liralen: (Road)
[personal profile] liralen
We ate breakfast in our room. John was the early riser, and walked a few feet to the gas station/grocery shop and bought us a half a gallon of milk. So we had cereal, yogurt, fruit, and some of my granola with dried blueberries as well. It was a great breakfast. Jet started up the boiler for his morning tea while John and I walked two blocks up the road to The Roost to get some coffee.

The coffee we found was far better than what we'd gotten the previous morning, and actually better than I've had from various coffee shops.


The Roost
It's a little coffee shack on the main road, and when we walked up the lady greeted John with a, "I saw you checking me out earlier, looking for that cup of coffee now?"

He had done his usual wandering in the morning, and he ordered a plain latte and handed her his insulated mug, and she got right to work on it instead of asking me for my order. So I had some time to study the menu. They didn't list the twenty-thousand combinations of syrups, flavors, and chocolates, only saying that each additional flavor was another fifty cents. They also had soy and almond milk as possibilities, but I ended up asking for an almond flavored latte.

"Not with almond milk, just regular milk and the syrup," I clarified, and she was grateful. I suppose she'd experienced the other side of that problem as well, as I've had almond milk lattes when I really wanted just a flavored latte. The best thing ever was that she poured the syrup in front of me and asked me to say when to stop, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was, indeed, the perfect amount for me.

I don't like too much syrup or a drink that's to sweet, and the shots she poured on was absolutely beautiful in color, consistency, and flavor when I finally got to drinking it.

Ace Hardware
The Rooster on the Roost was something I had to go and get a picture of, as it had obviously been painted by hand onto the shack, after it was built. And the colors of the tail feathers, that gorgeous blue, was striking. I also noticed that she was making one of their breakfast "burgers" with sausage, eggs, and cheese on an English muffin, while she was finishing my drink. And then three cars pulled up. It was the obvious breakfast stop for those on the go in those parts. I suspect that further into the summer tourist season, this place was even more alive than I supposed.

It was nice to see the hardware store open as well, though it was so narrow, Jet wondered how anyone got anything out of it. Raine's general store had also moved to a completely new building about half a mile out of town, and it looked pretty posh. Though how they might still sell their 35 cent Fantas, I don't know.

The Endless Road
I suspect that part of how it got to be part of the Loneliest Highway in America is linked to the landscapes out here. It is almost always valley plains surrounded by mountains, with all the sagebrush in the world, some of the desert, and occasionally a meandering waterway that got lost on the way to the ocean and suddenly turned the whole plain green.

There are variations in the mountains, the plains, and the little towns along the way; but on the most part, it can be the other edge of the sword of driving from source to destination. It's a way to actually experience every mile of the way, but you also pretty much have to experience every mile of the way. Luckily, with such empty two-lane roads, Jet got a lot of chances to practice his high speed driving skills without too many people to interfere and plenty of road of which to meander. He got a lot better at anticipating curves at high speed than when he started.

There are, as always, more pictures than I actually link to my journal up on Flickr. Take a look... some of the mountains really are beautiful, as are the plains, both sere and lush. And even these are more fun to look at in full size.

Up to the Petroglyphs
Just before lunch time we ended up at Grimes Point Petroglyphs Trail. There's also a Hidden Cave, but that archeological site is only available on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month, so we didn't get to do that. But the trail went through a field of dark boulders that were all covered with petroglyphs.

It turns out that petroglyphs are carved into the rocks, whereas pictograms are painted onto rock surfaces using mineral paints. The petroglyphs take advantage of the oxidation of the surface of the rocks, and when people chipped or banged away the outer surface, the paler rock would show through to make pictures.

IMG_2618DSC_3424
There were lots of interesting bits of petroglyphs sprinkled throughout the field, and the pathway through it was even and flat. I was also fascinated by the lichens that were growing on the north faces of many of the rocks because they were brilliant red, orange, or even white chalk green. The path was so good that when a sign presented itself as the head of a trail to an overlook for the valley, we took it without much hesitation.

The New Top Gun
After about a mile's walk, our efforts were well rewarded with a view of the entire valley spread out below us. And while we were just standing there, the roar of jet engines blasted through the air, and we were able to watch a fighter jet shoot into the sky and bank steeply into the hills.

Top Gun moved from San Diego out to here. And given the landscape, I can see why they did. We also saw several military helicopters buzzing about.

The view of the field of boulders was pretty impressive as well. And from that point they also had a display that showed where the ancient lake had once been up here, and how it had worn away the walls on the nearby mountains, giving them the washboard vertical faces they now had, and thinking of them as worn by the lapping of a lakebed made so much more sense. Being 400 feet underwater didn't make much sense, but they were talking millions of years of geographic change. It's all relative.

Sierras
Lunch was out of the van again, and the pit toilets at the head of the trail were exeptionally clean, neat, and well-stocked. I've noticed that on the most part people who venture out far enough to where there are only pit toilets actually take much better care of them than people who use the public toilets at the easy-to-access parts of not only national parks, but any park or gas station. These were pristine.

John and I had gone to some extra trouble this trip to actually stock a few things from Costco for our van lunches, so we had some really great salami, thin-sliced, in huge twin packs, along with all the rolls of Ritz crackers we could eat and then some. There was also a huge bag of dried, organic (non-GMO) mangos and smokehouse almonds. I can't eat an almond, anymore, without knowing that some bee pollinated it to make it.

