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Published: June 26th 2015
…was nothing but driving and looking at the scenery…and appreciating the air conditioning. Did you know Oregon has pelicans? I sure didn’t. In one of the creeks that ran alongside Hwy 97 we saw two or three pelicans hanging out and bathing. We left Klamath Falls and headed into California. When you enter California in that area, Mt. Shasta is straight ahead. From a distance it’s pretty to look at, even with the low snow pack. The closer we got, the more impressive it became, although it’s still not as good as Mount Rainier (yes, just a little biased). Mt. Shasta guided us to where we picked up I-5. On our way to the freeway, we were stopped at our first inspection station. Everybody was subjected to California inspectors looking for citrus fruit. Luckily we had none and we were sent on our way in a matter of minutes.
Winding our way from I-5 through Chico (literally, thanks to the directions from the trip planner) to I-80 became a bit iffy. A warning to anyone thinking of doing this…make sure you have a full tank of gas when you leave I-5. Hwy 99 connects I-5 to Hwy 70 which gets
Welcome to California
This little (2" long) guy scurried across the bathroom floor into the stall I was in at a rest area in Red Bluff, CA. He ran straight for my shoes. I flicked him away and he stayed where he stopped and stared at me the entire time I was in there.
you to Hwy 20 which will take you to I-80. All was looking both hunky and dory when we turned onto Hwy 20. Boy did we underestimate the amount of fuel we’d use. Hwy 20 is a two lane road that takes you over the Sierra Nevadas. It’s a windy, twisty undulating mountain road with NO services (not even cell service most of the time). The low fuel warning light came on about ¾ of the way over and we weren’t sure if we’d make it. Even if we made it to I-80 before running empty, would there be a gas station with diesel nearby? I sent up a quick prayer. It was very pretty and relaxing (except for the diesel part) and at one point near the end we passed a historical marker that was more than a brass plaque explaining the significance. This one had a couple of large white crosses with a small rectangular area (maybe 5ft x 3ft) surrounded by a white picket fence between them. Maybe an Oregon Trail (Donner Party) memorial??? I’ll have to see if I can find information about it. I wish we had time (and fuel) to stop; I like reading historical markers.
We eventually made it to I-80 with a collective sigh of relief. Now we just had to get to a station before the needle hit the E for good. Lo and behold, the next exit had a gas station that also had diesel fuel. Whew! We pulled up to a pump and the car at the pump ahead of us had the hood up. There was a young woman (maybe 20 years old) talking with a CHP officer. She was clearly shaken. She turned back to the pump and tried her credit card a couple of times. It didn’t appear to be working. She went inside and I saw her talking to the man behind the counter. She went farther into the store and I lost sight of her. When Mike was finished filling the tank I asked him to wait; I wanted to check on her and see if we could help. I went into the store with some cash. It turned out her card worked fine and getting gas wasn’t the issue. Her car was overheating and she didn’t know what to do about it. She was looking at the anti-freeze, not knowing what to buy. I told her Mike would help her out. It was an easy fix. The tube in the reservoir had come disconnected. If that was the only thing causing the car to overheat she should be good to go. She had just started off only a few hours ago on her way to western Massachusetts. Mike told her what to keep an eye on and what to do if it got hot again. She was still a bit shaky when we left her, but I think she felt a little better.
We spent the night at a small RV park in Truckee. The wifi service was less than reliable which is why this is being posted a day later. A hot shower and breakfast and we’re on our way.
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