this. But. Thank you.