Tahoe to Ashland

Tuesday the 7th, before heading to the Sacramento airport to pick up my parents, I stopped by Pat's hair stylist to get a much needed haircut. Susan Cogswell of Genray Hair Salon was a delight, and she gave me a pretty good haircut. Which, at $45 should be a good haircut. According to Pat, the gap between a basic crappy haircut and a decent haircut is even greater than it is in DC. Anyway, I suggest giving Susan a call (510-652-8108) if you are in need of a haircut in East Bay area.

I picked Mom and Dad up in spider-web-ville (aka Sacramento). I've never seen more spider-webs in my life. I had to rearrange all my luggage and clean up the car to make room for them, and I was covered in spider-webs by the time I was done. Just driving down the road you could see spider-webs floating in the wind. What is that all about???

We drove on up to Tahoe. Mom and Dad got a kick out of seeing what has changed and what was the same after 30 years since their last time in Tahoe. Unfortunately Mom wasn't feeling well. She needed to get back to her doctors in PA, so on Thursday morning I drove them to Reno to catch a flight home. She is doing fine now, but she did the smart thing by going home.

Mom did pretty well in the casino. I introduced her to craps, and she rolled for her first time. I only wish she could have had one of those stellar rolls where the whole table is cheering you on and giving you high fives. I think she would have had fun with that, and perhaps it would have taken her mind off of her health problems and the fact she had to go home early.

I stuck around in Tahoe one extra night after they left. I knew by staying in Tahoe so long, I was sacrificing the time I'd have to get up to Seattle, but I had a free room, and wasn't feeling like traveling. I managed to lose most of my winnings the last night there, but that is how it goes, and I did manage to walk out of there with some winnings.

I set out on Friday for Ashland, OR, on Pat's friend Paul's suggestion. I drove up US 395, to CA-44, to CA-89 before eventually getting to I-5. The majority of the drive was at night, and somewhere along the way, I stopped out in the wilderness (use your imagination for why). The moon hadn't risen yet, and there was absolutely no light pollution, and I was at somewhat higher elevation in cool weather. The sky was clear and simply wondrous. You could clearly see the Milky Way. I wish I'd stayed out there longer just watching the sky, despite the spookiness of pure darkness and the strange sounds of cattle grazing.

On my way out of the national forest, I stopped for dinner at the Hi-Lo Cafe in Weed, CA. I got a kick out of reading an article in the newspaper, about how the mayor has been lobbying to change the name of the town because of the drug references made to the town. The meal was mediocre, but the people watching was top-notch. I'd like to have seen Weed during the daytime, because Mt. Shasta is probably a pretty remarkable backdrop for this small mountain town, it certainly looks impressive from this satellite image.

By the time I made it to Ashland, it was raining pretty heavily (which seemed so strange since the sky had been so clear back in the Lassen National Forest). I checked into the Bard's Inn, also per Paul's recommendation. I was a bit surprised that the desk clerk informed me of the pool hours when I checked in, considering that it is November.

The next day I woke, and the view from the room was beautiful (no pictures, the camera hasn't really been touched since Sequoia). There were snow capped mountains, the leaves were showing their fall colors, and there was patches of low lying fog. I headed down to the local laundromat to do some laundry. The people watching was so good there, I may consider going to hang out in laundromats even when I don't have any laundry to do! Well, probably not. I didn't get a chance to spend much time in town, but I did do a lap up and down the main street while my clothes were drying.

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