Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Leaving San Francisco and into the Middle

So it's bye bye to San Francisco and over the bay bridge for some driving into the countryside. Well let's get past the driving thing first, the beast it appears is noticeable which is good. This is because americans are mentallists, for the love of god what kind of nation invents the four way stop and doesn't give up on it. Well dear reader the same nation that has five way stops, negotiated calmly by me (albeit a little clenched of buttock). Now today's special was a railroad crossing on a highway just before a seven way stop, yep seven!! Now let me be clear about this traffic was moderate not heavy nor was it light and not a one of us knew what we were doing, it was SUV ballet if all the ballerinas were blindfolded and driving drunk. It was over quickly and calmly as I took the British approach, I'm the quickest here (they were all massive tahoe gmc thingies) and nuts to you lot I'm off. Suffice to say the revving and indecision in front of me meant I didn't see the highway patrol car behind me, boo; or not as he came too and overtook me on the highway with a cheery wave. Ahh and unclench.

Now to address you dear reader once again california is freaky, I'm tragically burnt, yep red necked and stinging on forearm. Burnt good and proper, this mainly occurred on the bay whilst on a boat cruise, I was wearing sun block but clearly not strong enough. It was deceptively foggy and only in the low 60's at best. I have moved from this pleasant and mild coastal weather to 102 degrees, by any measure that's a tadge warm (I'm craving water and lager two things most of you know I rarely touch). There is an upside, they farm big out here, thousands of acres of fruit trees and vines, farms as big as counties in England. Passed what I thought was a power station and found out it was a grain processing plant for one farm. They have farm machines moving about in the distance that look like something out of star wars, I stopped to get gas and parked near a tractor, the beast was smaller than the tyre. So you are hopefully getting a picture and my delight is that they are all red faced and red necked, only here do I not look the big divvy I am for going out on the sea only wearing factor 30.

It's been a day of contrasts, my agricultural fuel stop brought me close to what can only be described as Cletus' dumber uglier family, who are all obese beyond belief. Now there is something special about a man in small tennis shorts from the late seventies possibly early eighties, sporting a fabulous amount of unkempt facial hair, in a vest like top with stains, and smelling like rotting livestock. I have failed to mention there that this vision of sartorial elegance and loveliness was also a smidge on the big side but tragically only about 5ft 2. This was in the queue in front of me and left before the attendant commented (mainly due to the look of horror on my face) that "ah never mind him that's just dwayne he's always been that way since he was a kid". Clearly my continued look of horror suggested that more explanation was needed as the pleasant lady continued "his whole family is that way, we've always felt for his brother; he's normal". The irony of her statement clearly lost on her but this is the sort of place the sat nav harridan is taking me.

Needless to say headed for the nearest Marriott hotel to hold up somewhere nice with air con. Tomorrow I strike out for the national parks - woohoo.

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