Last weekend, me and Snappy P, a.k.a. Prudence Fenton, jumped into the mustache van and headed up north on a cat reconisance mission after AWMOK‘s own (human) windupkitty sent an email blast from Palo Alto about a very special (feline) kitty in need of adoption. Normally I try not to read these things as I already have a fairly dysfunctional fur family running around Willis Wonderland, but this time, also-AWMOK’s own Snappy P in Los Angeles had been looking for a very special cat who embodied the spirit of her recently departed tripod puss, Harpo, and windupkitty’s description that the kitty in need of a home had an extra wide head, gigundo paws and a few other physical and mental quirks put him squarely in Harpo territory. So off we rolled up the 5 in search of the perfect cat.
Any of you who have ever driven the 5 know that once you’re past Magic Mountain you might as well be tooling through middle America. Other than the too-steep-for-me Grapevine, it’s flat as a pancake most of the way, cows and sheep the only signs of life lest for copycat franchise food and fuel stops completely devoid of the vintage truck stops you wish were still there if you have a bone of taste in your body. For someone who’s thrilled to be in a car because of the potential to spot thrilling kitsch, the 5 is punishment. The good news is that to get to Palo Alto you have to cut over Highway 152 to connect to the ubiquitous 101. And 152 is a fabulous highway, my favorite in California, just long enough to not get antsy and filled with fantastic vistas like this:
You don’t even mind when the road narrows down to a single lane because that’s when cherry stands start to pop up out of the ground like dandelions after a torrential summer rain:
The Bing wasn’t open so we hit one of the other ten or so “pit stops” within a few miles. I hope this one is pronounced Mamie’s and not Mammy’s:
I really wanted to stop at this place for ice cream, especially if the person making it is the same person who made the sign and decided not to finish off the “L” so it looks like gariic ice cream is for sale.
Once we hit the 101 it was smooth sailing despite a disappointing lack of kitsch. However, the snacks awaiting us when we arrived at windupkitty’s in Palo Alto more than made up for it.
Rice Krispie Treats are infinitely better if laced with M&Ms. And a car ride is also enhanced if it occurs in the Batmobile, parked outside our hotel when we had (a non-Rice Krispie Treat) breakfast the next morning.
I’m happy to report that the reason for our trip, the cat relocation program, was indeed successful. Here’s a photo of me, Snappy P, windupkitty and the as yet still unnamed new member of the Fenton family right before we piled back into our (non-Batmobile) mustached van and headed back along the flat 5.