Day 30: I-5 Corridor, North of Sacramento

The good news: Sparkle is back in action. The bad news: I think I was ripped off big time — $1339 for a new fuel pump. I was a little shaken up after having broken down yesterday — and then putting my van back on the road in 110 degree heat for a full day’s worth of driving. I usually drive about 12-14 hours per day, turning the engine off only for getting gas & doggie romps. But Sparkle’s holding up well god bless her. The heat was absolutely excruciating today. As soon as I can get through this Sacramento & inland area, I’m off to the Bay Area and coastal stuff. I sure miss those beautiful beaches we enjoyed just a couple days ago.

I did find a nice lake in the afternoon near Mount Shasta. The dogs were freezing after just a few minutes of swimming in it. I think it was fed by a river from the mountains. But we still all enjoyed the sudden shocking cold water. Much earlier in the day, I had located a schoolyard near the mechanics’ that had just had sprinklers on so the dogs got some exercise and got a bit wet there. When I stopped throughout the day, they were obviously dumbfounded by the outside world being SO much hotter than inside the van.

I’m glad there no pet cemeteries or amusement parks on my list today that required a lot of walking around. Here’s a neat laundromat sign from Corning:

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Redding has a little motel strip that reminded me of Reno or Vegas. Or maybe it was just the heat of the place that made them seem similar. Here are two side by side classics, now on the seedy side, with signage from both ends of their buildings.

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I saw Western references in Red Bluff, Redding and elsewhere along the I-5 corridor. It seemed appropriate since it was just as hot and dry as West Texas.

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Once you enter the Mount Shasta area, there is suddenly relief with pine trees and slightly cooler temperatures. Here in Dunsmuir, the Cave Springs Resort advertises from the higher “sleep under the trees”. They have a pretty scripty neon sign over the canopy (and a not so nice but still fairly old plastic pole sign).

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Just up the road, there is apparently an older resort with a dramatic entrance:

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The little town of Weed (not the nicest name — maybe it’s named after someone?) has several cute motels with photo-worthy signs and a very nice totem pole:

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I’m not sure what type of wild-and-crazy pine tree this is. It looks more like a branch in this photo — but it’s a giant tree.

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And finally, my last photo stop for the day, way up just north of Yreka. I’m glad I went out of my way for this dragon. He was pretty magnificent. Made from recycled materials.

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