We've just driven 1,350 miles to get here. Some snippets from the trip:
The 2008 Scion xB gets at least 30 mpg on the highway, which is better than I had expected. It got 33 mpg in Washington and Oregon, but the second I hit the Central Valley, the a/c went on full blast and stayed there.
The Scion is also mostly comfortable for very, very long trips. However, the lack of any sort of padded surfaces inside is slightly painful after resting my left elbow on hard plastic for twenty plus hours. Ewww. Still, good car, good stereo. It's thankfully far quieter than I had expected.
The wine is safe. Dan carried 15 cases; I carried 15 as well, plus two wooden boxes with the Monte Bello. Although our locker is a 36 case locker, it's entirely full as getting it in there and getting to the hotel was far more appealing than taking the time to get everything positioned perfectly. Besides, when the locker is ten feet up from the ground, you get really tired really quickly and just want to get on with things. There are still maybe twelve cases in Salmonberg (and that's gonna be a real bitch getting it to San Diego without boiling it), but those are just gonna go in the apartment and that's that. What's left is almost 100 riesling, so you can expect some of that if you come over and visit us soon...
At a rest area near Willows, CA, I watched a senior citizen park in front of the "NO DOGS ON LAWN" sign, let his dogs out of the back of the station wagon unleashed, and then let them piss all over the picnic area. I quasi-helpfully said "Sir, if you're looking for the pet area, it's just over there" (it was maybe thirty feet away), which of course made him really angry, so he asked me if I was a law enforcement office. These, my friends, are the people that vote Republican: they have absolutely no regard for the law and if you call them on it, the only argument they have is a variant of "What are you, a cop?" I saw a lot of Dick Cheney in this gentleman. Sadly, all I did was lamely give him the finger and invite him to "eat shit, sir." What I realize I should have done was whip out my mobile phone, take a bunch of pictures, and tell him that I'd be texting them to the CHP. Ah well... maybe next time?
The Black Bear Diner in Mt. Shasta, CA is the original one and is seriously overloaded with bear crap. The club sandwich we shared really hit the spot, but the fries were cooked in dirty grease and about as appetizing as the shrew Sophie dropped under my computer desk earlier this week. Yeeesh.
The Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, CA is immaculately maintained and possibly the nicest casino I've seen in years. The breakfast buffet was also surprisingly delicious (fresh pineapple and eggs Benedict == a very contented bruin). I'd go back, you betcha.
The Scion appears to be a bear magnet. A biker with a magnificent bikerbaer-style reddish beard chatted me up about in a Salem, OR parking lot, and a marmoty trucker asked me about it in the Buttonwillow rest area. Unfortunately, however, the CHP thinks it looks pretty cool as well, so I was treated to a cop riding my ass for a couple of miles down I-5. I was going 72, though, so I figured I wasn't gonna get busted for speeding.
That's all for now. When Dan wakes up, we'll eat, and then I'll settle in for an early sleep and some research about the company I'm interviewing with tomorrow.