Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Very End

We all departed the Best Western Motel this morning at 6:30 AM. The same West Bestern in Chester with the frustrating so-called wireless connection that crumbles in the middle of a thought.
Linda & Bill decided against doing major surgery on the Vicky this morning, believing the car could make it home. We left town with crossed fingers, light hearts, and full tanks of gas...invincible. We passed the southern shores of Lake Almanor wrapped in the fragrance of the pine woods, headed down the road to the Feather River. We attempted to run Hwy 70 along the Feather early in the day to avoid the traffic on this two lane route. We succeeded in getting there early but did not succeed in avoiding the traffic.
Truckers there delight in crawling up your rear bumper and breathing on your rear view mirror.
Took a break to watch a train of 100 cars or more squealing along the tracks across the river doing about 40 mph on the craggy hillside. So far, the Vicky was running well, and we longed for home.
Next stop was Yuba City for fuel and a stretch. Someone said that there was a possible fire on Bill's ranch, as he flew by us sitting at the Quickie Snack & Gas.
We figured that was the last of Bill, but the rumor must have been false, because we saw him not long after as we tried to tack down Darryl's new top along the side of the road.
Things were deteriorating...Bob & Patti's starter wasn't doing what it oughtta, their oil was vaporizing in the morning air. Darryl could see daylight where his top should be, and announced that he could not go over 45 mile an hour. Our clutch wasn't clutching so well, and it was getting hot...upper nineties. Plus, we hadn't seen the Vicky in awhile...
Running along the River Road in the Delta, we suddenly saw Bill's, Mel's, and Linda's A's parked for lunch in Isleton. Up, over the high arched Antioch Bridge we ran, on toward the killer Vasco Road, full of crazed drivers and roadkill. Then, over the top into the Livermore Valley...we could see Bill's ranch off in the distant hills, glistening in the hot afternoon sun. By the last climb up the Sunol Grade, we'd lost Patti & Bob, but kept in touch by phone.
Home at last, we called Bill & Linda to make sure. They arrived home under their own power. There were lots of mechanical problems, and a bit of fun. The real miracles were Bill and Mel...Mel had a coupe that by rights should have been dead and buried back in Gold Beach, and Bill's sedan was making terrible mysterious rattles, yet they both made a 1500 mile side trip to Grand Coulee Dam, and kept on running strong all the way home. Now we can all patch and repair for next time.
Thanks for going along with all of us on this 2400 mile trek. See you up the road.

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