|Tacoma to Phoenix AZ (long)
||[Mar. 23rd, 2005|03:22 pm]
Tacoma to Phoenix AZ|
Left Tacoma at 8:00pm headed south on I-5. It was immediately apparent that my 1,500mi. Trip would be quite boring due to the lack of radio 8-( The only sounds to keep me company where those of a $250 30 year old rusty pickup with my precious 2002 VTX 1800 strapped to the back (eeep.) I began yawning about 20mi. out so I decided to stay the night at my uncle's house in Centralia (80mi south)
7:00am leave Centralia. My goal of the day was to cross the boarder of Oregon and California making it over Grants Pass and MT. Shasta (DREAD... see earlier comment about 30 year old truck) Time passed quickly and I was soon crossing the Columbia river and entering the “you cant pump your own gas” state. Stopping only for gas (and oil) I soon found myself climbing the hills of Grants Pass (about 60 miles from California) I was surprised by the old Dodge as it seemed to be handling the hills quite easily. At 1900ft. the summit of Grants Pass the truck began choking and shaking violently, I shut down the engine and pulled off to the shoulder. The engine was off… but there where still sounds coming from under the hood, odd… I popped the hood and found my radiator doing its impression of Old Faithful shooting boiling hot fluid 5 feet into the air. Luckely I had a nice plastic bucket with me and there was plenty of algie covered brown mystery liquid in the ditch MMMMMmmm… brown. So I waited for the truck to cool then toped off the radiator with the mystery liquid. A few 18wheelers stopped to see if I needed help, some gave me water jugs for the trip ahead I thanked them then hit the road again. 15 miles pass and I am back on the side of the road this time filling with the clearish water from the truckers mmmm.. clear-ish. The truck seemed to be much happier with the water than the mystery brown liquid and I was on my way up MT. Shasta. I had almost made it to Shasta’s summit when the radiator began acting up again unfortunately this time there was no mystery fluid and I had depleted my water reserves. Bummer… what would MacGyver do? So I sat and waited hoping for some trucks to stop, their where none. It was getting dark and I did not want to spend the night at the top of a cold ass mountain.
So I went in search of water, no water but I did find snow. It took a bit longer to fill the radiator with snow but I was back on the road. About 40 miles into California I found my first auto parts store where I filled up with actual radiator fluid and restocked my oil supply. I did not feel tired at all so I decided I would just keep driving. Hours passed and I had driven far beyond my goal of northern California when it became apparent that I needed a break. It was 2:00am, 50 miles from LA, pulled into a rest stop and called it quits on day 2.
3:00am didn’t get much sleep; the truck was a bit more cramped than I had hoped. My first gas stop of the day I discovered that my gas cap was MIA so after a few minuets of trying various items as a replacement the gas cap issue was solved with a big ass 1” socket, a left over bar end cap from my Honda shadow and a few feet of masking tape.
A few hours passed and I stopped at Carl’s Jr. for some breakfast yum yum they have the best spicy chicken sandwich of any fast food place that I have tried. I overshot Hwy. 10 by about 20 miles and found myself climbing another mountain with very similar results to previous attempts. After getting directions at the next gas station I was back on track and soon heading east. The trip east through California was mostly uneventful. Hwy. 10 is straight as an arrow and thusly very boring there was some nice desert scenery and a huge field of windmills that where pretty awesome looking. It was about 4:00pm when I crossed the California Arizona border. Stopping at the next rest area I decided it would be a good idea to make some phone calls and find a place to stay. Temporary housing was found with my distant second cousin whom I had never met, directions where given and I was back on the road. It was getting dark and I was beginning to feel quite tired when the constant rumble of my dodge 318 suddenly turned into a painfully loud “fire breathing dragon meets demolition derby” sound. No longer tired I pulled off the side of the freeway to see what was going on. Turns out that I had lost my entire drivers side exhaust system with the exception of the headers, bummer, there was no repairing it the pipes where gone. So with no driver side exhaust I continued to Phoenix. The truck was extremely loud and every now and then would shoot fire illuminating the road beneath me (It looked pretty f*@kin cool). A few hours pass and I am in Phoenix proper and hoping the worst is behind me… Following the directions given to me by my cousin I take the 51st exit and proceed north for a few miles where I soon meet a police roadblock. The entire road is shut down and there are cops everywhere even overhead in several police helicopters. Now my father had warned me that Phoenix was a rough town but this was a bit over the top. I turned off my truck hoping to avoid a ticket for the busted pipes and waited. The officers began questioning the motorists ahead of me (what the hell is going on?) An officer taped the glass of my door, I rolled down the window and was greeted with a face full of flashlight the officer asked for my ID I showed it to him then he left. Traffic did not move for about 45 minuets then all the cops left and I continued my trip. 20 minuets later I was at my cousins where I discovered I had driven through the center of the phoenix ghetto where a cop had been shot. I however was safe and the trip was over. (cheers and stuff woo)