Road Trip Take Two, Day 2

(Long time no see...)

Traveling the old-fashioned way certainly has its benefits. Just like people tearing up the miles with horse-carriages, you get a great sense of satisfaction when you get there. Though, traveling thousands of kilometers with a horse-carriage also has a dangerous aspect. Not a problem when your carriage is a car, then.

The first bit of news we took in on this gray morning in Wilsonville was that brush fires have broken out in California again, and were nearing themselves to civilization. So maybe it's not so danger-free.

Brush-fires tend to break out because of warmer weather, so there are definitely advantages to spontaneous combustion.

I suppose that because of the fire weather, Mt. Ashland wasn't snowy like it was a month ago when we first drove along it. On the subject of fire and its byproducts, we got a sudden craving for coffee'd drinks and stopped at a town named for the former, containing the latter.

Contrary to logic, Ashland is not known for the substance that remains after a country boy plays with matches, but for a yearly festival honoring an ancient foreign fellow who loved to talk to discarded skulls. Or something like that.

During the rest of the year – which was when we arrived – quasi-homeless hippies and people past retirement take the reins of this rather quaint not-gray-skied-despite-being-in-Oregon town. It's a nice place to grab a coffee...just be careful not to overdose on the "bard".

Once you leave all traces of "shakeshafte" behind, you're already at the point when you do so with Oregon (and all its well-advertized adult shops) as well.

Re-visiting during the peak of summer reveals some different characteristics, after you've been asked by people in high-visibility vests whether you have verdure on you. While the land still looks like desert and the rest stops are still decent, the entire state of California is mosquito turf during nighttime, the temperature during which does not drop much below thirty degrees Celsius.

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Recognize the location in the adjacent photo? Of course you don't. The last time you've seen a photo of this particular stretch of road was when it was completely flooded. After confirming that the I-505 indeed isn't meant for marine craft, we got re-acquainted with San Francisco's 20-lane entry toll, which had raised its rates in the meantime to $5. Sneaky knaves.

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