1500 miles in 48 hours

Last weekend, we crossed another item off the ‘to do before we leave California’ list: G drove us to Redding and back! Despite travelling on the busiest weekend of the year (July 4th) we had really good traffic, so that added to the feeling of success. We didn’t even go over our budget, which is pretty rare for us. We left on Thursday afternoon and got back about 9pm Saturday, after driving all day. I feel so bad that I don’t have my driver’s license yet, that G had to do all that driving (1500 miles!! that is serious business) but as soon as we get to Canada I’m going to start praciticing for my test. I took a test when I was 21 and failed it because I didn’t shoulder check and I rolled through a stop sign that I didn’t see (um…ooops!) so if I could ace the hard stuff, like parallel parking, I know I can do it again! I’m so eager to help even out things between us. It sucks that he has had to drive me around everywhere for the last 2+ years…never again!!

We didn’t just go to Redding; we detoured through Lassen Volcanic National Park and I saw my first volcano! G’s parents lived and worked at Lassen for several years before they had him, so it’s a place of special family significance. It’s also really fucking cool, because who doesn’t think volcanoes are awesome?

lassen peak

lassen peak

(my favourite photo so far, but I took almost 400 photos and have only posted 15!! a new favourite is sure to come)

On the way up, we ducked into Sacramento to check out the California state buildings, whatever they are called.

It was pretty cool, we parked in a loading zone and ran out front to snap off a couple photos before running back to the car. Downtown Sacramento (between the 5 and capitol buildings) was really pretty, and kind of looked like San Diego. It was a nice enough impression that I’d like to go back and look around a bit more someday.

Redding itself was nice enough. I haven’t processed any photos from it yet but we were hardly there. The most notable things about it: so many spiders! When we first got to our hotel, I noticed spiderwebs between all the balcony railings. I thought the hotel had lazy housekeeping staff, but after we explored the town a bit, we noticed spiderwebs everywhere! I saw several trees and large shrubs totally covered in a white filim of spiderweb, and saw quarter-sized spiders in webs all over the place. I generally love spiders because they eat bugs, so I was happy enough to see them, but later Greg and I ran into the spider queen!

We were walking Buzz up the road from our hotel at night when we came across a giant American flag we’d seen from the freeway. We got close to it to see why it was there, if there were any dedication plaques, and found the fence around it completely covered in spiderwebs. We carefully walked around the fence, looking for a sign and getting tangled in spiderwebs, and noticed a giant spider in a giant web, right above one of the flag-spotlights. She had to be a couple inches across–she was so big and white that she was practically luminescent, reflecting the spotlight back into the night. She was giant, she had to be the queen spider of Redding! She kind of gave us the creeps (not to mention getting tangled in so many webs at night, yuck) and when we reached the road, about forty feet away, we turned back and could still see her! I have no idea what kind of spider she was but I still can’t believe how spider-full Redding was, especially since I hardly saw any other bugs. The spiders must eat pets.

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