Oshkosh Trip day 19

Day 19: The last push home — 406 miles

Sadly, this trip came to an end on this last day of travel.

The day started with a happy toddler that awoke in her giant “hooo tell” sized bed, as she likes to call it. After packing up the baby cribs and toys and other stuff you can’t live without when traveling with kids, we made a quick stop into the motel breakfast to get some food in the tiny grumbly tummies.

Maia (oldest at 3) saw the cereal bin full “multi-colored Ohhs” (ala Fruit Loops), and she was very excited and wanted to try them. She doesn’t get sugar-bomb cereal at home, and she most certainly doesn’t get it just prior to being cooped up in a car all day. Bad parent that I am, I lied to her and said it was yucky and we couldn’t eat it, but the flake cereal was OK.

With a long, dejected look of disappointed, she proffered that maybe we should try and see if it really was yucky. To which, I assured her it was yucky and prepared a bowl of corn flakes for her.

Later, Maia keenly observed someone getting a bowl of Fruit Loops and she was very concerned that other people were eating the “yucky” cereal and maybe we should throw it away to keep even more people from getting the yucky cereal. Hmmm, this is why you don’t tell “little” white lies to your kids…



[ Click to go interactive ]

Unfortunately, my camera/memory card flaked out on me and about half of the pictures I took were corrupted. A few of them I recovered the thumbnail image just to save an important memory. I’m afraid my camera didn’t much like bouncing along in tank-bag for the last 5K miles.

The morning trip was a fairly quick leg south on US-395. I was humm’n along at 10-15 over the limit through rolling hills on a fairly vacant stretch of the highway when I was literally startled by a CHP cruiser that blew by me with lights a flash’n but no siren. Twas the third encounter with the Man that I thought I was busted, but, only because I’m a worry wart about that sort of thing.

CA-32 was a very fun road

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/640sec, 18mm focal L. @54 MPH, ~170mi from prev photo, map

In my quest to take lesser traveled 2-lane roads, CA-32 was just what I was looking for. I took off ahead of the family around about here and figured we’d catch up some place later.

Traffic

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/500sec, 29mm focal L. @45 MPH, ~7.4mi from prev photo, map

The best part of CA-32 is that it’s posted at 55 MPH, even through all the twisties — you’d have to really be tearing up the road to get into trouble with speeding and, frankly, there are too many blind corners to get that crazy (for me).

Good pavement + twistie + 55MPH = legal fun — never you mind the speed when this pic was captured :hide

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/500sec, 35mm focal L. @64 MPH, ~6.5mi from prev photo, map

And, all good things must come to an end. Buh bye twisties, hello Central Valley.

Welcome to the Central Valley — Hot, hazy, and flat is the norm here.

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/2500sec, 22mm focal L. @68 MPH, ~25mi from prev photo, map

Heading to port? — Any bet those are empties?

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/2500sec, 70mm focal L. @75 MPH, ~15mi from prev photo, map

The Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys (aka Central Valley) is a hugely agrarian area with the top 4 counties for agricultural sales in all of the US.

Miles of orchards

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/2500sec, 18mm focal L. @57 MPH, ~24mi from prev photo, map

The projects of Marysville?

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/1250sec, 22mm focal L. ~4.9mi from prev photo, map

There’s just really no good way to get back to the Bay area. We ended up taking CA-99 and CA-70 south through the middle of the valley. Looking at the map, I see there were many more imaginative ways I could have covered the distance. Ohh well, more roads to explore next time I’m in the area.

Buzz kill — fortunately, he only stayed on the road for ~6 miles or so.

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/800sec, 65mm focal L. @64 MPH, ~2.6mi from prev photo, map

The Sacramento area has seen a terrible decline in real estate (Sacramento Flippers in Trouble is a favorite, almost comical site illustrating just how bad it is). But, really, what did they expect? There’s nothing but land out there to build upon. There is nearly a limitless supply for the house shitter to come around and plop down more tracts of McMansion developments were your neighbor’s house is only 10 ft from yours. Classic over supply scenario.

