Miner Street Pub, Yreka, California

It was a good day to have the top down. I am now in Yreka (rhymes with he-wrecka, if I’m not mistaken*), windblown, a bit sunburned in spots, and tired. It was the traditional long night over beers and unusual jazz last night, so it wasn’t exactly the crack of dawn when I pulled onto Glenwood Drive and headed north.

I have a deadline right now, a place I need to be at a certain time. That fundamentally changes the nature of a road trip, and I spent most of the day on the Interstate highways, instead of the more enjoyable little, winding roads. Once north of Reading, however, even I-5 is scenic, working its way around the skirts of Mt. Shasta, the snow-clad cinder cone reaching high into the deep blue sky. Shasta’s sisters have on occasion exploded; I wondered when this volcano was due for a cataclysm. Traffic was light and the drive was routine. I could have gone farther, but I wanted to give myself some time to do some writing this evening. I saw billboards for hotels with free wireless Internet, and that was all I needed.

Yreka wasn’t much to look at from the freeway, and I almost changed my mind about stopping. The center of town is all right though, and the neighborhood just past the cneter looks pretty nice as well. Yreka is a mining town, though I don’t know if it was part of one of the gold rushes or if it was another mineral that folks were digging up here; I’ll drop by the chamber of commerce tomorrow and see what sort of executive summary of the town’s history I can dig up.

As I was settling in here at the pub, a guy came in with his dog, a standard poodle (the full-sized kind), well-groomed but not in the best of health, I suspect. The dog’s name, apparently is Pookie. Pookie the Poodle. He is now guarding the door, making sure no other dogs pass by unchallenged. I am sipping a Stone IPA, one of my favorites, and a bit of a surprise this far north.

The bartender and the dog owner are now the only other people in here; they are playing a dice game of some sort. College basketball is on the TV; moments ago Virginia Commonwealth upset Duke. Other than that it is quiet in here, but it looks like this place can be loud when it needs to be. There is a little sound booth to the side of a large open space obviously for bands and those who dance to bands. behind the open area is a small stage, but it is pretty much filled by a pair of low sofas. As I typed that the bar’s owner (rhymes with Joe) came in and removed the brass pole that had been at the focus of the couches. The crack of a pool break just reverberated down the stair.

Other than that, there’s not much to report. The volcanos were quiet, the traffic was manageable, and the sun shone brightly. And here I am.

* Apparently I was mistaken. A local was kind enough to provide a different pronunciation in the comments. A better rhyme would have been “I-reeka”.

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