Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Monday, October 15, 2012

California, 2012, 3

In which we go to Yosemite by way of a barren waste, bloodcurdling cliffs, mining camps and NPS death notices

The punctuality of one's departure on an auto trip is inversely proportional to the cubic capacity of the auto. Although we began with the best of intentions, one thing and another led to a last-minute packing that mostly resembled a stuffing. The first of the one things was breakfast at Sconehenge which despite its Hebridean name serves up a wicked good Mex breakfast...also decadent scones, if huevos revueltos with scones appeals.

It was also a Cal home game day, so grabbing good parking became a priority.

As we rode out of Dodge, I beheld a Cal student of the female persuasion heading off to what I suppose was a game day party. She was heading away from the stadium, at any rate, wearing the local Cal bearskin cap, a halter, and a nether garment that was somewhere north of shorts and south of belt. I kept my silence: nice neighbourhood.

By now, I've grown blase about California freeways, but it was a relief to see that in order to go south and west on the 205, it was first necessary to go north and east. It make me feel that Massachusetts highway engineering isn't totally unique. That was about that. The upper Valley's economic devastation has done nothing to improve one of America's dullest landscapes (except all of Oklahoma).

Some two hours later it became clear that plans were afoot for a late lunch. Ever since my spouse's solo trip out here in January I'd heard "In n Out...In n Out...." The context convinced me this was not sexually oriented. Now the term rose again, and shortly I found out what this was all about.

Manteca is, lord help it, a featureless suburb of recession-blasted Stockton. It's chief interest for us is that it's the place we leave the freeways and head east on CA 120. It also has an In-n-Out by the exit.

In a state where something 40 years old can be considered an historic site, In-n-Out is a museum piece: a fast food, quondam drive-in, chain, in existence for over 60 years. Kindly leave your food preferences at the door. You're going to get a hamburger. With vegetables if you ask. And french fries (a vegetable). And catsup (ditto). Lay back, enjoy it, and be sure your cardiologist is on speed dial.

Eastbound on 120 is all agribusiness, nearly all the time, with the occasional local farm stand. We stopped at one to complete the fruit and veg provisioning, filling up the last cubic inches in the car. The Sierras were still a dark smudge in the haze.

Linux subsidio est.

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