Highway 5 Five

Five hours in a straight line through the Central Valley.

All Californians have done it.

Unless they own convertibles and have the time to stop at every B&B on the PCH.

The most direct route from The City to La La Land.

My best friend has a terrible anatomically correct name for it, which I refuse to share cause it's not G rated and is only funny if you have a good understanding of lesser known parts of male genitalia and a belly full of single malt scotch.

Which, if you do, then maybe it's time to consider that you have a problem.

But this is not an intervention.

This is the Interstate 5.

The Interstate 5 Five.

First up, Anderson's Pea Soup.
It is what appears to be a diner with what is either the biggest most memorable sign on the face of the planet, or, or, the only thing of viewing consequence for so many miles that it's impossible not to burn the memory of it on your retina.

I'm pretty sure I ate there once during a road trip with my uncle.

Pretty sure. 

Second comes the town of Buttonwillow.
Can't forget a name like that, but what makes it more memorable is the fact that just about everyone I know has broken down in Buttonwillow at some point in their lives, and those who say they haven't have either blocked out the memory or are clearly lying.

Thirdly, The Cows of Coalinga.
It starts with the smell.  Miles of rolling golden hills punctuated by what at first smells like a silent little fart from one of your friends in the back seat in which you demurely roll down your window to air out,

This, however, is a mistake.

The odor just intensifies, miles after raging mile, until you are filled with the dibilitating terror that humanity will no longer welcome you back into the fold.

Then come the cows. You crest that final hill and look east into a sea of black and white and brown and flatulent.

You've decided to give up red meat.

At least until the next In and Out Burger.

Fourth are the drivers.
Northern California is home to the worst drivers in America. Southern California is home to the most impatient. Toss in three million tons of coked out trucking services and you are exactly sixteen miles away from Thunderdome.

Five is emptiness.
I'm a Northern California boy. I've lived my whole life between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevadas. I could go surfing in the morning, snow skiing in the afternoon, and be slightly tipsy on Cabernet before the wine tasting rooms close in the valley.

So hundreds of miles of flat farm land is a total shock to me. Why and how it's not a completely deserted wasteland is a total shock to me. What other people do when they're not walking distance from a Trader Joes is a total shock to me.

What do you do on Thanksgiving when Auntie May only brought white wine?

Oh my god, Christmas morning without a 7 Eleven for emergency AAAs?

My tummy hurts just thinking about it.

I'm going to have to lay down.

Have a good weekend y'all.

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