Saturday, June 16, 2007

Drive: Paso Robles to San Marcos, California

"What is more beautiful than a road?" ~George Sand

June 14: The good news today was that I was accepted to receive a scholarship from District Northwest MBAA to attend the MBAA International Brewers Symposium on Hops in Corvallis. That will save me $324 for the registration and the monograph. Every little bit helps because I'll be paying my flight from Bar Harbor, Maine to Corvallis, Oregon for the event, plus my hotel room. (And $324 adds up to over 4 tanks of gas.)

The other good news is that Matt Brynildson gifted me a mixed case of Firestone Walker beer, and helped me get the van jumped after the battery quit.

The bad news is that after a late start, I had a very long day. I had trouble finding an RV wastewater dump station and had to back track on Hwy 101 after several false leads. Finally I drove past San Luis Obisbo at 1:00 pm. Then I hit rush hour at 3:45 pm in Santa Barbara. Traffic let up a bit, then really crawled until the rush hour bottleneck let loose at 7:30 pm somewhere on Hwy 405 in L.A. I felt like I was driving 5, 10, or 65 miles an hour all day, with no other choices allowed.

I lightened the drudgery with slowly doled out diet Dr. Pepper and Cheetos. I thought of road signs I wanted to see posted at freeway on-ramps like, "If you're too stupid to accellerate when merging, stay off the freeway." And bumper stickers like, "Powered by Dr. Pepper."

I grew tired as the sky grew blacker. Finally got to Stone Brewing Co. about 10:00 pm. Although I needed a shower bad, I was too tired to disconnect the trailer and find owner Greg Koch's old house for my shower. I parked in a quiet area in back, away from the restaurant parking, and camped there for the night.

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