I woke up at the truck stop. You can park here. Everyone can always park here, sleep overnight, get wifi from the Super 8, have bathrooms upon waking up, and have breakfast in the morning served on an Iron Skillet. You are welcome to this. I did most of these things, but nixed the skillet for being too familiar. I'm the ambassador of strange happenings, and failing this, would at least prefer new situations, and failing that would graciously accept an opportunity to at least spend my dollars at a new diner. Preferably one with a guy in a bear suit waving me in.
Shortly after waking up, I decided that with the next three days off, I would be stupid not to head straight to California. I was loafing around, twenty miles north of the border, and I had a half tank of gas. I felt like I needed to at least accomplish something with that. Before plans materialized further, I was at a diner in Yreka California. I sat at the counter, 90 geometric degrees and two stools away from an older version of myself. More accurately, an old man two seats away reminded me exactly of my slightly younger self. He performed every bit of nonsense and mild antics to gain a little bit of notice or a crumb of spare affection. He secretely gained my affection and strong approval just by having an honest smile and a wife who seemed to have loved him for many years. I drank coffee, coffee, coffee, and felt blessed to be present, because that added a value to my day that I could never have extracted from any other source.
A plan sprang forth: Wondering how I was going to utilize the rest of the gas in my tank for more than it's monetary value, I arrived at an obvious, though embarassingly belated, realization which caused me to pull over with an abruptness uncharacteristic of my typical driving style. The west is covered in National Forrests, and you can camp for free in most of those. I goog-411'd myself over to the operator at the closest office, and asked where the free camping was. After describing my location, I was convinced to visit the office for a free map and directions. The office was only a few miles away, back in Yreka. (Why-Reek-ah)
I got my map, and a few supplies, and was on my way. Covering a majority of the distance on tiny roads, I went slowly and arrived at possibly the best camping site I have seen to this date. I settled in (backed up the van), cooked big food (pot-a-pasta), and was satisfied. My free campsite was only 20 feet from one of the cleanest streams possible. The water was as clear as glass, and if I could think of something clearer I would say it. At 7:21pm, I sat in my small house in the very rural mountainous region of northern California, reading Don Quixote. This book. Read this one. I was interested, but not impressed with the prologue. I distrusted the size and publishing date tremendously. No need. This is a simple story, easy to follow. The words are unbeatable. I look forward to reading all ten billion of them, because the order in which they are put is nothing short of remarkable. It's not famous for nothing, apparently.
The clear night and my location collaborated to make this one of those nights in which people famously realize how many stars there are. Big stars, smaller stars, and the mist of stars between. To avoid making it sound too enchanting for credibility: fuckin' mosquitos. I'm trying to read, here.