I have just finished my big July road trip, and it was an insanely awesome time! I drove out of Boise drove all day to Crater Lake National Park and camped in the car to continue on to San Jose the next day, only to go back up to San Francisco the day after that to pick up Kathryn. I am the queen of getting lost, yet I had absolutely no trouble until Sacremento- where I was perpetually lost trying to find San Jose. I decided early on to grab the atlas and ditch the GPS (it hates me anyway), but I had to turn it on once I got to Bend. I got a little confused on which highway to take so I caved and turned on the GPS, which took me on a “scenic country road” route and wasted some of the gas I had just bought. Also, I felt like I had driven into the middle ages when I pulled into the gas station. I told the guy filling up my tank that I was headed to San Fran to pick someone up for a road trip and he comes back with, “Well I sure hope he’s worth it, m’lady”. M’lady? Who talks like that?! I laughed and told him it was a girl and he said, “Forgive me, m’lady” and gave me some suckers for my trip. And you say chivalry is dead.
I opted for the long way south so I could see Crater Lake NP, and I spent about three and a half hours just gallivanting about the park. I loved every minute of it and experienced a beautiful sunset over the lake…I was one happy chick! The first day was a great day, I wasn’t tired on the road, time passed pretty quickly, and I was very optimistic about this road trip overall. On day two I stopped for gas somewhere outside of Redding only to discover smoke hissing out from under the hood of my car.
My phone was dead, and my dad was on a plane to Alaska anyway. I popped the hood and tried to
appear magically become car savvy. At first glance I thought I had blown a gasket, but after the smoke cleared I could see that it originated farther beneath the engine. I sat myself down helplessly with the manual and tried to diagnose my car. A wonderful man named Vincent came over to where I was and took a look for me. He had no idea who I was, but he said he knew what it was like to be stuck with car trouble and no one to help. It was interesting that my car was smoking despite the fact that the temperature gauge on the dash indicated a normal temperature. Vincent speculated that the oil filter was either put on wrong or was loose. He led me to the local mechanic, where they confirmed just that. I was so very, incredibly grateful that the problem was nothing more than a poorly set oil filter. (I can say “poorly set”, but you must know that I had a hand in putting it on in the first place.)
After that slight scare-and a recommendation to replace my two front tires and serpentine belt (which I ignored)-I finally made it to San Jose! I stayed at a family friend’s house (they might as well be family, I call them my aunt and uncle) for the night before heading off to meet Kathryn. We planned on traveling down the California coast and then cutting inland to see Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks before ending the trip in Vegas!