November 13, 2004

Mass Grave Transit System

Erotic Art, Rock Hard, and Lube 4 Less: Castro Street in San Francisco

I’m back in Bend, and I am so sick of traveling that I wouldn’t mind being locked in the garage for the next two weeks. I don’t even want to witness the act of movement at this point.

In the last eight days I have done over 1,400 miles of driving, and have read tantalizing signs that say “Fresh and Cold Apple Cider and Farm Animals” and “Fresh Tillamook Dairy Manure.” In total I have logged over a full day of driving, and have chewed through a stack of CDs at least three inches thick. I have traveled on dense four-lane highways at 70 mph, only to be passed by packs of sports cars weaving through traffic at 120.

I have confronted innumerable Oregon drivers, whose complete lack of aggression when compared to Minnesota drivers may be their ultimate downfall. Oregon drivers are passive to a fault, whereby they are absolute stoners and space-cases when they get behind the wheel, and have no idea what’s going on around them. Apparently cruise control is broken on 99 percent of all Oregon automobiles, seeing as how speeds on the highway constantly vary by 15 or 20 miles per hour.

Given my lack of faith in Oregon drivers, I was deeply concerned about what I would find south of the border as I cut through northern California. Luckily, I found that northern Californians drive just like Oregonians… there’s just more of them to avoid. Let me also say that having a manual transmission when you’re stuck in four uphill lanes of stop-and-go traffic, really sucks.

After exhuasting myself with a couple hours of white-knuckle terror, I was pretty well settled by the time I reached San Francisco, and I was more than happy to ditch my car in a sketchy neighborhood and use the BART system for the duration of my journey. Why, they even say that the Bay Area Rapid Transit system is the number one transit system in America. It’s true. I read it on our train when it broke down at Embarcadero.