Saturday, 10 September 2016

Day 14: Santa Rosa CA - Susanville CA

Right, Emily, take me to Susanville and don't spare the wossnames, or use the freeways!  Well, with a slight diversion.  This led to a real cross-country affair with short stretches on main road through the vineyards interspersed with twisty narrow stuff that wouldn't be out of place if transplanted from California to the North Downs.  The diversion was coz I wanted to see this Deeply Scary Thing:
The Glory Hole, Lake Berryessa
Unfortunately, because California has been stricken by drought somewhat of late, it currently looks like this:
The black thing in the second picture is part of the tall fence they've put up since the first one was taken, presumably to stop clots like ["Deceased of Davis CA" - Ed.] from swimming near it and being killed utterly to DETH when sucked down the two-hundred foot vertical pipe.

A few miles downstream you emerge onto the flatlands which run some considerable distance in most directions save west from San Francisco Bay.  Very agricultural and all in all like a drier version of the Fens.  Long stright roads with sudden right-angle bends, the main difference being that the canal you crash into is to bring water in rather than out.  One particularly popular crop is walnuts.  Have you ever thought about how walnuts are harvested?  No?  Well, with one of these:
This bizarre-looking contraption is not the bastard offspring of a liaison between a Bond Bug and an anti-aircraft gun but rather an Orchard-Rite® tree shaker.  I presume it shakes the tree and when then walnuts plummet to the ground in a fine display of Sir Isaac's universal wossname, hoovers them up with the brush thing on the left as you look at it.  This one is for sale, should you feel the need to own such a machine.

After quite a lot of flat fields etc, Emily takes me straight through Chico and out the other side, into the Sierra Nevada.  Trees and mountains.  And roadworks.  Mr Larrington is caught somewhere towards the back of the queue and does not relish the prospect of being stuck behind logging trucks, motorhomes and dawdling cockwombles so on reaching the other side, stops for a fag and thus has the next twenty-five miles entirely to himself.  Twenty-five miles of Stuffs like this
only with more corners.  The part of my primitive hindbrain that is forever "Top Gear" viewer, thinks how nice it would have been to have accepted Chris the Imp Of Satan's offer of a Corvette during those twenty-five miles, but then the other part, which is forever Yorkshireman, kicks in and says Yes, it would have been more fun but not four-and-a-half-thousand dollars-worth.

Susanville lies at the bottom of the eastern side of the mountains, which turn into the desert not very far \ thataway.  And because there's bugger all out there \ the only feasible route to Battle Mountain from here is down to Reno and then on I-80 the rest of the way.  The good news is that the Super 8 in BM e-mailed me a confirmation of my room booking today.  The bad news is that it reckons I'm arriving today and leaving on the Saturday, which is one day out at both ends.  I'm sure it'll all work out in the end.

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