Monday, September 15, 2008

a bridge to somewhere

we drove down highway 101 from arcata to santa cruz this past sunday. the bigger part of the way is freeway. some of the two-lane stretches are fairly straight and only moderately uphill or down. other segments are quite narrow and twisting and steep. the picture above was taken from a small turnout on a part of the road chiseled across a rock face about a hundred feet above the bottom and a hundred feet below the top. a long way to fall off the edge and a lot of rock above to fall onto the road. the bridge will replace maybe a mile and a half of narrow, twisty, steep, obviously difficult and expensive and dangerous to maintain road. there are bright orange signs for both directions warning "KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD." neither of us had ever seen a sign like that before. its need is obvious here. construction has been going on for at least a year. maybe it will be finished before the oil runs out.

i first traveled north to humboldt county in 1971. there was not so much freeway then. no spotlights at night illuminating the the rock faces where chunks of various sizes fall at random times. progress happens. now one can see the rock hurtling down to crush one's car, with no space or time to avoid it. i may have preferred a quick, unexpected death in the dark.

i fly back to arcata wednesday to drive 101 south again thursday with our fully loaded pickup truck, which is at our former house. then we are moved well and completely. then we begin looking for a home.

cat update......bonsai was nervous for several days before we traveled, what with everything packed and our rugs rolled up. he was upset and whining for almost an hour as we set out. we talked to him. robin pet him (i was driving). after a bit he climbed up into robin's lap and calmed enough to drowse. he has never been any sort of lap cat for more than 3 uncomfortable seconds. he then went to sleep on the floor in back, staying there except to eat some kibble when we stopped to feed ourselves. he was a good traveler.

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