17 April 2010

Cars everywhere

There was an odd symmetry yesterday as we listened to the audio book of Superfreakonomics; we were listening to the section where they discuss traffic fatalities and the introduction of the seat belt as we were winding through the mountain passes that lead up to and away from Siskiyou Summit, passing truck after truck and being passed by faster cars driven by people obviously more familiar with the series of corners than we were.

As it turns out, that summit is the highest point on the I-5 at 4310 ft. Now, I have trouble with pressure in my ears driving the Malahat-- the summit of which is only 1155 ft so by the time we were back down to about 500 ft above sea level in Redding, my ears were shot. Hubby's too. It doesn't help that we both are still suffering the latter part of head colds.

This morning, my ears are still ringing but I can hear clearly. It may have been a blessing last night, because when we rolled into Redding, we landed in the midst of a huge car festival -- Hilltop Avenue looked like the Vegas Strip, jammed with flashy cars, playing loud music, and the street lined with people watching, walking, and drinking. Turns out we arrived only an hour after the street had been closed for a two hour "cruise":

Normally, I'd have been happy to take photos but all I wanted to do last night was check in, call Kiddo, then go eat. It took us about 15 minutes to push through the traffic and turn into the hotel. By the time we got back from dinner an hour later (at Cattlemen's -- a restaurant that is almost certainly the inspiration for the Montana's chain), the roads had mostly cleared so there is hope that this morning will be calmer. After breakfast, we head further south, with a goal of hitting some landmarks in Silicon Valley before we loop back up to the hotel in San Francisco.

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