Thursday, March 21, 2013

driving home

Two weeks ago we departed California, my body says it was a couple of months ago and my brain believes it was about a year ago.  Things were tough in Palo Alto but it was just  Gabriel, the focus was wee, there was no big picture. Since returning home we've retaken responsibility for our children (Isabella and Powell) from Grandma and Grandpa and thrown in all the other chunks of life. My parents were such absolute troopers! I still feel guilty having asked them to be parents of young kids a second time (for the last several months) especially when it almost took them out! My Dad is just recovering from bronchitis and Mom fell ill to the flu. On the positive side Dad realized, not breathing is pretty miserable (I could have told him about that) and so has decided to quit smoking! Almost a week now!

After leaving Beth and Gabriel at the airport I filled up on coffee and headed east.
Snow was falling in the Sierra Nevada's, I was tired, I had also taken the tire chains out of the trunk and put them in Dad's pick-up (do not tell CHP or Nevada Highway Patrol) and I did not have 86 close, tasty friends to join me, so I looked for a motel. About an hour east of Sacramento I found a HoJo (Howard Johnson's), the price was right, the same price we paid for our little room with two doubles I received a suite with a king bed!


Kitchenette, sitting area/living room into bedroom view.
Downright palatial!
on closer inspection there were subtle clues that this place was not occupied on a regular basis. Example: the manner in which the paper of the brochure affected by the local humidity curves and warps. This room hadn't been slept in for a long time.
The ambience of iron burns on the floor.
Not all that displays cigarette burns is pink formica. Well in this case it is but you know, there's a lot of stuff bearing cigarette burn marks that isn't pink formica- I'll have you know!

Maybe you do get what you pay for...

It was a bed though and I had a nice little continental breakfast in the morning, filled the mug with java and headed over Donner Summit into Nevada.

After departing Reno (I could write a book about the predatory billboards) I encountered Fernley, NV about a 10 second town via interstate but the  30 or 40 miles after Fernley are worth observing. Nevada is rather flat and plain and in some areas is extremely flat and plain, those areas often are marked by a whitish hue; the sign of alkaline soil (if you don't understand "alkaline" either read any of "The Great Brain" books or study basic chemistry). So... in the midst of this alkaline soil- which is literally a perfect chalkboard; flat, white... waiting for a contrasting medium.
People pull off the interstate, scrounge dark rocks and spell names, words, phrases and create some imagery... on the flat, plain alkaline soil.
Alkaline soil on the left.

Shooting out the window at some rate of speed. People write names and I don't know what else. I was traveling too fast and after I promised myself  to stop and photograph the last decent image I never saw another. The next time... none of the images though was meant to be viewed by any other than the creator or someone who placed themselves in the position to view these works. Why then did people stop in the middle of no-where to create something no-one would ever see? They did this in an area affected by other like minded people that they couldn't know what their mind was like but knew it was similar to their's. Strangely encroaching upon Dr. Seuss territory.

About the Oregon line Burning Love by Elvis popped up on the playlist and made me think of this version I saw on MTV in the 80's by Doctor and the Medics which should brighten your day and possibly influence the trim of your sideburns.

Prior to leaving California, several buddies (Rich and Eric) offered to fly out and drive back with me, a nurse at the hospital said "Who the hell does that?" after hearing about one of them to which I sheepishly answered "I have a couple of buddies who offered." I decided instead to pick up a digital recorder whereby I could record my thoughts on all this craziness and then print out those crazy thoughts once I returned home. I told my buddy Rich about this and he mentioned "Do you realize how crazy boring that bastard can get? He'll put you to sleep before you reach the Nevada line." Rich though didn't realize the impact of the crazy, opinionated freak that kept screaming at the logical (boring) guy. They were both beyond tolerable!  I thought it was about to get physical but fortunately they constrained themselves to verbal attacks.
Fortunately sweet tea and gummies are not just for breakfast anymore!!

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