And now, for the next part of the story -- completely different trip, same summer.
DAY 1 – HOME to WOODLAND, CA – 513 miles - 11 hours (took our time)
We left in the wee hours this morning, wishing to get through LA before the rush began. Really, there was no traffic to speak of through LA and up the Grapevine. Got more cars once we were down the Grapevine and of course, trucks. We stopped at the Tejon Pass rest area and there were loads of cars with sleeping people in them. Stopped for breakfast at the exit before Buttonwillow, at IHOP. We were puzzled over the sale of "bio-diesel" and hoped that we wouldn't have trouble finding good-old diesel #2. (And later, did not.) Walking after the meal was in order, for both our own bodies as well as to take our time in getting where we were going.
Comin' through the Grapevine:
Next stop was at Coalinga Rest Area, for a walk and then a long rest of the eyes. It did both of us good, though I don't think we actually slept. Stopping in Santa Nella at our usual haunt, Rotten Robbie's, we found fuel was $2.77/gallon (yuck) and the truck was thirsty. However, 16.5 mpg was nothing to sneeze at, considering the uphill and the winds we were battling in places. Next stop was the Westley Rest Area, for another walk and rest of the eyes and to kill time, as we didn't want to try to check into our motel too early.
Our choice was the Best Western Shadow Inn, as we wanted to try the BW chain, and the Internet price was right. We unloaded, got situated in a fairly decent room, then donned swim attire and went for a 20 minute swim. The pool water was absolutely wonderful, "just right". The room itself is quite nice, with a king sized bed, fridge and microwave in a nice cabinet that contains a working sink, TWO luggage racks, a small TV, a large desk, a loveseat and two chairs, and a “coffee table”. The bathroom is a wee bit small but no big deal, we're only here for a night. Everything is super clean and in good order, with plenty of lighting.
This was supposed to be a 525 mile day, according to Google Maps planning. Leaving early was mostly to avoid driving through LA during the daytime. However, the other side of that is arriving at the destination before your motel is ready for new guests. If we had not taken our time at breakfast, and then two long rest area stops, we would have taken a little more than 9 hours to get here, instead of almost 11. Traffic through Stockton and Sacramento was fine, nothing too heavy. Now we are wondering what the traffic will be, north towards Redding and into Oregon.