Saturday, April 07, 2007

I can't buy a break...

...especially when I try to head out for a change of scene.

This morning, I decided to head for the desert in search of things to photograph and, with luck, a little sun. The typical gray spring/summer weather pattern has set in here; it doesn't do much for my spirits.

I hit the freeway, heading East. And got caught in a monstro traffic jam that resulted in my covering a whole ten miles in two hours. Once past that, there were other, shorter jam-ups.

So after four hours I gave up and turned around, never made the desert, never got out from under that depressing gray canopy.

I never even got away from hundreds of housing developments under construction or miles and miles of giant shopping malls.

Sadly, all this construction was taking place on what once was open land. Within my memory, in fact, there were miles of open space as the Los Angeles Basin gave way to open desert.

No more.

One of these days, I will learn not to go on drives like this, at least as long as I'm alone. When you don't even have someone to tell what was in, say, the little wide spot in the road known as Box Springs before the Wal-Mart/Target/Nordstrom centers sprouted, it's simply pointless to be there.

And my little foray contributed to my growing hatred of driving in Southern California. That's bad, because it's the place where I'm more-or-less forced to drive most of the time. During the last decade, any trip of more than five miles has become a white-knuckle exercise in accident avoidance.

A substantial part of the problem, to be frank, are the hordes of aging cars and fullsize vans, filled with more people than they were meant to carry, clogging the roads. Many of these have little stickers depicting red-white-green flags or bearing words such as "Guadalajara" on them, and their drivers clearly have no clue about the rudiments of safe driving. They know nothing about such basics as using turn signals, staying more than 10 feet behind the car ahead or making turns from the appropriate lane.

Call me racist if you like, but come out here and spend a day on the highway with me before you do.

So I sat in traffic, managed to avoid getting caught up in two full-on and maybe a dozen almost-accidents.

Yeah. Great, great fun.

Happy Saturday, y'all.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, that sucks.
A drive like that would drive me crazy...
I hope your evening is better, and I guess tomorrow's a new day...
Take care buddy.

SunnyLane said...

Wow, that sounds like a not too nice of a ride. I get anxious in traffic jams!

The beaches here on the Gulf are becoming nearly invisible,

what with all the condos rising up and blocking the water views.

Hope you find something better out of tomorrow. Like cats!

~~Sunny Lane~~

John said...

Sounds like southern CA WAS a nice place. Time to evacuate. Aren't you supposed to be under water in a few years anyway? Or maybe Ahnold's using state funds to buy footprint eradication so you'll be spared...

MrScribbler said...

John -- at one time (during my life, too!) SoCal was even better than it looked in the picture postcards.

I'm not so much worried about carbon footprints as I am about the good ol' San Andreas Fault, which could put a lot of the state under water in a few brief shakes....

You have no idea how much I want to get the hell out of here.