Sunday, July 3, 1994
- From: Our friend JB’s hippie shack in the wilds of Ukiah, CA
- To: Natural Bridge campground, Rogue River National Forest, Oregon
- Miles traveled: 420.8
- Brew pubs visited: 1
Quote of the day: “Earthquake: Just the Earth adjusting its shorts.”
There is a lot of California north of the Bay Area. We’d already come three hours north to Ukiah, and it’s another seven hours of driving to get to the Oregon border. To make time, we head inland and take Interstate 5. Bo-ring. And hot. And dusty.
Mount Lassen appears on the horizon about 30 miles outside of Redding. At first, it looks like a puffy cloud on the horizon, as seen through the haze, or maybe it’s a mirage. Soon, it’s pretty clear to us that’s no puffy cloud.
We take a break in Redding, paying a visit to the Red White and Brew. Now, this place looks like a strip club from the outside, but inside it’s quite pleasing: dark and cool, and all the woodwork and seating was salvaged from an old church. It’s the perfect antidote to hot, dry, inland driving. (Did I mention neither vehicle has air conditioning?)
Back on the road, making time on I-5. At 5:45 PDT, we depart California. It’s the end of an era. But the road is ahead of us now – a road that reaches far to the east and to our new lives.
It’s different now. Oregon is different. As the sun sinks into the ocean to our left, we begin to appreciate Oregon. The karma is good here. We let our guard down for a minute and the good Oregon vibes are jangled as we try – and fail – to find the brew pub in Ashland, and get hopelessly mired in Medford trying to find groceries.
Back on the road, we navigate our way into the Rogue River National Forest and secure a campsite. It’s dark when we pitch camp and make a big dinner salad, but we can hear the Rogue nearby. It’s a nice white-noise generator for our first night of camping. It seems like we’re the only people here. Ahhhhh.