We arrived at my Dad's house in Tucson last night around eight o'clock. The drive from Bellingham took three days, which is what I predicted. We spent both nights in hotels - driving until about midnight each night before deciding we aren't so young anymore and the thought of pulling an all-nighter is just not appealing the way it was ten or fifteen years ago.
We took a relatively long break in Ashland, Oregon, which is exactly as adorable as everyone says it, being one of those small western towns with an old hippie/young money dichotomy that makes for such an enjoyable blend of high end boutiques, good coffee shops, public art, and plentiful bookstores. You know the mold: Missoula, Montana; McCall, Idaho; Idyllwild, California, even places like Bisbee, Arizona or La Conner, Washington. They vary in the proportion of grunge to chi-chi vibes, and some are sportier or artier than others, but they are clearly in the same family. In Ashland, we arrived at the public performance hour of the evening and watched some acrobats.
Hope wanted desperately to see some of Hollywood, so we stopped and walked the boulevard. There was a world premiere at that one theatre... some movie I hadn't heard of and can't remember the name of now. But there were paparazzi and crowds and people in fancy clothes, so Hope was delighted. We went to the wax museum and the Ripley's believe it or not museum and got some good pizza. They found Brittany Spears' star, which was the only one they recognized, except for Mickey Mouse.
Yesterday Homero wanted to deviate from the route to go see Slab City, which is a kind of anarchist camp site in the most godforsaken corner of California, near a town called Niland. It's a few miles from the Salton Sea, a salty, fly-ridden expanse of water that shrinks every year. Slab City is fairly boring, to me, anyway, being mostly just a bunch of dilapidated trailers in the desert. Some of the trailers were decorated pretty fancy, it's true. And there's the hippie-christian church known as Salvation Mountain, which is surreal. I understand you can actually go inside, but I wasn't about to get out of the air conditioned car. The air temperature was 120 degrees. That is the hottest temperature I've ever experienced outside of a sauna, and I didn't like it one bit. Makes me feel like fainting dead away, in fact.
Temperature here in Tucson is slightly more moderate - 106. The weather report says daytime highs of between 104 and 109 as far as the eye can see. Nighttime lows are in the high eighties. Kill me now.