California, I want a word with you about your driving conditions.
Your Highway 1 is gorgeous. So pretty that it took me all morning to go 50 miles because I kept stopping to look at misty morning views like this:
And then this, up in the cliffs high above the sea.
Breathtaking. I got so enamored with the view that I drove past that sign that said “highway 1 closed 37 miles up ahead” without taking a moment to consider those implications. I had a passing thought that I would have to reroute when I got to the closure but I didn’t think any further about it.
California, I know. That’s my fault. Stay with me and I’ll get to the part that’s your fault.
I got those 37 miles up ahead, passing the only inn/gas station/restaurant for 50 miles, elated with the views and the weather and the ocean only to encounter a construction guy with a stop sign. He stopped each car and talked to them individually after which cars turned around and headed back down the mountain. Then he got to me:
Construction guy: Hi there miss. Where you going?
CG: Nope. A rock slide took out the road. Highway’s closed. You’ll have to go back down. Where’d you come from?
Me: Morro Bay
CG: Right. You’ll have to go back there, well, almost back there and take 46 and go over the hill to 101 and then take 101 to Monterey.
Me: Back. To where I started. This morning. 2 hours ago.
CG: Sorry about it. But this highway’s all in the sea now. It’ll be closed for awhile.
And so I turned around and drove back down the mountain, less elated with the gorgeous views and wondering how much more time it would take to get to Monterey. As I passed the inn and looked at my gas gauge, I figured I’d get some gas since it would be awhile before the next town.
$5.49 a gallon.
CALIFORNIA! Your prices are high but that’s a dollar higher than your highest price down below. Isn’t that gouging? I’m not entirely sure what gouging means but I think this is it and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal!
I bought 3.5 gallons to get me to the next station and it cost me $20 with taxes!!!
After this assault, I drove back down the mountain, finally found 46, drove merrily along and then stopped dead because the road turned into an alternating one way street due to unadvertised road work. After getting stuck for an undetermined number of minutes and then driving through the construction, I drove the rest of 46 only to get to 101 and find one lane blocked off with traffic cones for 5 miles for NO REASON. No construction, no guys working, no ripped up pavement, just cones, some of which were now scattered in the only working lane by motorists deciding to disregard them and use the blocked off lane anyway!
California, you still listening? Because I’ve finally gotten to the part that’s about you. Pray attend:
1. If a rock slide closes a highway, that’s useful information to know before I get there. “Road closed” won’t stop motorists the way “Road missing” “Road vanished” or “Road fell into the sea” will.
2. If there’s no alternate route close to said rock slide, and you had the time to post a sign that the road is closed, it would be helpful to also note that I’m passing the only alternate route before I go 74 miles out of my way!
3. If the only alternate route for 100 miles is undergoing road work, isn’t that important information for me to know before I whip around a blind corner and nearly slam into a stopped line of cars?
4. If you need to close a lane in the road, at least put construction vehicles on it so you look busy and productive. Otherwise we think you’re kidding and we’ll drive on it anyway.
That’s all. Yes, you can go. Please do better next time.
Geez… some people’s kids. Sorry you all had to be around for all that.
More tomorrow. With less griping.
See you then.