Day 11 - Back to the CoastSeptember 18, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C
We stayed at Howard Johnson's in Lake Tahoe. That's a chain and not a friend of ours by the way. It was located right next to Heidi's which is a typically American breakfast diner (and not another friend) and it was so busy we had to wait twenty minutes to be seated. Once seated, the attentive staff ensured I had a cup of coffee before I even perused the menu. The breakfast itself was delicious and filling, perfect for the afternoon ahead as Alice and I were to embark on a six hour drive.
On the way we went to an American staple, Walmart. Now it was a big store with plenty of choice and yet I somehow felt disappointed. I don't know why but I was expecting a staggeringly huge emporium of goods. The one thing that did surprise me was the rows of gun ammunition. I did not realise you could pick up a box of ammo with your loaf of bread and assumed you would have to go to a gun store for all your gun needs. Back to the chain itself, and Walmart still has time to wow me as we plan to go to the biggest store in the US later on in the trip.
On the last stretch of the journey before reaching Fort Bragg on Highway 20 there was a pleasant surprise that followed us for most of the road. Clear Lake is exactly what it sounds like and it had a serene quality that I felt was lacking from Lake Tahoe. Granted, we only saw a fraction of Lake Tahoe which feels like a rough judgement. However, Clear Lake just popped out of nowhere creating one of those fantastically unplanned moments whilst on the road. The early evening sunshine was slowly seeping away, although at the same time it's quiet power glimmered off the surface making it difficult to see the multiple jetties and surrounding mountains. This was all the more impressive to behold as there were no crowds, motels or burger chains sucking all the joy and wonder from the experience. Maybe it was being on the road for five hours by this point but this lake had an impact on me. Clearly! A nice memory to add to the many already piling up.
We reached Fort Bragg just before dusk and quickly headed out for dinner. We had pizzas from a small local joint where the owner was friendly and also well travelled, having stayed in the UK and New Zealand for long periods of time. The pizzas were top notch too. Then it was back to the motel and an early night as tomorrow's drive was to be even longer than today's.
Song of the Day:
Hall & Oates - You Make My Dreams Come True (heard it on the road and reflected our general mood)Read more