Operation Westbound Winnie: Day 4

Documenting our road trip from Austin, TX to Mountain View, CA with a 1985 Winnebago Lesharo and a 1974 VW Bus. Intro, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

Oh boy, oh boy! We're so close! Can we make it!?

After a chilly night at a rest area 75 miles east of Bakersfield, CA, we arose to another windy morning. Holy Santa Ana, when will it end?

At least the two-way traffic was behind us, so we could blow back and forth between lanes without a semi heading straight for us. Continuing on Route 58, we were headed right towards the Tehachapi Mountains. And in the distance was some serious weather.

From afar, it looked beautiful and serene. A vast expanse of white clouds hanging over the mountain tops, slowly inching their way towards us. Crystal blue sky above that. Extensive nothingness beyond that. 

And then we started getting closer. And those puffy white clouds started to look a little meaner. The wind started whipping harder.

And naturally, it started to rain. 

Visibility was extremely low and the road was quite curvy, weaving around regions of the mountain range. 

We stopped about halfway through the mountains (approximately 15 miles) to fill up and it started sleeting slightly. We witnessed cars coming from the other direction covered in snow. I couldn't stand up straight from all the wind. 

And then, all of a sudden, the sun peaked out. And the precipitation ceased. And it was instantly a bit warmer. Back to the road!

Although an improvement, the rest of the drive through the mountains was still minimally treacherous. The scenery, however, was wonderful. What an interesting place to live...

Jonathan, Pete and I all agreed that we were glad we stopped when we did the previous night. Conditions appeared to be far more severe the night before. And adding to that, darkness and sleepiness, we would have been doomed. 

Exiting the mountains, it was time for the last long leg of our trip: I-5. Thankfully, I-5 is not terribly hilly. Sure, there are some ups and downs, but nothing like the three days prior. 

Perhaps the only notable aspect of the I-5 drive is Harris Cattle Ranch, the West Coasts largest beef producer, which supplies hamburger meat to In-N-Out Burger and beef to grocery stores. 

Nicknamed Cowschwitz, this ranch is known for its "ripe, tangy odor of cow manure." Or as I like to call it, "cow shit." It's nauseating. And you know it's coming, too, because you can smell this ode de "cow shit" from miles down the road. 

Apparently, this place also operates an inn and restaurant, which are both perplexingly popular. In fact, the restaurant was the 57th busiest in the United States in 2008. Ba-what!? Who sees 100,000 cows, smells a lagoon of cow shit and decides, "yea, I think I'm in the mood for lunch right now."? Very strange. 

Anyways, we made it out of there, and off of I-5 in no time. After another small stretch of two-way highway (less scary in the daytime, but still horrific), we were on the 101 and oh-so-close to home!

We stopped for gas one last time and then Pete and I took the lead!

By 5pm on Sunday, we were reunited with our old pal, Astro Van, who I'm sure is feeling some disdain for her new, more popular neighbor. 

What a relief! We made it to Mountain View! With the Winnebago this time! Quite a weekend getaway if you ask me. All that in only four days. Can you believe it? It would have been nice to not be so rushed, but that's not really an option for us right now. Holla for a dolla, ya know?

Honestly, I'd like to do this for the rest of life. Retire now. Breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Figure it out. (Well, maybe get Jonathan to figure it out. I'll just write about it). 

So yea, feel free to donate lots of money to our nomad fund. I'll be sure to write more about pooping in bags...