Day 48, part two

I am very, very tired. I'm sure there are numerous possible why's, but I can't put my finger on it. Was Carson Pass steeper than I thought? Did I stay awake too late yesterday talking about American food policy and what will happen when an entire generation doesn't know where its French fries come from? Has the desert caught up with me? The heat certainly has.

No matter. No matter at all because, give or take a few bumps in the road, it is all downhill to San Francisco. Fundamentally, not constantly, but still fundamentally downhill. That gist pleases me to no end.

I am also really happy to be in California and her mid-high Sierras. I'm sitting surrounded by redwoods, which will always remind me of the movie Vertigo (and La Jetee). Looking upwards at them does make you a little dizzy; thinking about how old they are is dizzying still. To think: some of these trees could have been at Woodstock.

To celebrate, I made what I hope is my last Pasta alla Mansfredo.

Whole wheat mini-macaronis
Excellent olive oil (I found mine in a vitamin shop in Dolores)
Freshly ground sea salt

1 Bring water to table.
2 Put pasta in water. Warm with gas stove.
3 Take off before boiling to save fuel. Drain water.
4 Add oil as if you were filling up a pickup.
5 Add salt as if applying fake snow.
6 Enjoy.

I just realized that the salt shaker I took from our kitchen in my mad dash to the Chinatown bus must weigh a good 5 pounds.

Sitting in an RV park really makes you wonder about dysgenics. I know this is a very ugly topic -- justly so -- but let me tell you what I'm staring at.

Man stands astride fire. White truck is next to man. Woman sits in awe of man, US Weekly. Man and woman's eight children incapable of sitting, too in awe of fire and Gameboy. Woman asks man how he plans to start fire in California's dry north. Simple he say. He holds up red jug of gasoline. Altitude slows burning down so man throws gas on fire to beat altitude. Man also throws gas over fire and into surrounding area. Man misses family. Fire miraculously dies, man doesn't.

Meanwhile in Metropolis, a college professor and his corporate lawyer wife decide the world is too cruel to raise children in and get both their tubes tied. They invest the savings in a pretty impressive wine collection and a fierce organic food habit.

So I don't know how far from the end I am or when I'll get there. Sacramento is in a 107 degree heat wave and that might slow me down. On the plus side, I'll be biking along a river and I could always jump in.

I leave you with the end of an inscription on a shaft of granite at Carson Pass.

"...dedicated by the noble E Clampus Vitus...the Transierra Roisterous Alliance of Senior Humbugs"

*Addendum: The Times has an interactive piece on the noble Clampuses.

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