I had a flashback to the months-long Hooterville bridge repair while driving home from the jobette one day this week. Traffic ground to a halt just before the steep curve leading to the resort which reopened with considerable fanfare last fall. This is one of my favorite parts of the drive, going around the intense curve with the sunlight filtering through the tall eucalyptus trees.
The halt stretched on, and I turned off the car. The car stereo doesn’t turn off when you turn the car off, so I opened and closed the door to make it turn off. The manual is on a DVD and needless to say, I haven’t bothered to drag my MacBook out to the car and figure out how to set the clock (if there is one) and/or turn it off by hand. It starts up again when I start up the car. Yes, Wednesday is too fancy for me.
We finally got going again after 20 minutes. The poor guy in front of me actually turned into the resort! He could have walked there and back ten times in the length of time we were stuck there. I’m still not sure what CalTrans was doing, but it looked like they were lopping off some eucalyptus branches.
The next day, I left work early to head to Elk, where I was commissioned to pick up something left behind in a hotel room by a New York Times writer, who was here for the Crab festival. We were finally getting some rain (we ended up with almost 3/4 inch in the rain gauge, though we are back to sunshine today), so I drove extra carefully. The ocean was so beautiful in its shades of pale aqua and stormy grey, with frenzied white waves. Sometimes it’s really hard not to look at the ocean while you’re driving around here.
I arrived at the inn. A sign on the door said that the innkeeper was either assisting a guest or had stepped away. Hmmm. The thought of standing out in the deserted parking lot in the rain wasn’t exactly appealing. I decided to head to Anchor Bay to get some Thai food dinner and then try again on my way back.
In my usual fashion, I had forgotten/underestimated how far it was. I kept thinking it was right around every curve for miles. Finally, it was, and after I ordered, I texted my boss to let her know of the hotel problem (cell and internet service being unavailable on the south coast). She texted back to check the back door of the inn. As I left the restaurant, I noticed a sign saying that they’d be closed from February 10 to March 18, so it’s just as well I made my way there after all.
Back at the hotel, I went around the back, accompanied by an Audrey looking cat, who in an Audrey like fashion started scratching at one of the two doors. I knocked at it and eventually a ponytailed guy in a Grateful Dead shirt appeared. The cat scampered in and I explained my mission. He brought me over to the neigboring restaurant, which was as closed as it had been earier that day. Then we went to the house next to it. He knocked to no avail and then rang the buzzer. Someone answered, but with the tinnynesss of the intercom and the whizzing by of logging trucks on the rainy highway, it sounded to me like the Charlie Brown grown ups.
Mr. Dead understood, though, since he headed back to the restaurant and knocked on a back door, unearthing another guy who went and got the writer’s bag. Whew.
I was really glad to finally see Hooterville. Later I added it up and estimated that I drove more than 150 miles that day. How’s that for extreme take-out?