Friday, September 18, 2015

Travels With Zoë


For nine months out of the year, I drive 1000 south along I-5 from Portland, OR to Pomona, CA and back again. When I drive, I bring along my pup, Zoë. She hates riding in the car and hates the drive, so as a companion she pretty well sucks. But once we get to the motel or to my sister's home in Pomona, she is very happy to be with me. See, she hates for me to leave her behind and hates to come along. It is quite a paradox for a little pup.

I usually have a book or two on tape to listen to while I drive.  My favorite driving books are the series with Chief Inspector Gamache by Louise Penny. They keep me occupied for over 12 hours each and I never know who done it until the end. They are rich in character, Canadian landscape and culture.  Good stuff! But this trip I didn't have any books. Oh I downloaded two, but for the life of me I couldn't remember how to transfer them onto my iPod. Damn drugs...a mind is a terrible thing to waste. So I had music to listen to and could watch the characters on the road to keep me entertained.  Oh yeah. And Zoë, who only lifts her head from her car bed at rest stops.

So there are some things I noticed along the way:
  • There are some mean aggressive drivers out there.  You know the ones I mean. They pull up close to the car ahead, a car that is cruising beside a semi and can't move over, and pushes them as far as they can with inches to spare between them, sometimes blinking lights at them.  WTH?
  • I know that the lyrics to Manfred Mann's Blinded by the Light are:
    And she was blinded by the light
    Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night....

    But still I hear:
    And she was blinded by the light
    Wrapped up like a douche, another owner in the night
  • Gotta drive-dance to Footloose.  Can't sit still.
  • Why do some people slow down as they pass a semi?
  • Passed a truck that had "THE WILD SIDE OF FRUIT" on it's truck side and got me to thinking which fruits could be the wildest. I mean, cherries can pop juicy in your mouth.  Maybe that's kinda wild. Bananas aren't wild unless someone is wildly wearing them on their head. Oh maybe a mango could be wild? Bet the truck was part of a traveling show. Come see the wild fruits! Only a quarter for a ticket!
  • Caught some gas in Medford for $2.67/gallon. Life is good.
Richard Harris leaving
the cake out in the rain
  •  Whoever thought it was a good idea for Richard Harris to sing?
  • Temperature changed the farther south I drove. It was 60 degrees and wet when I left Portland. By the time I got to Redding, CA, it was 105. It stayed between 105-106 the rest of the way south.
  • All that hot didn't help the cow farms along the way. Wow wow wow thousands of hot hot...stink stink stink.
  •  Saw cars from WA, OR, CA, TX, AZ, CO, ID, GA, NM, IN, AR, FL, UT, NB, MN, British Columbia
  • Huge lightning storm hit while going over the Grapevine/Tejon Pass.  Rain falling so hard no one could see.  Many pulled over to the side of the road. Many slowed down to a crawl. I have only hit this type of rainfall when driving through Ohio. Lightning started a grass fire along the side of the road. Ironically, it was right at Smokey Bear Road.
  • Some grills on white trucks look like a storm trooper is coming after you.
  •  Pyramid Lake, near Castaic, CA, is so low that its water is algae green rather than blue. And when I say green, I mean GREEN. No one using that lake this summer.
  • There was a tire leaning against a fence, looking casual, like it's arm was over the top of the fence and chewing on a straw. But I know it had to be starting to panic as it searched the freeway for its herd. I understand feral tires.
  •  One of my favorite flowers is the wild mini-sunflowers that pop up here and there along the freeway. I think I might get a tattoo of it on my upper right arm, with two Shasta Daisies intertwined. I always wanted a second tattoo :)
  •  Followed a truck for quite some time on the way home (s-l-o-w-l-y through the heavy rains along I-210, accidents everywhere, one closing the 210 ramp into Pasadena so I had to drive a round-about way to get to I-5) that had a huge door hanging painted on the back that said:  10,000 color door hangers $299!  Wow. $299. I think there has to be a rather specific market for that product, eh?
  •  Mom told me a story that when they laid I-5 in the early 70s, people wanted all the produce along the freeway labeled so drivers would know what they were seeing as they drove past (for miles and miles and miles without gas stations!). Now this could be a story she made up in her head--she can easily do that and believe it is all real--but somewhere around Crow's Landing, CA, the trees ARE labeled: lemons, oranges, tangerines, citrus. Very cool for us non-tree farmers.
  • Heard on the news that Kanye West has a shoe out that cost over $2000. Obviously they are not meant for the everyday people.
  • People with the inability to use the signal to change lanes are just rude. Yeppers...wander over here to this side. Just be a meanderer. 
  • Pup's head popped up as we approached home. She surveyed the streets, sniffing for familiar scents, looking at me with the first look of interest along the way. Then jumped into my lap when we pulled into our driveway and then she squealed and butt-wagged when Doug came out of the house to greet us. I kinda did, too :)
Zoë in Redding, CA, excitedly contemplating the last leg of drive home

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