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The Great Road Trip:  California and Oregon 

Days 7 and 8

Days 1 and 2:  South Bay to Big Sur, and Big Sur to San Francisco
Days 3 and 4:  San Francisco to Hendy Woods, and Hendy Woods to Crescent City
Days 5 and 6:  Crescent City to Bend, and Bend to John Day
Days 7 and 8:  John Day to Alturas, and Alturas to Sacramento
Days 9 and 10:  Sacramento to Kings Canyon, and Kings Canyon to the South Bay

Day 7, August 30, 2007

Start mileage:  1719, John Day, OR
End mileage:  2084, Alturas, CA

First thing in the morning, we packed up camp and got on the road for John Day Fossil Beds, Sheep Rock Unit, and got there at mile 1754.  Luckily, the AAA book told us that you have to go 2 miles north on the 19 (from I-26) to get to the museum, because there were no signs.  In the museum, they have an awesome display of all the local fossils they've found from different ages.  Obviously, you can't go out and dig for fossils, because amateurs (like me) would inadvertantly cause damage.  

After we finished up, we got back on the highway, and made it over to I-395.  

At mile 2024 we crossed the border into California, and finished in Alturas at mile 2084, after a failed obsidian hunt (failed due to torrential rain!).  In Alturas, we stayed at the Best Western Trailside Inn.  The hotel was fine, but they duty cycle the air conditioner, and given the hot weather, the room was a little uncomfortable at night.  At least it's better than EconoLodge South Bend Indiana!
Day 7 Map
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Our navigator didn't get us lost at all
Interstate 395 in Oregon. Speed limit: 55...
A pretty boring stretch of road
Even the line painters gave up on I-395 after a while

Day 8, August 31, 2007

Start mileage:  2084, Alturas, CA
End mileage:  2510, Sacramento, CA

We hit the road early to avoid the afternoon heat.  At mile 2114 we got to the Davis Creek Obsidian Needles/Mahogany Mine.  There was a ton of material to collect (yes, you need a permit and you can only take 500 pounds).  The obsidian needles ring when you clink them together- we're going to try to make some windchimes out of them.  

After the needles mine, we set out for the Rainbow mine.  It sure looked like we got to the right place (by the map they gave us with the permit), but the sight looked like it hadn't been mined in years and there was only black obsidian around.  The day was getting hotter, so we called it quits, sans rainbow, but with about 20 pounds of mahogany obsidian.  

At mile 2344, there was a bank sign with a thermometer- 103 degrees!

Just to the south of Sacramento at mile 2510, we pulled into the Best Western John Jay Inn.  With the AAA discount, it was only $79, but it was a great hotel!   It was one of the cleanest and best kept hotels on the trip.  It rivaled the Hyatt in San Francisco.  I'd definitely stay there again.   It's pretty close to the highway, but not easy to find, so good directions are a must.  
Day 8 Map
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Obsidian, here we come!
View from Davis Creek Obsidian Needles Mine
Mahogany Obsidian
Tons of obsidian!
Cool flowers
Needles- if you clink them together, they ring
Who wants to live in Pittville?