Day 1871/67 – 612.2 Miles, Sacramento and Ikea
There comes a time when one reaches a point and realizes “i’m no longer there, i’m now here” and i think i just blew past that point. Not 100% since i rarely do anything 100%, but i’ve committed some money to house-y stuff that probably wouldn’t leave with me if i lost the SOU gig tomorrow. So that means i committed money and time to stuff that now becomes part of “Ashland Days.”
I should just get a CDL and drive a truck. Really. I’m good at it. Really. I don’t think long-haul over-the-road trucking would fit, but short-haul and intra-state would probably be perfect. I could be a poor version of a guy with a medium range cargo plane… haul anything within a thousand miles, no questions asked. Wonder if i could make a living at that.
So, i took the tow vehicle, sans trailer, down to Sacramento yesterday. It was, for the most part, a perfect day: the truck performed flawlessly, the weather was variable enough to be interesting, and when i realized i’d left my iPad sitting in a shopping cart down one of the aisles in the self-serve furniture area it was still there when i returned.
I spent exactly 27 minutes driving around “Sacto” or “Sac” as the locals call it, after loading my haul from Ikea into the truck. Thus i saw about 1/100th of the city, but what i did see guarantees a return visit. Sacramento, the city proper, is damn nice. It’s thickly treed so the streets are mercifully cool despite the scorching early May sun. The whole city is laid out on a strict one-way grid, and is easy and pleasant to navigate. The traffic lights seemed well-timed and i had no problem making slow progress around the capitol building and the surrounding areas. There’s a really nice central park, and it seemed every corner had some kind of cafe with outdoor seating. For a Saturday afternoon the traffic was pretty light and there was no shortage of parking despite the fact all the cafes were packed with patrons. This suggests to me people actually walk places. Imagine that.
The only downside about Sacramento i could pick up on my short visit was getting there. Like all good state capitols (especially the Western ones) Sac is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded mostly by rice paddies. Ever wonder where CA rice (at least Archer-Daniels-Midland variety) is grown? I’ve now seen it up close. I think i’ll go back later in the summer and take some sunset photos… all i’d need is a farmer prodding a water buffalo along one of the dikes and it could be a picture taken in Viet Nam.
- i5 through Sacramento is about 30 feet above sea level… the Siskiyou Summit of i5 is 4,310 feet… so the road does change character a bit.
- Sac has a very good streetcar and light rail system that, again on a Saturday, seemed well-used.
- One of my all-time favorite design shops, Emigre, was founded in Sacramento. They’ve since moved to Berkeley (hipsters), but the influence of still-existing hand painted signage, old-school neon, abandoned 1950’s motels and the remarkably barren surrounding countryside on Emigre’s work is unmistakeable.