We left San Mateo at eleven o’clock, and not long after noon we had left behind the crazy traffic and dense population of the Bay area. We got off the freeway, drove through orchards of walnut and pomegranate trees, and stopped for lunch in the small town of Winters. Carol had a perfect food experience: shrimp salad served on fiesta ware on a cheerful Mexican tablecloth.
I had ever driven through the far northern part of California. The freeway left the flat agricultural lands of the Central Valley, wound up through savannah with live oaks and grasses so dry they were whitish-gold, and into the foothills of the Cascade Range. And there was Mount Shasta, impossibly high, its peak hidden in a cloud. The freeway wound past and over Lake Shasta; but I was driving and decided I had better not look too much or we would be down that steep slope and in those blue lake waters way down below the roadway.
At dinner time we stopped in Grants Pass, Oregon, and ate at Shari’s, a restaurant chain of the Pacific Northwest. I have learned to be skeptical of pie purchased near interstate highways, but Shari’s served astonishingly good pie: Marionberry pie with no sugar added, a crust that was light and flaky.
We arrived in Salem at eleven o’clock, twelve hours after leaving home, with no energy for anything except going to bed.