Memory Fragment

There was a gas station (I believe it was an Esso station) along a 4-lane highway somewhere in the mountains north of Berkeley. This was probably between 1958 and 1962, possibly the later date since I seem to remember buying Laura some rock candy. They had a candy bar there that had a blue and white label, but I don’t remember what it was.  The place had little more than a single rack of candy bars, a coke machine, some cigarettes and lighters, and some road atlases.

There are still gas stations like this here in Oregon, one of the few places in the world where attendants still pump gas for you, and they were a lot more common earlier in my current life, but so many of them were bulldozed in the 90s to make way for the combination gas station and curb market that became the most common format today.

Seems like the land behind the station sloped downward on a grassy slope. The road curved to the left somewhat heading toward some mountains.

It looked kind of similar to an area I passed through in 2011 while moving to Oregon but not exactly the same.  That area was way north and east of Berkeley, round about Susanville.  I have no idea where this actually was but my gut tells me it was close to the town of Weed, CA.  

If it was Weed, then the mountain peak in the distance was probably Mt. Shasta, it was probably summer time because there was little or no snow visible, and it may have been either Hwy 97 or Route 99W (which has now been obliterated from that area by the freeway).  A search for historic photos of the area hasn’t turned up what I’m looking for but the roads and the views from 97 through Weed look promising.  That’s fairly remarkable in that I’ve only ever seen that area from the freeway and not from the town itself.


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