Well, Wednesday was a little unexpected.
I thought I’d have a relatively quiet day, since most of our staff would be at a meeting out of town. Turned out, I was the one at the meeting out of town.
The CEO called me and said that no-one else could attend the meeting. He asked if I could go to the meeting and take notes. I barely had enough time to print out extra documents on our creaking, ancient printer, get gas, and head out of town to Willits.
Willits is best-known (if known at all) as the home of Seabiscuit. You can visit the stables and ranch where he lived out his retirement, if you aren’t rushing to a meeting. Willits is also the home of the oldest continuous rodeo and Fourth of July celebration in the state.
I was more interested in finding the hotel where the meeting was to be held. I was told it was between the McDonald’s and the Taco Bell, and it was. Ironically, I hadn’t had any time to eat that day, and they actually looked pretty good to me as I drove past into the hotel parking lot.
I barely had time to race up three flights of stairs with the conference call phone, my co-worker’s laptop, my handbag, and a bunch of documents. It didn’t help that was over 80 degrees there. I made it with seconds to spare. Then I had to figure out how to set up the phone and the computer, pass out the materials, and take notes.
The meeting went on for four, count ’em, hours. When it was finally over, I packed everything back into the ovenesque car and headed home with the radio blasting along with the air conditioning.
Those of you who live in cities and have real commutes will laugh when you learn that it’s 32 miles from Willits to Charlottesville (and a further 25 to Hooterville). Ha! You say. What’s 32 miles? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s the longest 32 miles of your life, is what it is. Up hill and down hill, getting high enough to be snow-dusted in winter and as curvaceous as Jayne Mansfield on steroids, the road is frequently signposted at 25 or 15 miles per hour. You feel like you’ve been driving forever, and it’s only been 10 miles.
The part of the highway (two lane road) I was driving on is actually the last part of the California Trail, blazed by emigrants in 1850, the other end being the interchange to Truckee and the Donner Pass (where you may remember my furniture being marooned a few years ago). It has been a paved highway for more than 100 years. It took me an hour to get to Charlottesville, and it had never looked so beautiful. I took a detour to drop off the computer and phone at the office and pet Digit, and then pick up a much-needed burrito (I was starving and there was no way I was cooking when I got home) and while I was waiting for it to be made, stopped in at the library, which stays open late on Wednesdays, to exchange the week’s books.
It was a long day, but I certainly got a lot done. And it was…interesting.