Sunday, November 15, 2015

bend it like cotton

It is done.  I have returned.  The eagle has landed.

Choose your own hoary cliché.  After 2500 miles of driving in three days, the Cotton Boys are in Bend.  You can accomplish a lot when unencumbered by a plan.

When we left Arizona yesterday morning, we thought we might split the remainder of the trip into two segments.  Gila Bend marked the half-way point.  If it took two days to get through Mexico, we were ready to concede that we would need two days to drive through Arizona, California, and Oregon.

Those of you who know western roads are probably asking why we were crazy enough to drive through California when transiting Nevada would seem to be the most logical choice.  And shooting through Las Vegas and Reno would have the bonus of giving me an opportunity to visit the state of my legal residence.

It is a good question.  And the answer can be summed up in one word.  Snow.

I had initially considered making the drive in September.  But circumstances intervened.  That left Darrel and me heading north on the shoulder of the western snow season.  I hate driving in snow.  Darrel is very good at the task.  I am not.

So, we skirted Nevada -- which had already had snow on the ground.  While stalled in traffic in San Bernadino, we checked the weather.  A storm front was making it way toward the Siskiyous and Cascades.  Right across our flight path.

Thus was born the idea of a 17-hour drive to arrive in Bend late on Saturday.  And we did.  I drove Arizona and Oregon; Darrel drove California (with its atrociously-maintained I-5).

The best scenery in Oregon and northern California was in the dark.  What could have been stunning views turned into a boring drive.  But we succeeded.

For me, the most interesting sights were the signs posted by farmers attempting to retain their access to water during California's drought.  I had seen them on earlier visits -- mainly blaming Nancy Pelosi when she was a power broker.  Now, they simply bewail the amorphously-labeled "Congress."

Government cronyism has created part of the problem.  Nature has provided the rest.  My libertarian response might resolve the first part of the equation, but it can do nothing about the second.  It is futile to attempt to regulate either Mother Nature or the economy.  At least, without suffering adverse and unexpected consequences.

So, here I am in Bend to pick up boxes I have stored in my mother's garage the last few years.  I will perform another triage (the first was when I moved the boxes from the sale of the Salem house).  Some items will go to Goodwill, some to the dump, and some to Mexico.

And when will Darrel and I make the return trip?  Probably, after we celebrate Thanksgiving dinner on some day other than Thanksgiving.

But that is starting to sound like a plan, and that is not the Cotton way.

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