I leave Portland by 10 am for San Francisco. The road is more or less open, depending on when I hit it: if I hit it right there's nothing like it, and if I hit it wrong then I'll be sorry. I hit it right.
Once I'm sure I'm on the right road at the right time I begin having road thoughts, like this: Europeans never wrote 'road' books, they wrote travel books instead.
Trucks rule the road I'm on, as they should, bringing everything we need to wherever we are–milk trucks and beer trucks, trucks stuffed with live cattle and frozen chicken, trucks carrying pre-formed wooden joists and plywood. In the pass between Grants Pass and Yreka, the wheels of the trucks look like the charioteers wheels in the movie "Ben Hur" and I am extra careful when passing them.
I drive for 6 hours-including 3 different stops to get out and stretch-and finally pull in at dark to the Best Western beside the highway in Redding. My room is 231. I take a hot bath, do yoga on the hard floor, then go down to the hotel restaurant C.R. Gibbs for a wedge salad and fish taco.
After being alone all day I find the restaurant very noisy. Three fat girls are sitting at the bar, drinking beer and saying "O my God " over and over to one another.