Arizona to Portland: Miles - a lot.
Over Night Stops: Castaic Lake, Just north of Santa Clarita, CA & Oak Bottom, West on 299, just outside of Redding, CA
I thought I've seen windmills before. Going through the desert, near the Palm Springs area, made me realize we in Illinois are in the minor leagues when it comes to wind power. There were miles and miles, and hundreds of windmills catching the drafts coming off the mountains. It was a little creepy, to be honest. Maybe I've been watching too much BSG, but I imagined all those windmills pulling themselves out of the ground and taking over the world!
I'm glad we're on the same team still.
And then the first night of camping with cats. It was interesting.
Mike and Meryl were generous to let me borrow their tent, and I was happy to finally use it. Above was the scene when I first got everything set up, with kitties settled. Everything was starting fine. New smells. New sights. Lots to keep Kodak and Baxter occupied.
Baxter got it in his head to explore and tooled about the site. Yes, that is a harness you see on that cat. Yes, I have him tied to a tree. Yes, I know I'm crazy. There are few options for cats outside of a little box to keep them penned up in. I chose to let them explore.
Then, Baxter got wound around a tree, freaked out, and most likely hurt himself in the process. I tried to pin him down to take the harness off, but that ended in him attaching himself to my flesh, then pulling back and wiggling out of his harness. Baxter free from the tangle. Good. Baxter then was loose for 15 minutes.
There was not an epic chase across the campground. Don't worry. I just kept an eye on him as he paced around the car with a puffed tail. He sulked underneath eventually, then I snatched him up and put him in the tent. He didn't leave this position all night.
This is were I was. After I got past the gouges taken out of my leg and settled the cats, I took a walk and was happy to find all sorts of pretty things.
Then I drove up to Redding, took a left, and went camping near Shasta in a little area called Whiskey Town. No Fairbanks, it did not live up to it's name.
The area was beautiful, however.
The rest of the night was much like the last, with the exception of the traumatic episode with Baxter. I foraged for campfire stuffs and felt good about being able to make fire. There was a near tragedy when I realized I had my bottle of Arrogant Bastard and no bottle opener, but after rearranging half the car, I found my Leatherman, and the world was righted. I think it actually tasted better after the struggle.
Then the next morning I was planning on continuing on 299 West to meet up with Hwy 101. I love 101. It is a wonderful way to see Oregon.
After getting gas at an adorable town called Weaverville, I went through more of the mountain pass and was greeted by a "Check Engine!!!" light. (Violet doesn't really have exclamaiton marks on her dash signals. She was paniced though. I could tell.) I pulled into a valley, checked all of the checkable entrance points into my engine (oil, coolant, transmission, hoses, plugs, belts, etc.) then called Dad. Dad's are great aren't they? A nice police officer pulled over and we drove back to Weaverville, and the car shop, and found out that after getting gas, I didn't screw my gas cap on tight enough and the engine thought there was a vapor leak. I felt silly, but relieved.
So, instead of going back to 101, I went up I-5 to get to my sister's in a reasonable time. The drive was awesome. Mt. Shasta was a sight to see for sure.
I'm in Portland until Sunday morning! Yay!