Things I did today…

Got up late. I remember the alarm at 6:00. A blink later I opened my eyes again and my lovely daughter was pointing at my clock, which now said 7:04. That doesn’t happen to me very often. We made it just fine. I was just trying to make the morning more exciting.

Drove an hour or so to Weed, California. There’s a brewery in Weed with the slogan, “Try Legal Weed”. There’s also a college… within walking distance of the brewery. Go figure. It’s good beer, by the way.

Later drove to Yreka, California. Don’t confuse this with Eureka, California. Yreka is full of farmers, red necks and lovers of Palin. The Native American word yreka means north mountain.

Eureka is full of farmers of another kind, customers of those farmers and Palin effigy burners. The word eureka means, “Dude, I found my bong.” (This isn't true by the way. Arcata - 5 miles north of Eureka - is more the 420 capital of the world. But Arcata and Yreka don't sound anything alike, so...)

Had Mexican food in Yreka with a great customer. In nine years of driving to Yreka, I haven’t seen a Hispanic individual except at a Mexican restaurant... and there are three in Yreka... Mexican restaurants that is.

Then drove up into Oregon to Grant’s Pass. Whenever I’m driving in Oregon I can’t help but feel like my license plate is a beacon, a statement that I do not belong. I wonder if they hate me. I don’t hate them when they come down from Oregon. I automatically assume they can’t drive, of course.

Took Highway 199 back down into Crescent City. Highway 199 is a beautiful drive. If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend it. It’s so green and varied, from open fields to massive redwoods. The rockslides are a bit of a downer.

All the while I’m listening to Treason by Orson Scott Card. He always amazes me. He’s a deeply religious guy. But somehow he creates his fiction without any bias at all. Because of brilliant settings and because his stories delve beautifully into universal human nature I’m always transformed by his work.

And now I’m here at the Light House Inn (I’m a regular here) full of crappy microwave food, bored with the golf tourney on the tube and worn out from the day. The clerk at the counter tried to guess my name. “Michael?” he asked. “Casey,” I said. “Aren’t you Michael?” I asked. “Uh, yeah, I am.” Maybe he’s having an identity crisis or something. The whole exchange made me feel oddly superior.

Tomorrow, more appointments and then the long trek back home. I go “the other way” coming home, completing a full circle through some of the most beautiful land in the country. All told it’s 500+ miles in two days, I-5 North to 199 West to 101 South to 299 East.

I feel like it’s my route, like I own it because of the unique placement of our branches. And in the cab of my little truck, in my own world, with my audio book drumming along, it’s true.




  1. The CGF stands out now.
    Nice drive and listening to an audio book while in your truck is the best way to use the time I think. Have you read any books by Charles Martin? I think I would pass on a trip to Yreka simply for the Palin reference.

  2. That is some of the most beautiful country in the world. I'm feeling homesick now. And a bit jealous.

  3. Hey TB,
    I have not read Charles Martin. I checked his name on Amazon and nothing looked familiar. Once I work through my collection of must listens (I've been on Robert Jordan for several months now going from the prequel to #12 in anticipation of #13 due out soon... and they're all 40 hours long each) I may check him out. Thanks for that. Yeah, we're in a very conservative part of California. I think my hometown votes about 80% conservative most times.

    Hey Juli.
    Whenever I go there I'm always reminded to appreciate my surroundings, the beauty that is seriously all around me. There's nothing like it.

  4. njvbarrett24/4/10 00:40

    Casey - Think you under-estimate how many vote conservative in our old hometown! Probably closer to 90%!

    And TechnoBabe - Yreka is a strange little place - good for people-watching and saying to yourself "So glad I live somewhere with more than 2 grocery stores!" Beautiful scenery, though.

  5. That's true Nan. It wasn't my intention to bag on Yreka, just to show the difference. It's a beautiful town. It's a high plateau looking place with rolling hills, lakes, foothills, etc. And I care very much for lots of the people there after almost 9 years of making that drive.

    Thanks for reading!


  6. That is a lot of driving but the pics are stunning.

    i was in Grant Pass about 25 years ago and saw a door company called Duras (they made/make those big heavy stock room doors that swing both way.) I remember it because they had a big sign that read "Duras door Bang Better". Random, I know, but it still cracks me up.... that and "The word eureka means, “Dude, I found my bong.” Love that!

    Glad you had a good trip. Welcome home.

  7. I love long drives in scenic routes :) But I prefer not having myself hearing to anything as I enjoy the scenery.

    ... I don't think we have any Mexican restaurant here :(

    Why people hate / love the woman Palin?

  8. There are a LOT of Mexican restaurants in California... probably in all of the U.S. Most of them are derivative of real Mexican food. But I love just about all of them.

    Palin is a heavy conservative, would-be vice president, Fox News talk show host... if one is a republican they like her and if one is a democrat they don't. Not much middle ground.


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