Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Drive to Sac

I left San Diego at 4:30 on Friday morning to drive to Sacramento. The idea was to beat the morning rush hour traffic in LA and to get as much driving as possible done in the dark or in the early hours of daylight so that it wouldn't be too hot. A couple unusual things I saw on the way up:

- A semi with propeller spinner rims. No joke. I wish I had someone in the car with me who could've taken a picture, it was pretty ridiculous.

- CHP was actually patrolling the freeway. In the 500 mile drive, I saw 8 CHP patrol cars. Only one was a standard-issue Crown Vic in the black and white livery. The other seven consisted of one unmarked Crown Vic, one black-and-white Expedition, and five black-and white pickup trucks with camper shells. At least one of the pickups was a Dodge Ram, I had though the others looked like Chevys but am not 100% sure. In other news, CHP doesn't just drive blatantly obvious cop cars anymore. A couple years ago, I saw an all-white Camaro with gold lettering in LA somewhere...

As I was nearing Sacramento, I was going through a stretch of freeway where I had a concrete construction barrier on my left, a semi on my right, and an Explorer in front of me. The Explorer hit a GIANT truck tire retread and kicked it directly into the middle of my lane, leaving me no choice but to hit it dead on and hope for the best. I'm lucky in that I didn't catch it and drag it, but on its path under and out the side of my car it smashed up the front license plate and its frame, and left a dent and some scratches on the front bumper. On its exit from the driver's side of the car between the front and rear tires, it hit the under body spoiler and knocked it almost completely off the car. I did not notice this until I got home... and stuck it back on with its little plastic clip things as best as I could. I took some pictures (see below) of what it looks like after I stuck most of it back on. I'm just lucky that thing didn't do more damage -- I took a look at the underside of the car and everything seems to be OK.

I made it to my parents' house by 11:45 AM, but it was already 101 degrees outside. Super hot weather plus a car with a black interior makes for a not-fun time trying to unload things after the car had been sitting in the driveway for a few hours. It was so hot that the plastic knobs that you use to fold my front seat flat melted to the point where the plastic clip that holds them to the metal got soft, and when pulling said knobs... they came off. My car is starting to fall apart. :(

Images from this set:

Damage to my car.

Grape vines.

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