Riding Shotgun – Western Seaboard


Washington and Oregon were very similar to BC in Canada.  The massive, thick trees and foliage make riding down some roads seem like driving through a tunnel.  When the fruit trees were blooming the smells and sights are breath-taking.  There are drawbacks to some places.  When George was working for a moving-company he went into residential areas that were not intended for huge semi’s.  But the countryside living could sometimes even worse.  Once we followed a narrow unpaved road up the side of a mountain for a few miles.  But when we arrived at the top – there was no place to turn a semi around.  It was one of my scariest times.  This person’s furniture should have been shuttled up in a smaller truck and the sales personal should have set that up.

George wanted me to guide him down.  I was terrified.  I just couldn’t do it.  I sat in the bunk cowering with fear – and he backed down without going over the edge.  A few times he had to get out and make sure he wasn’t over the edge.  Thankfully, the ledge didn’t crumble and  once again it confirmed my belief in George’s driving abilities.

Seattle and Portland, like all cities, have heavy  traffic as well.  My favorite restaurant is the Red Lobster.  In BC where I presently live there is no Red Lobster. So I spotted one south of Seattle – off the highway.  We got to it only to discover there was absolutely no semi parking anywhere nearby.  So I could have my most desired wish, George parked on the side of the street – lifted his hood – and we went in to enjoy the pleasures of the Red Lobster.  It worked out well – no one called the police – and it just looked like he was broke down on the side.

Truckers can’t use the road that follows the ocean..  But I would recommend it to anyone driving a car.  It would be hard to find any more beautiful scenery than driving along the ocean.

Then we arrived in California.  The northern part was similar again – mountains, but for a time we were near the ocean even on the interstate.   Riding through San Francisco’s rolling hills was harrowing experience in a semi.  It isn’t always easy to start climbing when you are at a stand-still.  Again I should mention – normally trucks don’t go into these areas – but moving furniture was a completely different experience.  George no longer has to go into areas like this because he now drives freight.

I thought the area around San Diego was some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.  To have a house on the beach and look out over the ocean would be a dream I can easily imagine.  The scenery and weather in California, along the coast, is truly Utopia. I met one guy in Los Angeles who gave me a fascinating account of sink-holes on the streets, cover-ups and it fell right into the prediction of California falling into the ocean. I gave the appropriate oohs and awes.  It was entertaining and reminded me of the show Volcano with Tommy Lee Jones.  I have been to California many times and so love the weather and beaches.  But that is where it stops. We got a hotel room and there was a big sign saying I couldn’t smoke in bed. (This was a number of years ago)  I laughed saying I wondered how that was enforced.  Did they ‘spy’ on us?  Then I thought of the book 1884 and ‘Big Brother’ and an uneasy feeling washed over me.  Now, I guess it’s not important as I doubt there is any hotel/motel in California where you can smoke ‘legally’ anyway.

By 2013 it is doubtful that George will be able to go into California.  His semi will not be able to pass the rules and regulations put on semi’s.  To buy a semi costs as much as buying a house. At this point there is no alternative  with enough power  to ‘fuel’ a semi.   To buy a new semi is not feasible for most truck drivers. So I believe that in the future – only the rich will be able to live in California.  No one else will be able to afford the costs that shipping and living will require. For all their ideas of ‘cleaning’ I did not find their cities to be cleaner than others.  In some cases they were worse.  I was disappointed that people can take Utopia and turn it into what they have and feel they are succeeding. Calgary, Canada‘s supposedly evil dirty oil city – is much cleaner than any city I saw in California and many others as well.

Upon reflection – maybe the rich are intent on chasing out everyone except the rich and then they are hoping  California will become Utopia again?  Just a thought.

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