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Life is a highway

July 5, 2006
by

Fittingly, we arrived back in SF on the 50th anniversary of the nation’s highway system, completing a 6500-mile roundtrip tour of Interstate 80 and a few of its tributaries. I gave up on road-blogging, as you may have noticed. We encountered only one Motel 6 equipped for wireless internet, and while I think it’s incredibly cool that all of Iowa’s I-80 rest areas have free wireless, I was more eager to get across the state than to stop-and-surf. (And may I just say, bless you, Boulder CO’s AM-760/Progressive Talk, for penetrating 200 miles of Wyoming’s otherwise unbearable and mysteriously NPR-free airwaves. You made me forget I was in Cheney Country for a few shining hours.) The 1999 Chevy Prizm (manual trans.), burdened with 3-weeks worth of luggage and supplies, and equipped with an on-board Olfactory Positioning System (OPS, aka “Baxter,” pictured above), pulled 37-39 MPG most of the way. Coupled with the fact that we paid less for gas along the way than we pay in San Francisco, the trip hurt a lot less than air travel would have!

Say what you will about the likes of Interstate 80 (you probably can’t top Charles Kuralt: “Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.” Clearly he’s he’d* never been to the World’s Largest Truckstop)… But there are some big, beautiful skies out there.
(*Update: corrected a little problem with my tenses; Mr. Kuralt, of course, passed away in 1997.)

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