2015 Ford F-150: Making a Move to Rainy Rose City - Part 2
by Rich Kuras, Video Producer on February 5, 2016
After moving my girlfriend to the Rose City the weekend prior, I was slated to return our 2015 Ford F-150 back to headquarters by Friday. I started my return leg around 7:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning and about an hour into my journey met with some early morning fog.
That subsided a little after 11:00 a.m. and it was smooth sailing through the rest of the state. Little did I know, Mother Nature would make a return appearance a bit later in the trip.
After seven hours of uneventful driving, the skies started looking ominous near the cattle feedlots around Coalinga, California. The stench from the cattle is pretty bad and you can smell it for miles even before reaching it. I was wishing rain would wash the smell away. As the rain and lightning started, it was a reminder to be careful what you wished for.
The good? Well, thunderstorms make quick work of those tough-to-get-out bug innards splattered on the windshield. The stormy weather continued off and on for the remainder of the trip.
After about 13 hours of driving, I filled my gullet with In-N-Out and hit the road again, only to be stopped almost immediately. Turns out mudslides had shut down the interstate. Yep, the entire highway. Various signs alerted me about detouring miles before getting to this point, but like most Amber Alerts, I basically ignore them.
The California Highway Patrol made all southbound traffic detour and head back north. I didn't bother using the navigation system in the Ford. I needed something fast, so I went with Waze on my iPhone, which re-routed me through State Route 166.
This was a flat country road with sections completely flooded over, which were nicely marked with road flares. I didn't have it in my iTunes library, but I really wanted to play Johnny Cash's "Five Feet High and Rising." I was thankful I had the truck at this moment. Unlike Portland's cramped suburban streets, the truck was in its element barreling through muddy water.
The detour then took me up and around Mt. Pinos, through Cuddle Valley and finally, after 60 miles, routed me back onto the I-5.
I made it back to Santa Monica around 10:30 and nearing the end of the journey, my last and probably largest dread was finding street parking. The F-150 is the anti-handy street parking car, but the parking gods took pity on my weary hide, rewarding me with a spot right in front of my building. Street parking for an F-150 in Santa Monica? Somebody up there likes me.
Portland to Los Angeles trip total: 15-plus hours, 980-plus miles, 30-plus hours and 2,300 miles for an average of 19.1 mpg. That done, now sleep.
Rich Kuras, Video Producer @ 27,845 miles