So, from 1:30am to 3:30am, I chatted with M in her kitchen, eating delicious home made cheese-and-nut morsels and some Chardonnay. She also pulled out marinated prawns and rosemary crackers.

Drunk friends are fun.

View of the King Range, Fortuna, and the Pacific Ocean from M's deck

She was up before me though, and I heard water boiling for coffee and the TV spewing out news, so I showered and joined her. She baked me an awesome spinach soufflé for breakfast and delicious pressed coffee. Finally I was on the road at 10am.

A trail through the redwoods

My eensy beensy car

The rain was relentless. I had intended to stop in the redwoods on this trip. I didn’t yesterday because the rain was coming down in sheets. But today looked to be more of the same. Finally I pulled over in Weott and walked through the rain to get a few snapshots of the trees. After that, snow fell instead of rain.

North of Ukiah the snow turned back to rain, and I turned onto Highway 20 past Mendocino Lake and cut over to I-5 for some hardcore driving. Because of M, I was groggy by mid-morning, but I still intended to kick out as much of California as possible.

Another reason the rain was stressing me out is because my poor Dragon-Wagon is 14 years old and the windshield wipers are temperamental. For no discernible reason, they choose to run when I turn them off, or stop when I want them to go faster. Since it rained all day long, it was occasionally stressful fighting with my wipers.

California is a mighty large state. The Central Valley is about as uninspiring as scenery can be. Wow. Stunningly flat and at times, ghastly-smelling of liquid cow-poo. My god, what is that smell? I drove and drove and drove through pouring pouring rain all damned day long. I finally gave it up in Coalinga.