Since I last had computer access and began thinking about this post, my moods have flown from here to Cape Horn and back again, the long way round, so who knows where this post will end up.
It began with me still having too much fun. Despite telling myself that this extended weekend/vacation was my chance to take it easy and heal, to stay in my pajamas a large majority of the time, I ended up cruising up the mountains to Hetch Hetchy and the Strawberry Music Festival. Of which I will say little, since the music was mediocre at best and the only outstanding items were the tequila and the campfire singing. Again, not restful.
I chatted with someone that hadn’t known me that long, and therefore hadn’t heard about my Road Trip. Since it’s usually around hour 2 of a relationship that I coolly brag about the number of states I’ve visited/lived in, this was unusual. So I got to brag again, and she asked if I blog about these things, and I said, “Of course! Or, I did. I had a travel blog back then. And I have a blog, now, but that’s not really a part of it…”
Which made me realize why it’s missing. Because I haven’t been taking road trips! It has been far, far too long. I don’t think I’ve even made my completely pointless drive up the coast since I visited my sister last fire season. Oh, I placate my inner driver by taking the back roads up to my work’s river camp, but that is just not the same.
I found myself dreaming about getting fired, since unemployment would easily cover my expenses if I lived in my truck again, or about getting deported, so I could be a lost bum in NZ. Happy sigh. Instead, I took the long way home. The trip from Yosemite to Oakland is not quite as epic as London to New York, but that’s why this is only one wee blog post, and not an entire season.
Despite excitedly poring over maps at camp, I still (happily) managed to get gloriously lost somewhere on the outskirts of Tracy. I lost my highway just before my next road change, and instead of backtracking or jumping on the interstate for a second, I decided to guess which farm access road was the correct one, based on my general sense of ‘I wanna go that-a-way.’ I saw several rowdy farmhouse weddings (or perhaps quinceneras – the lady in white at one of them was a wee bit too young, to my mind), and at least a half dozen mailboxes shaped like bass (fish, not guitars).
After the third road petered out without another offshoot, I headed back to the security guard I’d spotted at the last river crossing. Protecting valuable… broccoli? Shoot, what did I almost stumble onto there? Probably not much, since he not only seemed a little stunned to see me, he proceeded to issue me directions that led right down the dirt road he’d been guarding. I tumbled alongside the fields, kicking up dust and crossing the river on rickety hand-made looking bridges, and finally popped out, right back at the interstate.
Forgive me for my weakness, but I was only 50 miles from home, I’d already spotted egrets and deer, had a beer and beef at a biker bar, and discovered an empty road with perfect curves. I felt happy and road-tripped, so I jumped on and headed home. I did take a few more frontage roads, including one through the Altamont pass, but it was half-hearted at best.
What did I learn? Rest and relaxation is all well and good, but what I really, truly need is some nice bonding time with my truck and an extended period of aimless wandering. Plans are in the works, just you wait.
Back home I picked up the cutest dog in the world (the boarding house said she was a model pup, even led the pack on a few of the walks), discovered baths are off-limits due to the noxious animal decomposing somewhere not-far-enough-beyond the shower wall, saw a sad, sad, sister for a sad, sad, reason, and generally vacillated between cranky, morose, and downright chipper.