From deserts to moons,
Stars to dawns, forests to nights,
Traveling by car.
Holy crap, I'm exhausted. Evan and I spent way too long in the car after Defcon. We left on Sunday around 4:30pm and got back to Mountain View yesterday around.. 10:30am. When we went to work.
The drive was phenomenal, though. We swept up through Death Valley, which we reached at such a time that we got to see the sunset. It was wicked hot. We'd elected to leave the AC off both to minimize the risk of overheating the car (which we almost did, anyway; it wasn't making happy sounds as we climbed the mountains around the valley in 114 degree heat) as well as to really get the desert experience. Watching the sunset was great. Everything around was totally barren, the mountains turned orange... yeah. I don't quite know how to describe it.
Then, more driving! We stopped to watch the Perseids for a bit later through the desert, once it had cooled off.
Further driving. We got to a town called Bishop, CA, that, according to our primitive map, was approximately even latitudinally with Mountain View, though pretty far over and across the Sierra Nevadas. We found a road, too, marked 168 West. It didn't show up on our map, but anything that goes West directly towards our destination has to be good, right?
So we climb to 8,500 ft on this road. And we see another sign. End 168. $*#(@)$@.
So we lost an hour and a half there, and we bowed to asking for directions at a motel. By this point, it's about midnight. At the motel:
Us: Hi, what's the fastest way to San Jose?
Motel guy: Well, it's probably not going to save a lot of time, but I'd guess going up to Reno and back down.
Us: ...ummm... isn't there a shorter way?
Motel guy: You can drive up through Yosemite, but going in the mountains is going to slow you down.
So we called Steven for directions to do this crazy thing, and he informed us that we were 300 miles and over 7 hours from home. Disheartening, to say the least.
So we drive up to Yosemite. Around 2am, we're both lagging pretty hard core (since we got so little sleep over the weekend already), and we decide to park the car on a scenic vista turnoff thing and sleep a few hours. At 5am, we wake up and continue on.
Seeing dawn in Yosemite was beautiful. The pine trees, black, silhouetted against the lightly blue/grey sky made a pretty dramatic drive. We were still too tired to properly appreciate it, but c'est la vie.
Driving, driving. We get to San Jose just in time for rush hour! Terrible. But the car gets returned, we magic our way through some public transit, and we get to work at 10:30. And work. For a full day. And, last night, sleep. For 12 hours. Feels good!