Why real estate is worthless out here

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/2500sec, 18mm focal L. @76 MPH, ~30mi from prev photo, map

It’d been a long time since breakfast, and the natives were getting restless riding in the car. I get a call on the one-way cell phone link to stop and grab a nibble with the family.

First fast food of the trip

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/320sec, 24mm focal L. ~4.6mi from prev photo, map

Maia was very happy to get some french fries. The babies just wanted to be out of their car seats.

At least there was good company

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/30sec, 29mm focal L. ~0ft from prev photo, map

After food, Maia was promised that she could go to the “play land”, but, it was closed and all the equipment was gone. Going for a walk with dad was not an acceptable alternative.

Road weary toddler — She was promised play equipment, but it was broken.

, ISO , ƒ/, sec, focal L. ~0ft from prev photo, map

After “lunch”, Valerie took the kids the fast way home, just to get it over with for them. I the took the opportunity to go exploring and ride the levees that form the shipping lanes into the central valley.

Riding the levee on CA-84 — The land on the left appears to be below sea level.

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/1000sec, 18mm focal L. @49 MPH, ~26mi from prev photo, map

The Merluccius — Gee, you think they fish(ed) for cod?

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/1250sec, 29mm focal L. ~1.2mi from prev photo, map

This levee keeps Ryer Island dry. Although it may not be obvious in the photo, the land behind the levee is below sea level. There was a giant pumping station that kept this section from flooding.

The levee roads were fun, although the ground had settled leaving rolling, bumpy pavement for much of it. But, there was practically no other traffic and I just motored along at my own pace. I wasn’t so lucky to see any heavy ships making their way. Maybe another time when I explore more of this area…

More land under water

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/800sec, 18mm focal L. @54 MPH, ~2.2mi from prev photo, map

For miles and miles, the GPS had been recommending I make a U-turn and head back. But, the map looked like the road connected, so I just kept on going. Little did I know, the GPS was just doing as it was told to avoid ferry crossings in it’s routing selection. CA-84 is linked by a ferry across the canal into Rio Vista.

Just in time for the ferry

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/640sec, 34mm focal L. ~1.2mi from prev photo, map

I pulled on board, and asked how much the trip across the canal was and the operator chuckled and ask if I paid my taxes…

Cheaper than a bridge? — A publicly operated ferry.

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/125sec, 18mm focal L. ~272ft from prev photo, map

And, no sooner than I was on the west side of the canal, the road would take me immediately back to the east side.

Back over the river — CA-12 out of Rio Vista

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/640sec, 18mm focal L. @34 MPH, ~2.3mi from prev photo, map

Out of Rio Vista, it was obvious I was approaching “civilization”.

Antioch Bridge and Shell Refinery — One of the least traveled toll bridges in the bay area.

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/800sec, 55mm focal L. @66 MPH, ~8.6mi from prev photo, map

Vasco Rd out of Byron

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/640sec, 70mm focal L. @61 MPH, ~16mi from prev photo, map

I had the GPS routing configured for “shortest route”, as I am wont to do because it usually takes me a path I’ve not taken before. First time I’d ever been to downtown Livermore — weirdest place in the bay area full of scientists and cowboys. Well, maybe less so on both counts these days, but, back in the day…

Old town Livermore

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/640sec, 29mm focal L. ~12mi from prev photo, map

Back on CA-84, it heads past the Vallecitos Nuclear Center. More places that the scientists worked, although, not affiliated with Livermore Labs as I had always thought.

Small nucs — Used for power until ’63, now just a small research reactor is active.

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/800sec, 60mm focal L. @52 MPH, ~6.4mi from prev photo, map

Just a few miles from home now. It only takes 7 lanes to handle the traffic…

Buh bye 2 lane roads — I-880 heading into San Jose

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/320sec, 18mm focal L. @73 MPH, ~13mi from prev photo, map

Home sweet home

NIKON D70, ISO 500, ƒ/10.0, 1/30sec, 18mm focal L.

Back where it all started from.

For the record

NIKON D70, ISO 1000, ƒ/4.5, 0.6sec, 18mm focal L.

1 comment to Oshkosh Trip day 19

  • John

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