The drive down California, Day One

Leaving Klamath, CA (where we’d stayed overnight after emptying our home), we hit the road for a 400+ mile drive. We’d made reservations at a hotel owned by the same folks who own an LA hotel we enjoyed, betting a good night’s sleep there.

On the way, we communicated–me in the car following the big truck–using wrist walkie talkies. I used a gift card from credit card points to get them, and they were invaluable. We each kept an eye out for truck route signs or weigh station info, and a few times I was able to give M a head’s up when he missed a sign.  We also were able to discuss last-minute route changes. We also avoided tickets for using the phone while driving.

Let me pause here to say that I have found a hole in the Internet. There are no sites for truck rental customers regarding restrictions for trucks. Somehow truckers know which roads and bridges allow/don’t allow trucks, but I could not find that info online. Anywhere. At all. The rental companies don’t offer assistance with that. AAA doesn’t offer that information. So we’d reach a point where the highway didn’t allow trucks and would revise our move on-the-fly. Without those walkies, I don’t know what we’d have done. (We’re still not sure if that bridge we traveled allowed trucks; ours was the only one.) So if you’re the enterprising type and have the web skills, you may take this idea and run with it.

So we traveled south to our hotel, finding it in the state of being remodeled. The only other guests were some men who were grilling outside their room. Others were hiding in the dark in various nooks, talking on cell phones. It made me nervous at first, especially since they scattered when I pulled up. I later realized that they were staying there while they worked on the remodel, but until then it gave the place an uncomfortable air. (I think maybe they weren’t supposed to be grilling?) The rooms had yet to be remodeled (since about 1965?!) and were really gross.  Furniture rotting and in disrepair, peeling old wallpaper, no screens on the windows, old curtains and sheets. The bath was dirty, so we left without showering. We might have slept elsewhere, but there was nowhere else to go, and we were too tired to get back on the road.

A fun diversion on our stop, though, was Pea Soup Andersen’s. I’d seen it on many a road trip along I-5 but had never stopped. It’s a silly tourist attraction, but pea soup, salad, and dense pumpernickel were just the thing to refuel me.

Wednesday morning we left early so that we could arrive in the Coachella Valley in time to sign a lease.

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Filed under crescent city, life changes, Life in Coachella Valley, The Big Move

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