Well we made it.
The last leg from Phoenix clear through to Sunnyvale seemed the longest, perhaps because we'd been driving for so long, or perhaps because we were caravaning. Actually it was likely just from the anticipation that came with the end being nigh. It felt like we were all kind of grumpy and strangely driven. I started seeing my humanity slipping away, replaced by the simple task of successfully piloting my vehicle until such time as I could stop.
I'll confess that things didn't seem to register quite so well. I don't remember Arizona after breakfast, and the first thing I remember about California is crossing the border afraid that I would somehow have to make excuses for Clay's houseplants but getting unceremoniously waved through the line. One of our pit stops was at a community that seemed to grow up around a truck stop and the curiosity that is the Gen. George S. Patton Museum. I think I mailed postcards from there.
We also passed through a valley of wind harvesters. I doubt I can say anything that will do the place or how I felt driving through it justice. It was like a forrest of whirring propellers, something that was simultaneously awe-inspiring and a little scary. The technology and the array struck me as an adaptation that a town might take to cope with a total societal collapse. The spinning blades were incessant.
Also of note, while seeing thousands of acres of growing peppers, tomatoes, almonds, grapes, etc. can be humbling, seeing my first feed lot just made me angry. We starting smelling the waste and wet cow easily three miles down the road (while still in almond orchards). I say "wet cow" because there were sprinklers that constantly misted the cattle in their very cramped conditions. At first I was thinking that it might just be water to keep them cool, but then I started wondering if it wasn't actually some sort of anti-biotic spray to keep the inevitable infections down. (Anyone know?) I've eaten beef since, but only reluctantly.
More troubles with the brakes coming out of the mountains west of 'Frisco. I was so stressed by the time we stopped for gas there that I failed to appreciate the absurdity that was the "Casa de Fruta" community, which included "Casa de Cafe," "Casa de Deli," and the most bizarre, "Casa de Chevron."
Gilroy smelled delicious, and I'm sorry I'll be leaving before the annual Garlic Festival that happens next Saturday.
One final word?
I did it, and I'm still glad I got the opportunity to try.