Welcome to California
We got back into the van, and I drove for a while. From I-50 we got to the alternate I-50, got onto I-80, and then onto I-395 and just kept going. I did all the big Interstate driving, hitting traffic in one city, and then managing all the changes between freeways onto highways again. And along the way we entered California. The guy at the inspection station just said, "Have a good day!" And waved us on. That was new.

We stopped for gas after all that, and I cleaned the front windows of all the bugs, went and used the restroom (one of those rules of road trips, always use one if I get to one), washed my hands thoroughly, and then raided the ice cream chest for an It's It vanilla ice cream sandwich between two oatmeal cookies that were then dipped in dark chocolate.

It was good, and I shared with Jet. John didn't want any, but he got his own stuff before taking the driver's seat again.

Pincha
Part of the good edge of that 'experience every mile' sword is that I took some time to knit as well as think. This is Pinpilan's Pincha but in an old skein of Green Mountain Spinnery's hand-dyed wool, back when that was what they did. Now they mostly just spin yarns. It's been that long, that they've changed their business model in some ways.

But the colors of the skein fit the feature configuration of the shawl pattern so well, I had to just make it. So I did, and finished it while listening to Jet giggle over old One Piece episodes. I think it will make a really excellent gift to someone.

Paperdori
Another thing that I've gotten to think about way too much during this trip and even just before this trip, has been about my physical, paper journal systems. I've had nearly everything. I started with Circa back when Levenger was a thing, and gone through Moleskines, Rhodia, Clairfontaine (of course with their rings), Miquel Rius squared notebooks, reams of composition and spiral bound notebooks, sheaves of 3x5 notecards, and have a drawer full of Field Notes that I started really using when I was in comp to track my progress. As for systems, at Xilinx I was religious about using my Covey system when I was working, but it seemed to straightjacketed for my present day life, without work or big project goals, it felt like too much, and for quite some time I'd gone with the GTD system, which worked, but didn't give me the records of WHAT I'd done that keep me happy. And I'd also done The Artist's Way processing pages to get a lot of mental stuff out of the way before my art.

It was the Field Notes that really caught me again. Tracking my heal numbers every day gave me a feeling for how I was doing, how far I'd gotten. I'd reached over a million heals on two of my three strange medi-guns, and it was fun to track. And I wanted a system by which I could do daily tracking, to my to do's in one place, and do the processing of the Artist's Way all in once place.

Inside...
And just before the trip, I settled on this Frankenstein monster of a journal set. I made myself a "Paperdori" cover, modeled after the Midori Traveler's Journal, where I could have multiple format A5 (or smaller) notebooks inside. I ended up with a lined Forest Choice notebook from pencils.com and the new, larger Field Notes Pitch Black dot grid notebooks. The lined one because I'd been trying out Bullet Journal formats in it, and was going to continue those in the dot grid book, but really truly missed having a sketchbook in with it all as well. I have a plain Forest Choice book that's going to go in a day's time, and I might end up making a big Pitch Black cover as well as a cover for the smaller Field Notes, too.

But those will be with my artwork. Not just a random bit of scrapbook paper that caught my eye.

And I realized that I could probably sell covered sketchbooks at the Studio Tour, with my artwork as the cover, for good amounts of money. And ones with original art for somewhat extravagant amounts if Etsy is to be believed. We'll see if that's actually the case on a local scale.

What finally sold me on the Bullet Journal system was the idea that I could get as organized as I wanted or needed give each week, and there wasn't a pre-printed format dictating how much or how little organization I had. I could do daily all I wanted, and then switch to weekly when not as much was happening, or log and process as much as my three pages of writing things out without disrupting the stream or scheme of the organizer. And the habit tracking pages that I can make to cover anything I want just float my little Achiever boat.

Uhm. Maybe I should write about my journal journey more extensively in detail after I'm done with my trip, but I thought a lot about it in the car... xD

Home for the night
We ended up in Alturas, California, in a Super 8, which had spread across a road to build a piece of itself behind what was once a Family Diner, which is no more. It's gone to meet its maker...

But the room is new, comfortable, and has all the amenities of refrigerator, microwave, and flat screen TV along with the usual shower, sinks, beds, and toilet.

The town is significantly larger than Eureka, and when the list of local restaurants included, of all things, a Thai restaurant that actually had a few stars and reviews on Yelp, we decided to go there. We were all a little tired of diner burger and fries. And we'd gotten into California, so the risk felt like it was well worth taking.

Pumpkin CurryPad Kra PowTom Kah Gai
We were well rewarded for our faith. Nuch's Thai Restaurant was a gem.

The Pumpkin curry was sweet with coconut, and while it looks like it's flecked with all kinds of chili it really wasn't that hot. The eggplant and zucchini were good with the big chunks of chicken, bamboo shoots and other goodies. The Pad Kra Pow, the middle dish, was something we'd never had before, and while it was advertised with ground meat, this one came with neat slices of pork. It was fragrant with basil, ginger, and garlic, and I wish I could have captured the smell along with the image. The deep red oil wasn't actually that hot, but it was delicious.

The Tom Kah Gai was really good, and again was decorated all in red, but wasn't actually that spicy hot, it was deeply flavorful.

We ate everything and two orders of rice along with it all. It was so good, it seemed a shame to leave any of it.

We rolled back to the hotel, got all the pictures downloaded, showered as desired, and I got to write down what I wanted to write. *laughs*

On to Ashland tomorrow.
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