Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Well my incident cost me a four hours of drive time yesterday that I had to make up today. It was a smart thing for me to get that last 100 miles in last night. Having to drive through LA morning traffic was not a real option for me. So, I got to drive 800 miles, Buttonwillow, CA (such a great name!!!) to Salem, OR.

Gail got the smarts this morning and realized that I am driving through Salem OR and could pick UP Michele as we could drive together. DUH! So I am pleased that I will have a companion for the rest of the drive to Tacoma.

All of the central valley of CA is brown with the smoke of the fires. It came from the west over the hills from Big Sur and came south from Redding filled the valley and blocked out the sun in a brown haze. It looks like the pollution that hangs over LA in the high heat of the summer. As I got to Redding you could see the 10 to 12 smoke plums from all of the separate fires. Just north of the city is this huge field that was the staging area for all of the helicopters and water tankers to fight the blazes.

As always, I am still in bewildered awe of the transformation that happens as you drive from the desert of Arizona to the pine forests of Oregon. The shift happens so slowly that you forget to notice and then suddenly, there are running rivers and green grass. It is one of the reasons that I love to drive everywhere. To witness the subtle shift in terrain and to see the farms and the wildlife that has moved and adjusted to presence of man.

I do have to say that now is my favorite time to drive the I-5. It is tomato-harvesting time. All of the produce is loaded into these open top trucks that have a base of water so the bottom layer does not get crushed. As the trucks go over bumps on the highway dozens of the tomatoes fly out of the hoppers and land all over the highway. It has made me laugh every time since the first time I saw it happen.

I want to thank everyone for the concerned emails and phone calls. I am sore as I can say I have ever been. I got a wrap for my wrist that helped a great deal and my right shoulder and sternum are very stiff from the locking up of the seatbelt. Today was hard and I am glad that it is over. I think that the only things that do not hurt are my eyebrows. I am gonna take some Aleve and Tyleno PM's and go to sleep.

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