Lodi, California; 7PM; clear and 60 degrees F
The snow started way back in early December, gave us a beautiful white Christmas, and didn’t let up. When it did finally stop, the temperatures plummeted to morning lows near zero for days in a row and clear sunny skies that warmed up to all of 12 degrees. It has been great fun. Mo and I did a lot of shoveling and plowing, managed to move almost 6 cords of free wood that we inherited from a neighbor, and kept the fires burning and the house cozy and warm.
I love winter. For awhile. I have had some knitting and quilting time, and truly enjoyed the ability to telecommute for work when the roads were icy and treacherous. I finished the queen sized quilt I have been working on for a few months and took it to the quilter. I almost finished a soft luscious shawl for Melody, just waiting for the hand dyed silk to arrive for the fringe. I almost finished a baby quilt that I will deliver next month to a beloved friend about to have a little boy.
But enough is enough! Every night when we go to the hot tub, the bare feet freeze on the porch and the entire ten feet of distance from the back door until we are in the hot water is a challenge. No matter how beautiful the pristine cold snow looks outside my window, and no matter how warm and cozy we are with our wood stove, I am tired of it. I am ready to be somewhere warm. I am a bit tired of the thick fence of icicles between me and the view out the bedroom window.
Yesterday we loaded up the dog and the cat and and supplies for our escape and drove the two hours over the mountain to the cottage and the waiting MoHo. Instead of temperatures in the teens with clear skies, we drove into temperatures in the 30’s with icy fog shrouding everything. It is one of the famous temperature inversions that make the cold winter fogs of the Rogue Valley legendary. At the cottage, there wasn’t a speck of snow on the ground, but that icy fog is COLD! Mo said, “Are you complaining about the weather here too?”. Well, yeah, I guess I am. I am envisioning warm sunshine, not icy roads and steely gray skies.
We had most of the afternoon at the cottage to fiddle around a bit, and Mo decided to tackle the moldy cupboard wall that she wanted out of the kitchen. It kind of reminded me of those shows on HGTV where they take a sledge hammer to the walls. It is sort of fun tearing a house apart. While we were demolishing the kitchen wall, the roofer was outside tearing off the 4 different layers of roofing down to the rafters. The cottage was built in 1926, and wasn’t a high end build even then, but underneath all that stuff, we found what looks to be solid, beautiful redwood beams. Kinda nice.
We enjoyed a simple supper, a game of cards, and some evening reading before turning down the heat for the night. Saturday morning would come soon enough.
This morning, the icy fog was still thick as we hooked up the MoHo and headed south of the Five. First, however, we decided to stop for a good breakfast at Elmer’s, close to the interstate onramp. It is the second time we have had breakfast there and it wasn’t a fluke. The restaurant is wonderful, with really great food. Again we split a breakfast of potato pancakes with applesauce, bacon and green onions, applewood bacon and great coffee. We were on the road by 9:30 with an estimated time of arrival at Flag City in Lodi around 4:30. I think we pulled in here at about 4:15.
The drive was lovely. Traffic was light, the I-5 surface has been redone since our last trip south, and once we were out of the Rogue Valley, the temperature inversions were behind us. By the time we got to Redding it was 65 gorgeous, sunny, luscious degrees. As we rolled down the road, both of us realized that the destination is almost irrelevant, it is just that desire to get rolling that makes it what it is. The Journey, not so much the Destination. Although I think the destination is nice, and we are looking forward to it, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to just fly south. It is the road. I may have said this before, but the realization always seems to come to me anew when we get back on the road. I love the movement, the changing scenery, the companionable silence of rolling down the road.
We covered an easy 375 miles today, rolling right through downtown Sacramento without a hitch. We took a chance without a reservation for Flag City, and when we arrived, in spite of a big group being here, there was a nice, level pull through waiting for us for $27. (half price) with our Passport America card. Tomorrow another day on the road, an easy 250 miles or so before we pull into the Orange Grove RV Park near Bakersfield. I am looking forward to those sweet oranges everyone keeps talking about. I really hope the cold snap hasn’t wiped them out!