6,293 road miles, 45 days later

Waking up in the car, surprised at how settled a night’s sleep we had, we move to a nearby coffee shop, visit the facilities and give ourselves a chance to wake up. It´s way too early for brekkie, so we decide we´ll push on and stop further up the road for fuel and brekkie.

A Starsucks looms in the distance around 0800 and we decide to stop here, so we can email Angie and let her know we´ll probably be a bit earlier than originally anticipated. Fortuitous for us we stumble across an authentic looking diner called Charlie´s Roadhouse café, (it´s at the Kettleman City turnoff Angie, jcn 41 maybe) which means we don´t have to suffer Starsucks brekkie options too. Each booth has old books with facts from yester-year and a logic puzzle to keep you occupied. The whole room is filled with toy cars – you know the ones big enough for you to sit in and move by scuffing your feet along the ground – planes, boats etc. all sitting on a high up shelf that winds around the walls.

More than satisfied with a huge breakfast we fuel up and carry on our journey. It´s nearing the end of our road trip, even though we plan to hire a car for a few more days next week to go see Yosemite, this is effectively the end 🙁 … Our last few hours … blasting up the main motorway, it´s harvest time and the car soon begins to smell like the inside of a Weetabix box.

When Angie 1st picked us up back in July from Newport Beach, we drove up this way, but even having seen it before we are still shocked by the huge beef farm we pass, think battery chickens, swap chickens for cows, but with less room and no shade … and that’s what we drive past. Like they´re short of land over here, NOT! It´s so wrong on so many levels!

Angie is at home when we arrive; she´s just returned from a shopping trip and is busy putting the groceries away. We have a catch-up, a cuppa, and then she very kindly drives us up to the car hire place to return the car. Even more generous, her and Dan have offered for us to borrow one of their cars for the mid-week trip to Yosemite, save us hiring again. Cheers guys, we really appreciate your loveliness 🙂

Only back at the house briefly, it´s time to go and meet Ben and Molly from school. Think we said before, school is close enough that they could in principle take themselves there and back, but it´s a busy road and with traffic rules such as they are here, that cars can turn right on red (when the pedestrians are crossing too) and the kids maybe not being seen, it´s just too risky. We meet Katy a friend and neighbour who is almost totally blind, which makes collecting her children via said crossing even more daunting. Petitions and requests to change the situation have amounted to nothing, sadly.

Minnie-me Waddington´s collected, we return to the house and make time for a shower, do some washing, and happily eye up the bed as we realise we´re in heaven for a few days 🙂

Ben has homework to learn some of the states and their capitals, unfortunately not the ones we´ve visited, but Huw helps him by producing some flash cards and showing him how to learn from them, then when Dan returns from work we all have quesadillas for dinner, nice…

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