Sunday, August 28, 2016

ye last road trip (again)

We arrived home on Monday at ye end of what I REALLY hope was ye last rode trip. Now I know you’ve heard it B4 — I think the first “last road trip” was in 2005. .


At that time I wrote," Once upon a time, when gas was cheap and motel rooms were reasonably priced, I took to the road whenever the impulse struck, often just for the hell of it. Cruising along some remote two-lane blacktop (I never liked traveling the interstates) conferred a sense of freedom and independence. It fostered an illusion of power -- omnipotence, almost -- best expressed as, "I can go wherever I want, and do whatever I want, whenever I want."
"Sure. Until the money runs out. Or more importantly, until you're out of gas. And we are.

"Among the innumerable casualties of hurricane Katrina was our notion that gasoline is an infinite resource.

"But now we've breached the three-dollar barrier, the point at which many Americans find their formerly unlimited mobility curtailed.

"It's now extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a family of four with modest means to gas up the old Ford Explorer and go tooling off to visit Aunt Mary in Lubbock."

But now we see expense is only one facet of the "petroleum problem;"there will be times when the environmental problem is that gas is too cheap and too available. We are in a radically different scenario now, what Jim Kunstler called "the bumpy plateau" in "The Long Emergency." and it's not easy 4 me, confined to a wheel chair and carrying an oxygen tank, to deal with those bumps.

As things have turned out, gas is so cheap right now that traffic is THE problem in nearly every city & town, as people for whom recreational driving had not been an option for quite a few years suddenly take it up again with a vengeance; we were in a two-hour jam on the run into Portland on our way to Seattle, & a four-hour jam leaving Tacoma for Boise & points south on a couple days later.

Some recreation. If the folks up in Washington, in Portland, OR & LA & Frisco want to have fun in their own way, that's OK I spoze (or it would be if it wasn't demolishing what's left of our optimal 80% nitrogen & 20% oxygen atmosphere). But I can tell you it makes the wheechair life look a lot better. 

That final day took a lot out of us, and a lot out of the cat (she travels with us everywhere we go); unable to drink for over 8 hrs, she was a ghost of herself the day after her return, but has since reverted to normal behavior.

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