Gas price in Needles: $1.29 a gallon. Gas price when I said “fuck that” and drove three blocks back into Arizona: 97¢ a gallon. Sometimes I hate California.
I hated it more and more as I crossed the Mojave into Barstow. Traffic got progressively worse and worse. By the time I hit I-5 west of Bakersfield, I was in the midst of a nasty automotive clusterfuck. I had a near-death experience outside Santa Nella, where I just missed being car number 16 or 17 in a 25-car pileup. Fortunately, no one actually collided, although two cars were forced off the road.
There were minor storms in the mountains west of Mojave. There were fairly intense ones (by California standards) just south of San Francisco.
When I crossed Altamont Pass, I was more or less home. I was also just about out of gas. I finally stopped in Castro Valley. At this point, I knew I was really home in the good old Golden State because I had to drive through this suburban strip for fifteen minutes before I could find a gas station.
Oakland. Bay Bridge. Home. After 7003 miles…