As I told you Tuesday, I’ve let myself get very behind on my blogging during this trip, and the past two days did nothing to help that situation. In fact, they made it worse! On Tuesday night I was planning to stay in Ogden, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, but as I was driving west on I-80 in western Wyoming there was an unpredicted snowstorm and I hit a snowdrift which decided to suddenly jump out in front of my car. Neither I nor the car was damaged in any way, but I couldn’t get traction to get out of the snowbank and by the time AAA arrived to pull me out I was in no mood to drive any further that night. So I switched my reservation to the nearest town and then checked in and finished yesterday’s freaking news column (just in case you ever doubted my dedication). However, that meant two extra hours of driving yesterday, plus an extra half-hour due to the lingering bad road conditions from the snowstorm the night before. Then the horrendous weather in Oregon added another hour…all of which means as I type this it has only been about 90 minutes since I got home from driving for fourteen and a half hours straight, the last six and a half of it in very stress-inducing weather. My ears are ringing from engine & road noises & I don’t know if any of you get this weird kind of mental buzz from driving very long stretches, but I do. And for some reason the Traveling Wilburys’ song “The End of the Line” keeps going through my head. I have a very full calendar for the next few days, so I’ve taken double my usual dose of nighty-night edibles so I can go to sleep and reset my brain by tomorrow morning. And that’s why you’re getting a sort of diary column again today; I hope you don’t mind. I’ve included a selfie I took literally before getting out of bed Monday to soften the blow. It’s a lot more flattering than the one I took in very bad light while waiting for the tow truck.
However, I do have a question: Oregon people, is the guy in charge of programming your electronic road signs habitually confused or something? There was a sign announcing “dense fog, low visibility” over a hundred miles east (measured by road) of where the fog actually was, but no sign at the fog’s real location. The fog sign was at the beginning of a snowstorm, and though the visibility was indeed quite limited that doesn’t make it fog. Also, there was a sign announcing “severe icy conditions in the area” to warn of a snowdrift in the left lane which was marked off by traffic cones while a crew worked to remove it. And while I suppose that does indeed constitute “severe icy conditions”, usually the phrase “in the area” implies a geographic entity larger than five square meters or so. It’s almost as weird as New Mexico’s oddly philosophical warning signs that say “high winds may exist” and “rocks may exist”. OK, New Mexico, I appreciate your efforts to inspire drivers to question the nature of reality, but generally speaking highway signs aren’t a proper venue for that. I think for purely everyday purposes, it’s safe to say that both rocks and high winds do indeed exist in many parts of the universe. Changing your signs to simply read, “Beware of Rocks” or “Caution: Intermittent High Winds” would probably get your meaning across more effectively than framing the existence of hazardous natural phenomena as though it were a resolution for a debate in a Philosophy 101 class.
See? I can still be entertaining even when I’m exhausted. And I’m not even stoned yet.