Trip Start Mar 18, 2010
8Trip End Ongoing
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The drive was long, but not too bad. From Bellevue, I drove over Lake Washington on the I-90 bridge so I could have one last look at the beautiful city I have come to call home over the last 8 years. It was a gorgeous day. I could see Mt Baker to the north, Rainier to the south, the Olympics in front of me, and the Cascades behind me. As I looked out beyond Safeco and Qwest Field, across the Port of Seattle and over to West Seattle, I realized (but not for the first time) how fortunate i have been to live among such uniquely beautiful surroundings.
From Seattle, it was about three hours to Portland where I picked up Dan at Portland State University. We had connected to Craigslist Rideshare and I agreed to give him a ride to Medford for $20. It came to pretty much a straight split for the gas I used while he was in the car.
We stopped at a great little park for a few minutes to let Wallie out and take care of his business. There were several signs with the little picture of a dog walking with his owner. Clearly, dogs were allowed at that park, so I threw the tennis ball around for him for a few minutes. No more than three minutes later, another guy came walking up to me with his dog. "You know," he said, "I don't get why people are so uptight about letting dogs run around in this park." He then dropped the leash and Max and Wallie chased each other around for a good 15 minutes. Everybody wins!
I realized, just after getting out of Seattle, that I had left my spare wheel in the garage. I had meant to bring it with me and get a new tire for it while I was on the road so I had to stop anyway, but nobody seemed to carry the wheel until finally I found a place in Eugene that had everything I needed. The wheel was an extra $60 expense I wasn't counting on, but as Dan pointed out, it's still cheaper than a tow truck.
Back on the road for another hour or so, and I dropped Dan in Medford. Wallie then quickly reclaimed shotgun, and we made our way to California. As we approached Mt. Shasta, I realized how valuable a real camera would be. The iPhone is great, and the resolution is pretty impressive for closeups, but it just cannot do a mountain justice. I think I'll have to see if my buddy Craig knows anybody with a good camera they don't want anymore. By the way, any reference to Craig or CL or even "the list" - it all means Craigslist. Craigslist has been such an amazing resource for me already and I plan on depending on it for many things for the duration of my trip. I've already started an entry on Craig which I will continue to update and post before long.
It finally started to get dark with about three hours to go before Sacramento. This was just as well because, from what I could tell, there wasn't a whole lot to see anyway. Just before midnight I made it to Tony's house. We sat around for about an hour, just bs'ing about all the guys from the frat and who's doing what. Then we went to his favorite Mexican drive-through: At Alburto's. There's a Taco Bell right next to it, and if I wasn't with a local, I probably would have gone with what's familiar. Luckily, that was not the case. Alburto's was quite an experience for fast food. First of all, the menu does you no favors. No pictures, not even a description of what's inside anything. I looked at the menu for a second, paused and looked at Tony and, with no shame for cliches, asked, "What's good here?"
"Get the California," he said
"What's in it?"
"I don't know."
Great…well, whatever. I'm here for adventure. So we ordered, although I'm not sure that was clear to the guy who was taking our order because the guy at the window seemed real confused when we pulled up. So some other lady came over and answered all of our seemingly stupid questions about what was in everything we had ordered. We changed our entire order, but ended up with some amazing authentic Mexican fast food.
Zach and Wallie