My Commute

    Where I used to live it took me about one hour. In that hour, I traveled about 15 miles. Most of the time, I was stopped, trying to block anonomously discourteous megopolites who thanklessly jam their big SUV's and BMW three-series into my lane with no acknowledgement short of the second finger from the pinky.

This is a story about my current ride to work. It is a lot of fun. It now only takes about 45 minutes, but I travel about 35 miles. I also get to see lots of neat sites and experience weather adventures along the way. This particular documentary occurred in early 2003, a year of el-nino like weather throughout the country.

  This is my driveway. Its quickly approaching our main road. The pine trees were planted about 35 years ago. Luckily, the driveway, now about four years old, was of minimal disruption to the standing trees.

  On the main road. Its a two-laner with stripes. There's a sign ahead warning me that there is a school bus stop ahead. I worry little this day, as with the inch or three of snow on the ground, the schools can be guaranteed to be closed.

  Ahh, chemical treatment. This keeps the ice to a minimum and the car washing to a maximum. This is a road in town that skirts along the north west side. Its the long way to the interstate, but its mostly right turns and few lights.

  A relatively new cut across - one of the roads that small towns put in place between two big roads to try to spur some development. Looks like its worked - not only are these new tract houses going in, but, to their owners good fortune, an in-town car dealer is planning to relocate to their back yards!

  Almost on the big roads. The city has installed these great LED based stop (and go) lights. They are very bright and improve safety along this divided highway. I have to take a left across traffic past this light where there is no light - go figure.

  Here I'm on the interstate. Luckily, this sign provides valuable warning. It says, when fog on the mountain, drive slowly. That's great.

There have been three 50+ car pile ups on the mountain in the last six years. The DOT should put electronic speed limit signs along the mountain and display speeds appropriate to conditions. That would take away the guess work and reduce the testosterone-induced tendency to maintain 73 mph in 10 ft to 20 ft visibility.

  Having peaked the mountain, I'm now on my way down. We get pretty crazy weather conditions up here - wind, rain, ice, snow, and fog - lots of fog. Though dangerous, the views can be spectacular, varying throughout the year.

  This is the last of the smooth exit roads for the trip. This exit happens to be required for anyone continuing on towards the big megopolis, even though through-traffic must contend with several lights and lots of traffic - requisite retail strip mall exposure.

  This is the last left hand turn I have to make. Its a dual left laner. The light is pretty generous. However, its a tight fit with two lanes on our side and two on the other side. This is why I don't put wider tires on my Volvo.

  Ahh, at long last, we pull into the parking lot of my office. What a great place - the sun rises over the facility, lighting the new day with the promise of great challenge and reward.

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