I’ve taken a little drive up from Arcadia, California ( Home Sweet Home ) to Portland , Oregon. I used to drive it all in one shot when I had my Opel ( and when I was in my twenties ). Oh , I’d pull over to the side of the road and sleep for a few hours if I got tired . I’m not sure you can do that any more . They have Rest Stops now where a weary traveler can sleep , I suppose . I’m not sure I trust Rest Stops to sleep at , though . It seems to me a sleeper in one of those spots might as well paint a target on his / her car to advertise : I’m here and I’m helpless . I know that’s a little paranoid ; but , Better Safe Than Sorry .
These days it’s the Stage Coach Inn in Williams , or the Super 8 in Yreka , instead of pulling off the road to sleep .The Stage Coach Inn is run by a friendly Indian woman . It’s cheap , they have a pool , and they provide food for breakfast . You have to squeeze in to the tiny office reception space to get your coffee in the morning , your hard-boiled egg and cereal ; but , hey , it’s free .
Most shocking ( to change the subject ) about Portland , after driving up from California , is that there’s no sale tax . When the menu says five bucks , it means five bucks . It never hit me before , but it did this time up here . Wow ! I automatically calculate how much more than the sales price it will cost me , so that I’m ready . There’s something comforting in having five bucks mean five bucks , and not five bucks really mean five bucks plus whatever the sales tax might be .
It’s nice ( to change the subject again ) to be , suddenly , out of the drought region . My yard at home is dry ; has been extremely dry . Up here the “rhoddies” are in full beautiful bloom and the gardens are lush and vibrant . Back home the water police are monitoring my three days I’m allowed to water my yard . Might go down to two if things get worse . Don’t let them catch you watering after 9am or before 6 pm . , or on the unapproved days , of course . The first time , as I understand it , you get a warning . The second time you get a $500 fine . That’s in Arcadia , The City of Homes .
I’m all for taking out water-guzzling lawns. ( Is this changing the subject again ? ) I like lawns . Lawns are great places for kids to play . But kids don’t play outside on lawns these days much anyway , I think . Lawns are pretty , too , to me . But , well , their time has come , I guess , in Droughtsville , they have struck out , and they should bow out gracefully . Lawns are a privilege , after all , and not a right . ( Or , is that driving licenses ? ) .
The State of California , and some cities , will , also , pay you per square foot to replace your lawn with less water-hungry landscaping . I’m all ready to apply and I expect Calif. to come through on their promise . Meanwhile , I read an article in the L.A. Times that says some local cities are considering rescinding their laws that fine residents for NOT watering their lawns .
I found out recently ( to change the subject again ) that it’s illegal in Arcadia to park on your lawn . I know this ’cause I got a ticket for doing just that . $54 dollars fine for parking my car on my lawn . Doesn’t seem right . I tried to talk my way out of it , but evidently the City of Arcadia , The City of Homes , is somewhat short on mercy .
Anyway , when I sit down in a restaurant up here in the northwest , waiters ply me with water . No one needs to ask for a glass of water ; no one needs to beg . Apparently there is water galore ( ? ) up here . I would bring some back with me if I had an extra tank in my car . William Shatner , Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame , wants Cal. to build a pipeline under the sea that would bring Oregon’s water down to us in CA . If the Oregonians balk at this idea , we could go up to Washington , or maybe Alaska , to get it . Canada ? British Columbia ? —That might get complicated . You know , international treaties and all that . I think Oregon might go for it if we kind of just don’t tell them how much water we’re taking . It worked in Owens Valley .
There’s a lot of good beer up here in Portland , too. I might suggest that we pipe the beer down if the water deal doesn’t go through . Beer wouldn’t solve our drought crisis in California , but it could help some of us forget temporarily that we have a problem .