Slept wonderfully in the open air. I will do this more often.
Got up at 5:30. Chilly next to the river. Made coffee. Wrote. Packed up. Bathed in the river.
By 9 I was off to Mariposa. Dropped bag of wheel covers off at O’Reillys. Washed car. Bought water and crappy sushi for breakfast. Went to library to type and reconcile expenditures.
Also checked out Campendium, which is a website that allows you to see all available camping in the vicinity of your destination, though, it does not seem to display dispersed, or free, camping. Perhaps it does, and I just need to use it more. We’ll see.
By noon I was off. Part of me just wanted to get on I-5 as quickly as possible. At the same time, I wanted to take CH 49 north through the heart of Sierra foothill country, that is, right before the mountains turn into small hills, and then flatness of the Central Valley. This part of California is interesting as it is a mix of grass, oaks, big pines but no junipers… why no junipers here??? Much of it looks like the Texas Hill Country, again, without junipers…
I knew the road would be windy, but figured I’d be ok for a little bit. This didn’t last too long as 49 north of Mariposa goes back into the Merced valley and is torturously curvy. But, once out of the valley, it straightens, a little.
Got to Sonora. Stayed a night here in June of 2019 after driving through Yosemite national park’s less visited part surrounding Hetch Hetchy. Saw the Miner’s Motel where I stayed that night (and watched Jesus kill Freddy Kruger in South Park’s Imaginationland episode.)
Before too long I was in San Andreas. That was enough foothill exploration. The winding was enough. So, I followed Google maps to CH 99, which took me into Sacramento, where I got on I-5 to head north. Here it was hot. Here the traffic sucked. I couldn’t wait to get out.
But it didn’t cool off north of Sacramento. The sun through the windshield made me squint and sweat. This part reminds me of Texas too in that it’s hot, flat and you can’t see anything remarkable. Oh, originally you could. Faintly through the smog, off to the east, I could see snow-capped Sierras rising over 10,000′, and realized this part of California was perhaps beautiful too, once upon a time with such scenery. Does the smog ever relent?
An hour later I was seeing the silhouette of another huge mountain… but in front of me. This had to have been Mt. Shasta. Wow. It was huge!
By 6 pm I was done. Got to Red Bluff. Campendium showed me that there’s the Sycamore Grove campground nearby, which is part of the Mendocino national forest, which is mostly in the mountain country east of Red Bluff. For $24 – a rip off – I got a place to put my cot and sleep on it. However, this is better than $124, and I was looking forward to the sun going down for cool winds to prevail.
When it did, they did. Watched the Overlord DVD channel on YouTube discussing the degeneracy of Disney. Then watched something on Babylon 5. Then good night.