Travelogue Pt. 15

The Travelogue series recounts a seventeen-day-long cross-country road trip I took at age 21 with two college friends. We started in Charlotte, NC, and ended up two weeks and 8,000 miles later in Los Angeles, CA. The following is taken verbatim from a handwritten journal I laboriously kept on the trip. Names have been changed, but the rest is absolute, 100%, unedited truth.


June 16

Writing from Mountain View, CA.

This morning woke at Kyle’s in Folsom. Had breakfast there. Katherine was already gone but Cody came out awkwardly right as we were leaving. He’s not a morning person.

Went to downtown Folsom and met Jonathan. Walked around. He took us around and showed us the historic turnstile from when Folsom was a gold town. Took us down to the river and this really old bridge with a funny sign about not driving more than 50 cattle or 200 sheep across at one time.

Went to the Prison for Dad. It was pretty sketchy, not going to lie. Felt very uncomfortable even just driving on the road. But there were signs for the museum so we followed. Made us park in the same place people visiting inmates would park. Sketchily walked down the road. To get to the museum had to actually go into the prison walls. Guards can obvi tell we’re there for the museum and point us in the right direction. There are literally inmates standing in the street doing labor. Prison is weird. Set up as a wall encircling the more heavily gated prison walls. Museum guy told us that the inmates who are in for shorter times/nonviolent crimes/etc. live outside the inner walls.

Went into museum. Very old man working. Coerced us into looking around but didn’t charge us. It was a fairly trashy museum. Bought a shirt for Dad. Prison museum man basically made us take a picture in front of the gates. Inmates literally 20ft away. We all felt actually terrible about it, like we were mocking them but he was insistent.

Left and went to Napa. Beautiful valley. The architecture is honestly more worth it view wise than the vineyards. There was ridiculous traffic because a helicopter flew into the power lines so they literally just closed down the road. But there are only 2 roads north to south in Napa and they were already doing construction on the other one so it was crazy trafficky too. It was ridiculous. Took us an hour and a half to get to a vineyard that should’ve only taken 20min.

Went to Beringer first. Beautiful estate. Split a tasting with Jonathan. Sat outside. Wines were okay. Like everything but the blend. Left around 3.

Tried to get to Black Stallion. Literally got there 3min to close at 4:30 because of traffic. Split w/ Jonathan again. Very different vibe. Less estate-y and more modern. Overall not impressed with Napa.

Went to Gott’s Roadside for dinner. Weird organic, grass fed hamburger vibe. Got Local’s Special: $10 veggie burger, root beer, and fries. Hot sauce and ketchup. Very good. Got organic mint chip milkshakes which were good but very overpriced.

Said bye to Jonathan sad.

Drove to San Fran. Took a non-toll road so didn’t see city or bridge at all. Staying with Melissa, Jessica’s bff Michelle’s sister, her husband Kevin, fourish year old daughter Brianna, and 1.5 year old son Austin. Cute kids. Kevin talked a lot b/c Melissa wasn’t home until late. Mapped out a route for tom.


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