Day 14

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 & 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15 (Last)

Day 14

(August 6, 2002)

8:35 am (2,457 miles)
Woodland, CA

We start the day with breakfast at "Chubby's Diner," which is mostly chrome and glass. Although Laura says that her Polish sausages are yummy, she manages to chip a filling while eating one.

Robert suggests they save the filling in case it can be reattached. Laura offers some suggestions for filling the cavity in Robert's head.

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We must be back in civilization, because right next door to where we eat breakfast is an espresso stand! Yay!

10:09 am (2,531 miles)
Artois, CA

There is a haze all around to the north and we smell smoke. We think maybe those fires in Oregon are still burning. Man, they must be BIG.

While looking for something else in Astro, we discover another storage compartment, which contains Astro's Owner's Guide. Naturally, the first thing we want to know is what the heck "C" means on the compass.

So, we look in the Index under "Overhead Console" (there was no entry under "Compass," "Navigation" or "What's up with the damn compass?") where we find the following information:

"...if 'C' (Calibration) is displayed, the compass will need to be calibrated. ... Drive the vehicle in a complete 360-degree circle three times at a speed of less than 5 mph, and the compass will function normally."

In other words, Astro needs to circle three times before going to sleep!

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World's Largest Yo-Yo

11:06 am (2,564 miles)
Chico, CA

This has to be the best-hidden World's Largest we've yet encountered. We are looking for the World's Largest Yo-Yo. Because we don't see it dangling from a giant tower, we stop at the Chamber of Commerce. They sigh and say, "Oh sure," and run through some directions and hand us a pamphlet. (We get the impression they're kinda tired of answering that particular question and would much rather we asked about siting a large tax-revenue-generating plant in Chico.)

We follow the directions and don't see anything even resembling a Yo-Yo. After circling the block three times (and apparently calibrating Astro's compass again), we decide to park and check on foot.

The brochure we have says "320 Broadway," which appears to be a kitsch store. Robert walks in, expecting to ask them where the Yo-Yo moved to.

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Well, in addition to kitsch, T-Shirts, cooking items, books, and sealing wax, they also sell toys. At the very back of the store is the "National Yo-Yo Museum" which contains (ta da!) the World's Largest Yo-Yo.

It's about five feet across, and made entirely of wood. It's even got a giant string attached. There is, however, no indication that it's ever been actually "yo'd" (or whatever you call yo-yo use).

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As long as we're in a toy store, Robert buys a grand piano (okay, it doesn't have all 88 keys, but it still sounds pretty cool) and Laura gets kaleidoscopes and other knack-knicks.

1:34 pm (2,633)
Redding, CA

Way back when we started (which we barely remember), we stopped at Hancock Bakery in Redmond for a parting latte and cinnamon roll. The bakers (who seem to know about everything), saw Astro and said, "Boy, you better keep an eye on those tires. Those vans run through them like crazy."

Laura's been keeping her eye on them, and sure enough, she thinks it's time to pay a little visit to the local Enterprise Rent-A-Car office to see what they think.

Enterprise is right next to "Big O" tires so they tell us to pop next door to have the questionable tire checked. The guy there assures us that there is no way we would have gotten all the way to Seattle (the right front tire is "worn through to the cords"). They slap a new pair of shoes on the front, bill Enterprise and in less than an hour, we're on our way again.

Yay Hancock Bakery! As much as we like adventure, having a blow-out at 80 mph on a twisty mountain road is a little more adventure than we need.

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3:48 pm (2,704 miles)
Weed, CA

We stop for a milkshake at Weed, CA. The "Hi-Lo" cafe has an entire display case offering to sell us coffee cups and key chains that say "I Love Weed." Apparently, the main business in this town is double-entendres.

World's Tallest Flagpole

4:58 pm (2,753 miles)
Dorris, CA

It's pretty easy to see World's Tallest Flagpole from the highway about five miles away. It helps, of course, that Dorris is about the size of a postage stamp.

The flag pole is 200 feet tall, and has a plaque at the base that proclaims it as the World's Tallest (although, we note, it is NOT Guinness-certified). It is flying an American flag (not the World's Largest American Flag that lives in California and is available to rent for parties and picnics).

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All things considered, this is probably the dullest World's Largest we've yet encountered, so we move on.

5:38 pm (2,776 miles)
Klamath Falls, OR

We stop for the night in Klamath Falls. In addition to the hazy sky, the whole town smells like a campfire. We carefully check the news this evening, but they're all worked up about some guy who's got the West Nile Virus and can't be bothered to explain exactly which parts of Oregon are currently aflame.

We hope it's not TOO close (although Robert points out it would be particularly appropriate if we got trapped in the World's Largest Forest Fire; Laura offers to give him the World's Largest Dope Slap).

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