Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Grumpy Bulldog Does America Day 29: Screw California

The title is actually a lyric from a Rogue Wave song.  I began to think increasingly of it as the GPS took me on a scenic tour of northern California and had to avoid a cow on the road, poop in a Porta-Potty because the rest stop bathrooms are closed to save water, and sit around at 3 construction zones.

BTW, I think it was Maurice Mitchell who mentioned making a map on Google of where I've been.  I finally figured out how to do it!  So if you go here you can see where all I've been so far.

But first a correction from yesterday.  Apparently there are fast food restaurants in Yreka.  It's the old story where Wal-Mart moved in a few miles down the road, accompanied by McDonald's, Carl's Jr., and Starbucks and devastated the old downtown.  I only learned of this because I had to find a Redbox location to drop off Transformers 4, which accompanied me from Portland to Yreka.

(That movie is about as lame as you'd think it would be.  I hope now that Bay is out of the picture they just do a reboot.  And this time do it right.  Actually hire a screenwriter (or writers) who knows something about Transformers, for instance that Optimus Prime isn't all angsty and running around screaming about killing people and actually blasting a human.  Or at least someone who can put a script together that doesn't have holes big enough for a Dinobot to fit through.)

So I ran into a supermarket to use the Redbox.  It's good they had 2 because of course that one time EVER I'm going to be in Yreka to use the machine they have to have one opened up for maintenance.  And of course the other machine was being used by a lady returning like 3 movies.

I went over to Carl's Jr to get breakfast.  They have a sign on the speaker that says, "Say hello and someone will be right with you."  But I'm not going to be bullied like that!  So I sit there for a couple of minutes.  Another car pulls up behind me.  Finally I shout, "Is anyone there?"  And the lady actually says, "I was waiting for you to say hello."  Who the fuck is running this place, Pee Wee Herman?  I have to say the fucking secret word to get service?  If I had just kept sitting there, would she have let cars back up around the freaking block?  Which would be interesting to try.  Someone in Yreka go do that.  Seriously, minimum wage burger jockey, you're the one who's supposed to welcome me to your stupid restaurant, not the other way around.  You're the one who's supposed to be freaking grateful to me for spending my $6 for a couple of biscuits and a soda.  So don't play power games with me, goddamnit!!!  But at least the biscuits were good.  So there's that.

Anyway, like I said, the GPS decided instead of taking I-5 to I-80 or whatever to take this US89 to the Volcanic Legacy Bypass.  Which meant going through the woods.  The deer crossing signs made sense, but then I saw a COW crossing sign.  I'm like, Cow Crossing?

But low and behold (pun intended), a couple miles down the road, there's a freaking cow in the road!  It was at least the opposite lane, so I didn't have to wait around forever.  There were three more on the side of the road just standing around.  I was curious then are these cows someone owns that are free ranging or are they rogue cows who escaped or are the wild offspring of escaped cows?

I stopped at a scenic overlook to get a couple of pictures of Mt. Shasta--and a lizard!  I'm not sure if it was a gecko or salamander or what.  For some reason lizards and frogs don't bother me as much as snakes.  Also I have GEICO insurance.

The US89 part had more semis on it, which got to be annoying.  More annoying were the three construction zones where you had to wait like 5 minutes while cars went through the other side.  I did take advantage of that to roll down my windows and take pictures.  Plus once I switched books on my Kindle.  But still, it was irritating.

The Volcanic Legacy thing was mostly the same terrain (hilly/woods) but fewer semis.  I stopped at a rest stop because I had to shit.  As I mentioned, the bathrooms are closed and so instead you have to use porta-johns because they use less water.  They have a couple of portable sinks too.  Which I didn't realize until too late how to actually get water out of the sink, so that was kind of annoying.  Coming back after taking some pictures I saw a lady similarly confused about the water thing and told her how to do it.  She did not even thank me.  She's just like, "Oh wow!"  You're welcome.  And on top of that they didn't have a vending machine and I was getting hungry, so I had to eat one of the cinnamon rolls I took from the motel in Yreka that I planned to eat tomorrow.

Then there were more semis once I got on US36.  There were passing lanes, but still you end up for miles behind some freaking semi, or once 2 of them.  Then you have to gun it while going uphill to get around them, which was compounded once by 2 semis on the side of the road in the passing zone.  One time I got fed up with two really slow cars behind a slow RV and just barely passed the cars in time.

I stopped for lunch in Susanville, CA.  First I got gas, where apparently they're not required to have someone pump it for you.  Fine with me.  Anyway, I saw a billboard for McDonald's but I didn't actually see it--because their sign was obscured by a tree.  Instead I went to Jack in the Box.  Which the weird way these plazas were laid out I had to walk over a little bridge and then through another plaza to get there.  Yeesh.  At least unlike in Washington someone was actually paying attention.

What's sadly hilarious is that you can see the effect of the drought in California by a number of dried-up lakes.  The sadly funny part is the GPS shows these big blue lakes and then you look over and it's a dusty plain.  Some politician's sign was promising water and jobs if they elect him to Congress.  I'm not sure how that would happen.  Maybe he'd ferry buckets of water out of the House sinks?  There was another dried-up lake just inside Nevada too, so not like it's a lot better here, but I do have a pond outside my motel in Sparks.

The problem for me here was finding where to check-in.  The casino and the hotel are two completely separate buildings.  So I look around the hotel and there's no lobby.  Finally, on the back side of the casino building I see where it says "Reservations."  So you have to go into the casino to go to the desk to check into the hotel.  Are they hoping I'll decide to sit down and play some slots while I'm there?  Incidentally slots are probably all I'd play.  I don't understand craps or poker and I don't really know more than basic blackjack.  Maybe roulette.  I suppose gambling is slightly better than wasting money on Candy Crush because at least there's a 0.00001% chance you might win something.

Anyway, I might go back to the casino for dinner.  Their prices are actually pretty competitive as far as that goes.  But why no room service?  And why no fucking HBO?  I guess they don't want you to be too comfortable in your room so you'll go gamble.  Is there still time for me to bet on the baseball game at the sports book?

Tomorrow I'm supposed to go across Nevada to Elko and yet another casino.  Huzzah, huzzah.  I think it'll be one month since I left Metro Detroit and began my journey of grumpiness across America.

I'm lazy so here are just all the pictures and you can sort them out to figure what goes where in my narrative.

I wimped out on going to the casino.  I didn't really feel like dealing with it.  And nothing really sounded good for dinner.  Instead I went to Target for some supplies.  And then stopped at Wendy's for dinner.  Here's some of Reno at night:


  1. I feel soooo robbed! Why no pictures of cows in the road? I demand photos of cows! LOL :-p

  2. I like the view of the mountain in the pics. Yet, I wanted to see the cow too!

  3. That's what's known as a Western Fence lizard, by the way. They're significant in that they are immune to Lyme disease.
    Um... why are we seeing the inside of your(?) mouth?



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