Sunday, September 20, 2015
Earlier this year I drove along state highway 80 from Tybee Island, Georgia to Dallas, Texas. It took me through five states along the local route (not the interstate) and gave me the opportunity to see the smaller towns and rural areas along the way. This summer I drove almost the entire length of Interstate 5 from the Canadian border with Washington state to San Diego, California. It wasn't intentional. It just happened. My sister and I had plans to drive from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. and we travelled along the I-5 to the border. Of course we reversed the drive on the way back and after dropping my sister off in Seattle I continued on to Salem, Oregon and then I began the long drive from Salem to San Diego. The scenery changed dramatically the further south I drove. In Washington I was surrounded by green trees and forests. It was that way through most of Oregon but I noticed a change in southern Oregon as I approached the California border. I left the lush Willamette Valley behind. The trees thinned out and I could see more sandy features along the roadways and even with the mountains. Then the mountains disappeared and the terrain became flat and very dry with sand being the ground cover of choice. Northern California along the I-5 corridor is rather desolate. It has it's beauty, of course. It is part of the diverse geographical make-up of this country. However, it IS desolate and it is a good thing to keep an eye on the gas gauge while driving on this route because the towns are far apart. I was able to pass through the Sacramento area just before the rush hour started and thereby I was able to avoid a lot of the heavy traffic. I was nervous about the traffic in the Los Angeles area so I woke up early and started my drive through LA county at 4 a.m. It was dark so I didn't see any of the city. There was traffic on the road so I wasn't alone. It took me a couple of hours to go around the city and when I noticed signs for cities that I knew were on the south side of Los Angeles I was relieved. The drive to San Diego went smoothly. Glimpses of the Pacific Ocean were refreshing to see. San Diego is a large city but I was able to navigate the roadways and find my destination. I haven't driven the last fifteen miles or so down I-5 to the border with Mexico. That is all there is left of the trip down the highway. I will complete the drive someday. I'm good for now.