Going for the Gold travel blog

My favorite byway of the trip

Oh, the psychology of travel! Driving the lonely two-lane byways which curve along river courses leaves little time to think about anything but how splendid the scenery. Open the sun roof, turn up the music and enjoy. Interstate driving with trailer in tow is another thing. I spent hours today chugging up and down the Cascades in the slow lane with hoards of trucks and fellow towers, turning off the air on every hill to get more power, turning up NPR to quell the boredom. We became a community in motion, continually passing one another, stopping at the same rest stops. It got to be kinda creepy. Is that semi driver looking down my shirt front as he moseys by again on my left? Will Mr. Blue Truck let me in once again when the lanes converge? Should that duffer of an RV driver in the honkin' rig really be let loose on the highway? Oh no, Ms. Hay Truck overheated on that last hill. Are you kidding me that my 100 best driver friends and I are sitting at a dead stop in road construction on this mountain in 95 degree heat? We all should have bailed out and taken a dip in Lake Shasta. I waved goodby to my interstate peeps as I peeled off onto highway 99, a sleepy rural stretch to Chico. The first gold medal today goes to the EMTs I saw on 99 who, garbed in their full emergency gear in the horrible heat, were loading an accident victim onto a stretcher. They deserve combat pay. In Chico I met up with former fellow teacher Robbin. She gets a gold medal for surviving a wicked recuperation from knee surgery, getting four kids off to school last week, getting back to her nursing job, and planning yet another degree program to combine her two loves, teaching and nursing. We caught up over margaritas and then toured the charming town of Chico which, she explained, is populated by families, college students, lots of homeless, and, strangely enough, hippies galore. Maybe they seeped down from green cross land. Tomorrow, closing ceremonies.

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