Remember, when it’s a race to work we all lose.It’s March 20th and I’m driving to work… again. This is a regular event for most people. Sometimes, it’s normal for me too but today, well today is different. I’m taking a count. A count of gravel trucks on this shit highway the state of California calls state route 65.
6am and I’m on the on ramp to 65 North. This is the best part of the drive. A nice long moderate curve that I can coax the Golf .:R into the top of 4th gear. I struggle to merge with traffic that is going faster than I am and refuses to let me in.
If there’s anything I’ve learned while living in California, I’m a native Texan, it’s that Californians will never let you on to a highway. The second thing I’ve learned, Californians will pace alongside you until they try to merge into the side of you. Back to the story at hand.
I finally get on SR65 and I’m going 75mph which means I’m barely keeping up with traffic. This is easily 10mph over the posted speed limit. Oh shit, what’s that closing in on me in my rearview mirror, am I getting pulled over? Nope, just a Toyota Prius going 90 plus mph. He flips me the eco-bird as he passes and subsequently cuts me off.
I hate this drive.
Finally I settle in at 70mph ready to zone out and complete this 36 mile drive. The first part is easy. It’s a two lane highway split with a 40 foot median that makes it relatively stress free. You only have to worry about roadkill and barn owls that are still on their nightly hunt.
Back to the drive. I approach the area where traffic merges from four (combined) to two lanes. I speed up to block out the dude in the Prius (took me at least 15 minutes and countless mph over the speed limit to catch him) go ahead and tail gate me I don’t care.
Anyways, here we go, begin gravel truck count. One, two…….thirteen on a two lane road! Oh look a shotgun blast of 1/2 inch gravel to the windshield, I’m glad my windshield isn’t toast. My mirrors are still attached, though pockmarked. Fuuuu….this road.
I’m almost there. Ten more miles to go. Oh look, a train. At least I’m the first in line at the gate. Then again if any of these rail cars were to derail I’d be done. Squashed beneath some important textile from Oregon. Something certified organic no doubt.
The train is done and the gates lift and there is Mr. Prius again. I passed him and now he’s back with a vengeance. Go, go around me at twenty over the limit. It’s fine with me, work will still be at my destination no matter how early I get there.
I finally arrive at my parking spot of choice, that one spot way the hell out there where any normal driver would avoid. I call this area paradise. Most call it the middle of nowhere. When I come back at lunch there will probably the rattiest piece of rusting Americana parked exactly two centimeters from my door. Whatever, I just wanna get back in and enjoy some traffic free roadway. Someday that will happen, not soon and definitely not today. Today was all about the daily commute.
Welcome to California, where road rules are made up and the speed limits don’t matter.