The Way Home
I’d like to write a post about where I stand, five weeks before Coeur d’Alene, but I’m too toasted for such deep thinking. Sometime this week, perhaps. All I have, instead, is one of those insufferably self-absorbed blogger blow-by-blows of the day....
When I pulled out of Napa in the cool dark of 3:15 this morning I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood. Pretty much every summer we’d drive to Manitoba or British Columbia to visit relatives, and we’d always hit the road before sunup. The stated rationale, I believe, was to beat the Bay Area traffic out of town, but I think it was really about getting in a respectable day of driving, a day a man could be proud of—850 miles from San Jose to Evanston, Wyo., for instance. So we’d load up the Plymouth wagon with two parents, five kids, a metal Coleman cooler filled with sandwiches, and a rare treat, sodas (Cragmont or Shasta, the store brands, of course).
Me, today? I wanted to beat the record-breaking California heat and get back in time to put things on the homefront back in order before The Lad and work and who knows what arrive tomorrow. My plan was to be on the road by 5:30 a.m, but when I woke up at 2:30 and felt chipper, I just went with the flow right outta Dodge. Redding was in my rear-view mirror by 6:30 a.m., and the driving was cool and comfortable all the way. I contemplated stopping for a run in Eugene but I was sore after the hard work of the last several days, so I skipped it. I began the drive with a full tank and only had to fuel up once. I hit one rest stop for a nature break and another between Roseburg and Eugene because I suddenly found my ambition to push on in a serious battle with my body’s desire to sleep. Five minutes of jogging on the rest-area lawn woke me up. I stopped outside Portland for a Subway veggie sandwich because I was desperately hungry. I like the Subway veggie sandwich. I tell them to put every plant thing they have on it. Often they’ll skip an item or two, I don’t know why, but I watch and remind them I said everything. Got to Portland just after 1 p.m., even after stopping for gas around the corner from my house to fill up the rental car. I watered the parched garden, then quickly and easily unloaded the car, earning my payoff for doing a good job packing neatly in the morning.
Later in the afternoon I thought about going for a ride or a run or a swim. But I was so tired. I had the car on a weekly rental and it wasn’t due back until Monday night, but I decided to get the return out of the way today. That’s when I got the idea to walk back from the rental agency, out near the airport, four or five miles away. That would be a nice little antidote to the 610 miles of driving I’d put in.
That’s the walk, up above. Four and half miles, in an hour and five minutes, which is actually darn spry walking. After a shower I threw a tin of Trader Joe’s Spanakopita in the oven, made some hummus, pigged out while watching the Giants beat the Mets (finally) and then got to the blogging. It’s after 9 now, and I’ve been up for more than 18 hours. I think I’ll be getting some sleep soon.
Oh, the week doesn’t sound like much, but there was some intensity in there, and progress.
Bike: 3 rides, 125 miles, lots of hills, 7.5 hours
Run: 4 runs, 34 miles, 4.5 hours
Swim: 2 swims, 5700 yards, 2 hours
Total: 14 hours