Heading south to our Writer's Retreat in Mesa, AZ. There are always lots of things to learn on a road trip. If you smoke a pipe you go places most do not and hear and see things only you can report. For example, a man I met on the Coho ferry drove his Jeep from Victoria to Modesto, California every year so his favourite mechanic could tend to it. Why would anyone do such a thing? you might ask.
Apparently this mechanic tuned up Jaguars by ear. Anyway, this fellow I met drove to his favourite mechanic yearly and when his Jeep had 390,000 miles on it the mechanic died so he sold his vehicle. I'm not kidding.
One night about 10:00 p.m. I was approached by an Oregon police officer who wanted to know if I'd been driving recently. I said no, why do you ask? He said a car was flipped over on the road next to our motel and he wondered if I had been driving it because they couldn't find the driver. Drunk, the police officer said. Drunk, I said in agreement.
Then just before bedtime I was out for a walk and saw a truck pull up, the driver looking for a motel room for the night. He was transporting a helicopter on the back of his truck. I couldn't help wondering if this was the best way to get a helicopter across the country?
It has been a great trip over four days and there was much to see. Cloud cover that looked like a bold-faced lie. Wildlife in black on yellow signs every few miles. And my wife Susan, sitting in the front seat beside me, meddling with a giant map and her new cell phone. She was busy. She goes by the name of Suzy Planner for a reason. Head down, she reports, I think we could go a different route. This one is scenic but if we go here it will be more scenic. Meanwhile I'm looking around. Enjoying the drive, really. There's so much to see.