Saturday, January 07, 2012

California Dreamin'



We are safely over the passes, which were clear and dry. The worst we encountered was a patch of dense fog. Then it was over, and we were in California. It took a few minutes for me to realize that I was grinning, and a moment more to realize why I was grinning -- the sun was shining! R opened his window and declared the weather mild. A moment later, we pulled off the road at a viewpoint, so that I could snap photos of the landscape, which I will post if the connection here ever improves.

When I'm at home in Canada, or somewhere else in the world, I tend to forget the hold that California has on me. As we drove along, I looked at the hillsides and I knew how the soil and the vegetation would smell if I were out walking there, knew how the sun would feel on my head, knew enough to watch out for snakes. I do love this place.

Shortly after we crossed the border, we came to the dreaded Agricultural Inspection Station. Oh, no. I had gotten rid of our vegetables before we crossed the U.S. border (except for the tomatoes), then gone hog wild in a supermarket in Washington. We pulled up to a booth, where we were greeted by a young woman in uniform. I rolled down the window. "Are you carrying any fruits or vegetables?"

I decided that there was no sense in beating around the bush. I was about to lose my vegetables again. "You know," I said, "I think you might as well come in and look around. I forgot all about this inspection, and I've got a fridge full of vegetables." I started to get out of the driver's seat.

"Okay," said the officer. "Do you have any corn that's still in the husk?"

"No."

"Any citrus fruit?"

"Oranges."

"Any papayas or mangoes?"

"No."

"Okay, that's fine. You can go."

That was when my jaw hit the floor. I closed my mouth and drove away. I felt like that woman in the Ikea ad -- the one that keeps yelling "START THE CAR! START THE CAR!"

We intended to get to Corning today, but we stopped at a supermarket in Redding. (I bought only one vegetable!) When we came out, we decided that there was no reason why we had to keep driving, so we got back on the I-5, drove just until we saw a sign advertising an RV park, and stopped. This place is called JGW RV Park. It's right on the Sacramento River, and it's quieter than it ought to be, given its proximity to the I-5. We did ask for a site near the back of the park. Before dinner, R went for a little bike ride, and I took a walk around the park, both of us without coats -- the first exercise either of us has had on the trip.

Tomorrow, we will stop at Corning, but just to buy olives. (Corning is the Olive Capital of the World!)

5 comments:

Linda said...

Hooray, no one took your veggies! AND you got to keep your oranges!

Love the picture of the snow covered mountain.

Your picture of California looking brown reminds me of what it looks like here in vermont. We've no snow (which is kind of scary) and temps generally in the 40's.

hugs to both of you, enjoying the journal and reading it to K

Bagman and Butler said...

I remember that checkpoint from my old hippie days! I was busted for oranges but drove away with two ounces of pot.

AngelMay said...

Ohhhhh! California! The sun shines down there. Yes! It does! I'm missing the sun right now.

Sandra Leigh said...

Linda, that's Mt. Shasta. I meant to identify it in the blog entry, but I forgot.

B&B, LOL -- And I felt like *I* got away with something!

AngelMay, I've been thinking about you ever since the sun started to shine. Wish you were here.

John Hayes said...

Wow, that's the best luck I've ever heard about at the California checkpoint! You did pick a particularly loathsome weather day to drive thru Portland--glad you're in the Sunshine State!

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