Friday, January 11, 2008

No Internet

Another day in Sunny (?) California. Our night at the Sacramento La Quinta Inn was a pure joy after the fiasco of the night before. It was luxurious, plush, and the bed was the best we ever slept in. What a shame to had to leave this morning.
We doubled back just a few miles and then took secondary and country roads as we worked our way to the Napa Valley. We drove through thousands of acres of nut, olive, citrus, and fruit groves. The land is tilled in perfect furrows and all the trees in the orchards line up every which way you look at them. And then the terrain took on a more undulating shape, rolling hills and valleys speckled with gnarly oaks, bare of leaves but hanging with pale moss. The grape vines soon took over and on every slope, plateau, and valley, the rows upon rows of newly pruned vines predominated the landscape. 80% of all Californian wines are produced in the Napa Valley, and after seeing the evidence, I believe it. A slow cruise through the town of St. Helena and a drive down Zinfendal Lane was a feast for the eyes as every 200 meters a glimpse through the majestic oaks revealed massive and opulent estate wineries. It is very European looking and gives one the impression that there is very much wealth there. Most are closed for the winter season, but there is no doubt that the Napa Valley would be crawling with tourists in the summer. We meandered back and forth until we had our fill and then moved on to connect with the 101 highway.
A big downer today was the socked in fog and light rain until late afternoon. Not enough light for photos and getting wet every time we got out of the car was discouraging. Cruising this valley on a bicycle or a motorcycle would be perfect, but in summer, of course.
The 101 has been up-graded in a huge way in the last few years. It is a beautiful highway and in fantastic shape. Most of it is 4 lane divided from SanFrancisco to Eureka. By the time we got to Arcata, the sun finally came out, just as we got our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean since our trip south.
Tonight we are at a Howard Johnson’s hotel, and according to the travel book, an upscale place, and, a chain we have never tried before. We got off to a bad start when we could not connect to the WiFi. We needed a password to connect but the guy at the front desk says no. It is a secured network and my computer tells me that I cannot access it without one. He is going to call his boss.
Then, just as one of us was getting out of the shower, the power went off, apparently only in our room. Again, the guy at the front desk just offered us new light bulbs. I think he is the one who needs a new light bulb. I got him to check the breaker panels, but he didn’t have a clue, so we just moved into a different room, fortunately right next door so the move was too much trouble. Unless I can get on the internet tonight, you will not get this until tomorrow.

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