Driving me crazy - Interstate 5!

When you've got kids, a van, lots of stuff, and need to see the grandparents (both sets lived in Newport Beach), you pile in and drive to the hometown on Interstate 5.  At the time it was cheaper to take four wheels (gas) than to travel by two wings (airfare).  Plus, like George Carlin says, "You gotta have your stuff"  (scroll down on the link) and we for sure couldn't pay for the whole plane.

Interstate 5....I have never heard anybody who has said how lovely that drive is through California.  In the summer it's freakin' hot.  In the winter there is tule fog and you slowly grind your way forward or sit still.  And all year long there is the cow stench, stink, and smell at Harris Ranch.  Besides, it's boring.  There are too many fast food joints but there are plenty of gas and rest stops.

As I pondered the old days and ways, my mind went to three events I/we had on Interstate 5. One was the family trip during the 1984 Olympics in LA.  Everybody said stay off the LA freeway.  And everybody did...except for us!  It was an amazing ride rolling right through LA on the first day of the sporting events.  It seemed like an interstellar object had descended and taken all the autos away...and then we arrived...and owned the road.

The second time I recall I was driving the van and toting the kids plus an El Toro on top of the the roof. The kids were not on the roof.   They were inside.   The boat was like the popular southern CA Sabot sailboat, but without a lee board.  I had stopped with the kids at a rest stop.  I looked at the way Carl tied it up and thought...hmmm.  He was the sailor in the family and he took a more advanced coursed in knot tying.  I was just a pilot with an undergraduate degree in knots.

Sure enough... not too much later, the boat went flying off the car at 70 mph, bounced on the road behind us and OVER a MG sports car...much to their surprise.  They kept driving.  I threw the van into reverse, backed it up as fast as I could on the sideline, told the kids to stay still (they were in shock), threw open the back doors, ran to get the boat (no cars were near it in the fast land where it landed), picked it up with super human powers (not too heavy but gangly), and threw it into the vehicle.  It actually fit and I closed it up.  The kids were in shock for a while.  Ugh.  That was the end of that boat.  It was a total loss.  Carl was understandably upset because I didn't fix the knots.  I still feel bad.  Bummer.  Today, I tie any item with airplane tie down knots and boat knots. 

Then there's the trip about 18 month ago.  I wrote about this.  My dad was the confused driver and his wife, legally blind, the navigator.  I watched the blind leading the confused, from the back seat, when they picked me up at the airport.  I don't know how they did it but it worked fine for them.

I gave up trying to get my dad to give up the car.  I prayed nobody would get hurt.  Then he surprised me.  On my last afternoon there, he suggested I take the car to Alameda.  I said I had an airplane to catch the next day.  And then I realized he really meant it!  I changed my flight and drove it home.  Halfway there it started to rain.  Hard.  And the Prius had bad tires.  Very bad.  And I didn't know it.  I felt blessed to get the car home without wrecking it or me.  And it was sold in great shape!

This trip with my own prepped car (new tires, new oil, new brakes, new light bulbs, all on the regular maintenance schedule), I hit the road.  Now I head back home tomorrow.  I start out on 405, over to 101 to Pacific Coast Highway and back to 101 and the last of the trip on 880.  But around Ventura I sing along with a fab radio station that plays the all the hits.  You know, Cream, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix.  Anybody feel historic?

 PCH - that might be part 2, or maybe not. 

Live richly and motor on!  marilyn


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