On the road again

To accommodate these last few days we have replanned our route for the westside experience. It was quite simple really, we have skipped anything North of California, and pencilled in a new spot in the South: San Diego. We also have a few more days in some parks where we felt we needed them. So today was a driving day, to break up the trip North towards Lassen Volcanic National Park. Had a picnic lunch with the Palo Altans to say thank you and goodbye and then drove off into the sunset.

Driving in the US is pretty different to any other place we have been. They have the same rule as in NZ where, after turning, you can skip the red light if nobody is crossing the road. But also you can skip the first red light (before you turn) if turning right (and there is no traffic coming from the left). Traffic lights tend to be on the other side of the crossing. In towns there are stop signs everywhere, in most cases for all 4 directions at a crossing: you are supposed to take turns for right of way. In most freeways there is no such thing as fast and slow lanes, everybody overtakes on either side. That they drive slow is a myth, at least in California. Many freeways have a 65 mph limit, but today we were on a few with a 70 (113 km/h) limit, just 5 mph under the Spanish limit. Plus everybody speeds (not us, we don't have the instinct for seeing the highway patrol and don't know what the speed cameras look like). In some small roads the limit is also 65 mph, which is more than what they would be in Spain. What is really annoying is that there is no generic rules for the speed limits, so you have to look out for the signposts: freeways can be 65 or 70, roads 40 anything between 40 and 65, built up areas between 35 and 55 and towns 25 or 35. Anything in increments of 5 mph. It must cost them a bomb to put up so many signs. And this is just California, there's bound to be all other sorts of rules and speed limits in other states.

Our motel looks a bit scary from the outside, it hasn't changed since the 60s and is full of "Jesus is coming" signs. I home we don't get abducted tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment