Coming to Terms with California

California is so unbelievably beautiful that it fills me with profanity laden rage. This state offers a wide variety of scenery, all of it awe-inspiring, and I hate it. I think it has everything to do with how badly it sucks to drive in this state, especially with the trailer. And how every driver in California is basically an a*^hole.

My last drive through California was back in October when I drove from Portland to the olive oil farm, just north of Fresno. I was driving on the interstate for the majority of the way. California insists on making any vehicle with 3 axles drive 15 mph slower than the rest of traffic. This includes any car or truck that may be towing something (read: me). Sure, fine, lower emissions, great. But you want to know who doesn’t have 3 axles? 45′ motor homes and land yachts. They travel at the normal rate and no one seems to care, but when I am going 3 miles over my special little speed limit, I get flashed the bird as aggressive tail gaters jerk around me. Not my fault, California. Stop taking it out on me. Also, stop adding right hand lanes for only 2 miles. It’s like you’re forcing the slower moving traffic into faster moving traffic just for funsies. It’s not funsies. It’s sadsies.

(Side bar: Hey state patrol man, thanks for pointing out that I have a different speed limit instead of giving me a ticket. You, sir, are a stand up dude.)

Every person that I have met in California has been so warm and welcoming, that it blows my mind that every driver I’ve had to deal with California is a total monkey butt. This sort of aggressive speeding is something that I really should have taken into account when I had the brilliant idea to drive down Highway 1 for practically the entire state. I also should have taken that into account when my route took me right over the Golden Gate Bridge and through San Francisco.

I will cop to the fact that driving around hair pin curves on sheer rock faces 600 feet above the sea, while pulling a trailer in the pouring rain makes me a little nervous. Apparently though, everyone in California has a death wish, because these guys will whip past me going 70+ mph, over double yellow lines. (“There is a turn out in a 1/4 mile! Can you please just wait?!”) Also, I have another person in the car who trusts me not to kill her. Also, I already scratched the shit out of my mom’s very-expensive-to-fix car. All of this makes for some stressful god damn driving. Oh, and sometimes there are cows.

For realsies. Cows.

For realsies. Cows.

(Another side-bar: That death wish thing is real. People take their BICYCLES on this road with zero visibility and no shoulder with people who drive like maniacs. Just give me the debilitating spine injury now, and save me the hassle of biking up those inclines.)

In light of the high stakes game of Russian Roulette that is sharing the road with California drivers, I would love to simply peace out and never think about California ever again. But, damn if EVERYTHING on Highway 1 isn’t just cute as cute can be.

From stunning coastal vistas and majestic swelling mountains to quaint coastal towns with whimsical restaurants and charming yoga studios, everything is so breath-taking, I just want to scream.

All in all, it has been three days on an emotional roller coaster since leaving Portland, and it has left me feeling mostly stressed out, and why I must again reinforce some of my most fundamental rules. These rules are: 1. Never put your pants back on. Once I’ve taken off my pants for the night, there is never a good enough reason to put them back on. And 2. Don’t drive after dark. It’s just not worth it.

So, after these stressful days and rage inspiring beauty, someone might ask, why are you STILL in California?

Well, here’s the main reason.

Take in all that effing beauty.

F*cking beautiful.

So, fine, California. You and I can chill together. Just don’t plan on me moving in.

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