Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sacramento to Salem

Obviously, the past couple of weeks have been incredibly hectic and thus I haven't had time to keep up on the blog. But I intend to get back to writing this week and will share the story of the rest of our Christmas vacation. 

When I last wrote, we were in Sacramento en route to Oregon and Washington. After we left Micah's dad's house, the rest of the trip was a blur and for a good portion of it, I was without Internet access. Thus, I had difficulty finding the time to write a blog, let alone having the means to actually post it. 

Without further ado, here is the story of our drive from Sacramento to Salem.

Our goal was to leave Sacramento by 8 a.m. and we were on the road a little after 8:30. For me, the queen of running late, a half hour delay was doing good! We stopped at a Les Schwab in town (a NW tire store chain that I greatly miss in San Diego) to pick up snow chains, which we knew were necessary to have before attempting to cross the Siskiyou Pass. A quick stop at a Costco to fill up and we were on our way up the 5. 

Emma squeezing on top of her kennel.

Zoe enjoying the cold air in Sacramento.

The first two and a half hours were largely uneventful. The freeway is flat and we drove through some farmland. We passed through a cloud of hail and saw a rainbow. 

Blue sky just outside of Sacramento.

Then the sky turned grey.
                         Here's a quick video of the pouring rain, which 
                            happened to  stop just as I was filming.
Then the rainbow came!
Then I noticed a billboard for the Black Bear Diner. On family road trips, we often stopped at this charming chain of restaurants in Northern California and after reading Yelp reviews about their amazingly large portions, Micah was excited to give it a try. We pulled into the Redding location (it was the closest) around noon and barely got a spot in the full parking lot. The restaurant was busy but since it was just the two of us, we were seated right away in a small booth. We perused the menu for a few minutes and as a ranch lover and non-pig eater, I was "horrified" to see that the only ranch they had was BACON ranch. No salad or even french fries for me then. I made a mental note to tell them how I felt about this in my Yelp review. Micah chose the Bob's Bacon Burger, a ridiculously large hamburger, and fries with an ungodly amount of calories (over 2,000!!!). 

Bob's Bacon Burger
I went for the slightly healthier French dip. 

French Dip
After waiting 45 minutes, our food finally arrived. Micah (thankfully) didn't eat his entire burger but was impressed with the size. My sandwich was decent but the bread arrived a little soggy from sloshed au jus. The whole dining experience lasted well over an hour and by the end, we were anxious to get back on the road.

                            Emma upset that she couldn't join me 
                                          in the front seat.

Shortly after leaving Redding, we saw our first snow of the trip. 

First dusting of snow.

Snow near Lake Shasta.
A snowy hillside.

400 more miles to Portland, so about another
350 miles to Salem.

Clear roads!

As we continued toward the Siskiyou Pass, the snow began to pile higher on the side of the road but the roads were clear. In fact, we made it all the way through the pass without any snow on the road and only a very light snow flurry. 

Clearing the roads.

It's a winter wonderland!

The snow falling down.

This whole time, the pups napped in the backseat.

Puppy snuggles!

Emma makes a great pillow for Zoe.

We stopped at the rest area just north of Yreka and just south of the California-Oregon border to let the dogs experience their first snow day. There wasn't a lot of snow on the ground but the patchy covering was enough for these San Diego dogs. Emma was more interested in the other dog playing in the grass and Zoe kept trying to rub her face in the snow. 

Emma's first snow!

Micah and the pups in the patchy snow.

Zoe trying to rub her nose in the snow.

We reached the summit with no problems and made it through the pass by 3 p.m. 

A snowy Oregon welcomes us.

Lots of snow!

We reached the summit!

The rest of the four-hour drive to Salem was uneventful, especially after the sun set around Grants Pass. 

We finally arrived in Salem around 7 p.m. and stopped to pick up pizza at Papa Murphy's. I love their take'n'bake chicken garlic pizza and, unfortunately, there aren't any Papa Murphy's in San Diego. I looked it up and the closest is in San Clemente (south Orange County) or Temecula so it's not impossible to get here but it's about an hour's drive. While we were picking up the pizza, I noticed they had a s'mores dessert pizza. I had to try it and added it to my order, along with a side of cheese bread. I'm on vacation...might as well splurge!

S'mores dessert pizza!

Piled high with pizzas, we settled in at Micah's mom's house for the night.

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