by Lillian Csernica on April 16, 2016
In Everybody’s Autobiography, Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, CA, “There’s no there there.” This is not true of Oakland, but I have seen many places where there’s just nothing there.
On one of our trips to Ohio, Daddy decided to take the southern route on I-15, which meant driving through a whole lot of very hot Nowhere in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. We had to put beach towels on the car seats. If I didn’t, and I was wearing shorts, my skin would stick to the slick upholstery. Peeling myself off of that was no fun at all. Have any of you ever had to do that?
Off California Interstate 5, just before you get to the Grapevine, there’s a little town called Lost Hills. The last time I was there (late ’80s/early ’90s), the town consisted of one stoplight, one gas station, a Motel 6, and one lonely tumbleweed blowing around in the hotel parking lot. I’ve always wondered where the people lived who worked in Lost Hills. Maybe they all stayed at the Motel 6.
My mother likes to travel. This includes booking bus tours out of the local community center or some other local organization. I’ve always been fond of castles, so when Mom decided to go to Hearst Castle she took me with her. Hearst Castle is located in San Simeon, CA, two hundred fifty miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s in the middle of nowhere quite literally because the ranch it sits on includes two hundred fifty thousand acres! Hearst Castle also sits atop some really steep mountains, so getting there was a challenge. I was profoundly grateful to know Mom had the sense to leave the driving to a professional tour bus driver. If coming home from Pasadena had been difficult, getting to and from Hearst Castle could have been a nightmare!
On the drive back from Las Vegas, where Pat and I had attended KillerCon, it was cold and dark and very empty outside our car windows. Then a sign appeared, a sign with the three words you see in the photo above. Out in the middle of nowhere, near the Interstate 15 and Hwy 286/288 interchange, in perfect territory for an alien abduction, stands the Alien Fresh Jerky store. I tell you, “Hotel California” by the Eagles might as well have been playing in the background. We had to investigate. How often does an opportunity like this come along?
Pat got lost in the hot sauce aisle. Neither of us had ever seen so many different varieties of hot sauce in one place. I like Thai food so I’m OK with spicy, but some of the labels on those hot sauce bottles should have included HazMat symbols. Ye gods!