So, There I was....* Headed to Colorado to celebrate my Aunt's 80th Birthday. Little Juvat (he hates that moniker, but like Tuna said about callsigns, the more you gripe, the harder it sticks) is doing the driving and I'm taking the opportunity to ride in the back seat. This may be my first time back here since I started driving.
Anyhow, we're headed to southwest Colorado, to a place outside Dolores called Stoner Ranch. Now, if that don't set you back....
"Howdy Officer, what can I do for you?"
"I clocked you at 85 in a 75. Where you going?"
"Got to get a blog post up. Sarge is getting nervous."
"Where you coming from?"
"Big State, Where specifically?"
"Outta the car, Longhair!"
Making pretty good time. 4 miles every 3 minutes. Except....
|55MPH on right, 55.001MPH on the left|
Got a bit of time to think back here. Last time I saw my Aunt was when she and my Uncle traveled to our neck of the woods for my Dad's Funeral. My Uncle (Dad's brother) has since passed on. It's now down to 3 left in that generation of my famiy and I'm the elder statesman for the next generation. Having just "celebrated" a zero birthday, that's been on my mind a bit lately.
Thinking about the last time I saw my cousins (4 Boys and a Girl). Have to believe it was my Grandparent's 50th Anniversary. Celebrated that out in Tuna's neck of the woods, Escondido in 1979, so it's been a while. Pretty sure my Aunt is a great-grandma. Well, I am sure that whether or not her grand children have kids of their own, she's a GREAT Grandma. (Just in case she reads this).
Discovered another benefit to being chauffeured, naps! A little siesta and I'm suddenly 100 miles closer. Well out of the hill country now and definitely got some "see 'em comin'" vistas.
|The Pecos River in all its raging glory|
It occurs to me, the last time I actually spent serious time riding was at the Puzzle Palace. One of the most unique things about the area was slugging. Traffic in the area was (is, I'm sure) horrible. HOV lanes helped enormously, but finding 2 additional folks that were going your way at your time was next to impossible.
So, without any Federal Government involvement (I know, hard to believe, right?), people found a way to get extra riders and use the HOV lanes. The driver would stop by the Pentagon bus station and find the bus that served the route near their destination. Then starting at the front of the line would proceed down the stating the bus stop he would end up at. The first two people that had that stop or an earlier one would say so and they'd get a ride.
One would think this was lunacy, getting in a car with strangers. As far as I know, there never was a problem. If you didn't like the looks of the driver, you were under no obligation to ride with him.
There weren't any federal government mandated rules, but there were some generally agreed upon conventions. First, the only slug initiated conversations were "Good Morning" and "Thank you". The driver could initiate a conversation if they wanted, but were encouraged not to discus religion or politics. In DC, not discussing the latter meant it was usually quiet.
Phone conversations by the slug were limited to "On my way home, be there in xxx"
Since the bus stop nearest my home was the closest one to the HOV lane, that made the wife and I an attractive slug option, so we rarely rode the bus home.
One morning, I'm at the bus stop, by myself, it's raining. I've got about 10 minutes before the bus is supposed to arrive when a van pulls up. Guy rolls down the window and asks where I'm headed.
"OK" Transaction completed.
"Good Morning" I say as I get in. Quick look around the van and it's only he and I. There's no other slug pick up point prior to the HOV, but it's not my problem. Besides the van's windows are tinted and it's still dark.
We're on the HOV making good time when the Driver asks "Where do you work in the Pentagon?" I tell him and he responds with "Oh so you work for Shmuckatelli?"
"Yes, Sir, but I usually call him General"
He laughs and says "I'd say so".
I say "If you don't mind my asking, where do you work?"
"I'm the senior Senator from Montana."
As I said, slugging was one of the few very interesting aspects of life in DC.
Back in the back seat, we've cleverly managed to arrive in Pecos, home of the Best in the West Rodeo, just in time to meet the Rodeo parade head on. Our 4 in 3 average speed is taking a quantitative hit.
Lots of Fracking traffic out here. Take that anyway you'd like.
Arrived safely in Albuquerque. A Little New Mexican food for Dinner with a very nice Hefeweizen. Or Two.
Expecting a paucity of Internet access, so signing off for now.
|Tough view to read a book and have a cup of coffee with, but as expected.it's 15 miles to any internet, cell or GPS signal|
|Woke up Thursday morning in ABQ and did my weather check and discovered some UFOs|