Tuesday, February 10

very superstitious, writing's on the wall

If you are a superstitious person, the past day would have sent you running for cover. After two straight days of rain--in California of all places--there was a light drizzle when we left Berkley this morning.

I try to avoid using CDs or MP3 players during road trips so that I can listen to local radio stations. A great testament to the power of the Internet and domestic globalization, nearly every radio station is identical to the next from Britney Spears' latest single to the same low-budget commercials advertising Joe's Shop for Whatever. And when I'm tired of hearing about when Katy Perry kissed a girl and liked it, or when the bloviating Rush Limbaugh denounces President Obama as the Antichrist, I switch to NPR for a solid dose of pinko communist propaganda.

This morning NPR had a segment on tonight's full moon that included some obscure trivia on how the Earth is, at any one moment, half covered in light and half covered in shadow. I'm glad the producers at NPR dispatched brilliant scientific minds to uncover this mystery of the stars. What they failed to mention, however, was that a full moon is known to induce strange behavior in both humans and nature.

We drove up the north coast of California to Redwood National Park and the rain subsided. The redwood groves that stretch from San Francisco to the Oregon border are the only old-growth forests left in the United States and the last remaining redwoods in the world. Further, these forests contain plant species that have outlasted the dinosaurs. Wandering among the 300-foot redwoods and pushing aside the descendants of pre-historic ferns is the closest one can get to experiencing what life was like while dinosaurs still roamed the Earth. I half expected to see a Tyrannosaurus Rex come crashing through the undergrowth.

As we fast-fowarded to the present and began to weave through the Cascade Mountains towards Oregon, the rain returned and quickly became snow. From that point on, the weather seemed to change by the mile. The snow gave way to rain until blue skies parted the clouds for a instant before disappearing behind clouds and more rain. Fifty miles outside of Klamath Falls, the highway climbed up into the Cascades, the temperature dropped fifteen degrees and a drizzle became a blizzard. The road was quickly vanishing beneath the snow, but there were barely visible tracks and what appeared to be salt and sand preventing slippery conditions. Twenty miles later we caught up with the salt truck that had been providing the Vibe with so much traction. We followed the truck for another ten miles until the snow suddenly subsided and the roads cleared and were even dry. It was as if we had walked through a door separating a storm system and clear skies.

The sky was eerily beautiful and the brilliance of the full moon illuminated the landscape in a fluorescent light. Occasionally thin clouds would dissipate some of the light, but when the moon emerged the snow on the hillsides would light up like a white T-shirt underneath a black light. And if the day hadn't been strange enough, we pulled into Klamath Falls around eight and decided to eat at a BBQ joint that received rave reviews from the locals. While I was a little hesitant to accept BBQ in the Pacific Northwest, the food was great, better than most BBQ places in DC.

Now I'm pondering a jump in the heated pool here at the hotel. Tomorrow morning we are heading up to Crater Lake.

I only took a couple of pictures today and will update on Wednesday.

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