Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2000 miles to Graceland

More like 2000 miles to Sacramento! Whew, what a drive!!

And yes, the longest part is trying to get out of Texas. I swear that last 247 miles from Ft. Stockton to El Paso had me thinking someone moved El Paso!

The cool thing about Ft. Stockton is seeing the metal cowboys welcoming you to town. The saddest part of the drive was crossing into Las Cruces, NM and watching the Texas border fade away.  I did a little dance in my seat as I cross the Continental Divide and again when I crossed the Colorado River into California.  I was a bit sad that the CA rest stops weren't open from the border up to Desert Palms :(

But this drive wasn't all roses and blue skies.  I left Phoenix earlier than planned (no Taliesin West on this trip) in order to avoid the rain and make it into California before the temperature dropped. I did hit San Bernardino by 12noon on Saturday (nice timing) only to spend an hour driving around town to find my childhood home. FOUND IT.

Enter the not so smart part of the drive. I deviated from the route thinking that I went north to Barstow and then west to Bakersfield, I would bypass LA traffic.  Oh I bypassed traffic alright, only to hit the steep mountain grades of the San Bernardino National Forest.  Needless to say the warning signs of "Extreme Weather, Reduce Speed, Use Caution, Use Chains in Mountain Areas" scared the ______ out of me. I made it to Junction 58 towards Bakersfield thinking that was smooth sailing - and it was through Edwards AFB and the Mojave.  Then I hit Tehachapi.  Who knew it snowed in the desert? I surely didn't. Who knew Tehachapi is the land of four seasons?  Yeah, me either. I thought the grade was scary along 215, it got worse up 58 and then you add some curving roads that are slick. All I could think of was Kathy Bates dragging my butt out of an embankment. I was white-knucked, radio off, seat upright all the way from Tehachapi to Bakersfield.  I shouted at the top of my lungs when I saw the turn for Bakersfield.

Um, yeah...Bakersfield.  Truly the armpit of America.  If you're from Bakersfield, I hope you moved.

Thank goodness Bakersfield to Sacramento is somewhat flat. No scary mountain grades. No slick roads. Only California Highway Patrol and cruise control set at 80!

So my new adventure begins.  I have a job interview with UC Davis set for Thursday.  My interview with Jackson Labs is being postponed.  I really want the job at Jackson Labs, but UC Davis will do nicely too.

The Fella and I are looking forward to making the best of this move, enjoying what Northern California has to offer and strengthening our relationship.

So a word to the wise...if you have to drive the West Coast anytime soon - stay on I-10.


The Merry said...

I figure when the Big One hits and California breaks off from the rest of the continent, Bakersfield is going to be prime coastal real estate.
Until then... I'll skip it.

to dream the KIMpossible dream said...

Happy you made it safely despite your detour, lady bug! Sounds scary!

Can't wait to hear all about your adventures!

Good luck on those interviews! =)

LaShaune said...

@Merry - I sure hope not. Maybe Fresno will be the next greatest thing (beside being raisin capital).

@Kim - of course I will keep you posted. Now to get over my fear of driving over these darn bridges.