Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Foggy, Foggy Dew

The older I get the less I enjoy auto trips. I tend to get very nervous when someone else is driving (unless I am either asleep, reading, or have my eyes closed--Kathy thinks that I take cat naps when we're driving to and from Cousins Day. She doesn't know that I just keep my eyes closed so I don't get nervous!). I guess it's OK if I feel I'm in control, but I'm discovering that the older I get the more afraid I become on the freeway period. If I'm driving by myself, I often take frontage roads rather than the freeway, when they are available, or if there is an alternate route, I'll take that. I've come to enjoy those little side trips and unless I am on a deadline (very rarely), the extra time it takes to go "the long way" is no problem. Even if I am on a deadline, I can plan ahead and leave half an hour early to allow for the frontage roads.

Things on my right side bother me, especially as a passenger, because my peripheral vision is so bad on that side. If I'm a passenger and I see a big truck coming up on the right, I just close my eyes until we've passed it (I'm getting good at hearing us passing a truck). It's better if I'm driving because I"m farther away from the truck (the whole width of the car).

Yesterday, returning from Alameda I had to drive on one of the stretches of freeway that I hate most at any time of day, but it's even worse at night. I finally got off and drove all through downtown Oakland just because I hated that freeway so much.

This morning we had another interview scheduled at 11 a.m. in San Francisco. I was meeting Alison at the BART station (and thank goodness for my journal, where I said I was meeting her at the Richmond BART station because I really meant the El Cerrito BART station and if she hadn't written to clarify that, we were about to have yet another BART mis-adventure!

I left the house in time to stop at Jack in the Box in Dixon for breakfast (and to fill the gas tank). As I got on the freeway, I could see that the fog was very thick.

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I was nervous about heading into that thick mess, but pressed on. At one point I pulled off on the frontage road which would take me to the road to the Jack in the Box. It also routed me past the old Milk Farm sign that I had used as my Facebook Photo-a-Day picture in October.

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I took a picture of some of the cows and horses in the field. Sort of.

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When I got to the Jack in the Box, there was a gas station right across the street, but as I sat there eating my sausage biscuit and looked across the street, I couldn't even see it, the fog was so thick.

My nerves were getting more and more twisted, but I filled the gas tank and got back on the freeway. By the next off ramp I knew that there was no way I could drive to the Bay Area. Even if the road was safe, I wasn't safe to drive it. I got off and managed to catch Alison before she left her house, and called our interviewees and told them I'd reschedule. Then I turned around and headed back home. I had only driven about ten miles, but it was a very harrowing drive back. When I got off the freeway, I couldn't see as far as the road I would be connecting to. When I crossed over the freeway, all I saw was white under the overpass--I couldn't see the cars. I knew I had made the right decision.

I was also sleepy, since I hadn't had much sleep the night before, so I took a 2 hour nap. When I woke up the fog was completely gone, the sun was out, and the air was clear. Too bad we hadn't scheduled an afternoon interview!


Harriet said...

It has come to you later than it came to me, but it comes. I still think it's worse for those who don't recognize that it's harder to drive (like my husband).

It's a rule now; I will not drive on the interstate (or other highways) ever again. I can't see the exit signs fast enough to make the turn.

jon said...

I could drive you to Alameda. I am used to fog. My wife seems to think I am in a perpetual fog. Huh?