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My trek to LV took over nine hours yesterday. I traveled at a median speed of 60 mph, which left me comfortably in the slow lane most of the way. I pulled over to let cars pass, as soon as it was safe. The bed on top of the car tended to shift but stayed in one place or another for long periods and didn't give me as much grief as I thought it might. I stopped just to check on it, to add more rope initially, to push the parts back together, to tighten rope. But it was clear it was hanging on and wasn't going anywhere really.

Even on the Tehachapi pass and in that interval between Baker & Primm, where the winds are hazardous to say the least, it was not buffeted around as much as I feared it might be. I didn't get thrown from side to side, I was able to maintain control with a minimum of effort. Toward the end, the load had shifted to the rear rather more than I liked, and it looks quite amazing when you think it made it 425 miles. I took pictures. I had Mary come out and take pictures. So I hope some will be good.

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My trek to LV took over nine hours yesterday. I traveled at a median speed of 60 mph, which left me comfortably in the slow lane most of the way. I pulled over to let cars pass, as soon as it was safe. The bed on top of the car tended to shift but stayed in one place or another for long periods and didn't give me as much grief as I thought it might. I stopped just to check on it, to add more rope initially, to push the parts back together, to tighten rope. But it was clear it was hanging on and wasn't going anywhere really.

Even on the Tehachapi pass and in that interval between Baker & Primm, where the winds are hazardous to say the least, it was not buffeted around as much as I feared it might be. I didn't get thrown from side to side, I was able to maintain control with a minimum of effort. Toward the end, the load had shifted to the rear rather more than I liked, and it looks quite amazing when you think it made it 425 miles. I took pictures. I had Mary come out and take pictures. So I hope some will be good.

<lj-cut="music">It was daytime, I was on a beautiful road much of the time. Yet my music gave the trip a different dimension. Highway 166, especially near Santa Maria, was at its most beautiful yesterday. Green, rolling hills, striking lakes and pools of water, unusual rock outcroppings, coordinated perfectly with Beethoven's first and third symphonies. Coming into Kramer's Junction with Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto rising to a raging climax (one of many, of course) made that wire-crossed traveler's spot a place of intrigue. The beaten-down shacks in the desert on Highway 58, accompanied by Mendelsohn's violin concerto, were imbued with a pathos even I had not previously given them. Even the ugliest of Bakersfield looks pretty good with the Brandenburg concerti.

My whole mood changes with the music, the traffic takes on a distant quality, the desert feels alive and yet eternal, feeling to me like the ocean. Of course, film makers have known these things for a long time. It's why some films seem to cheat by using music to fill in what they are unable to convey properly otherwise. It is hard not to be affected.

Perhaps it is a good thing, then, that the radio stations are so dismal on this trip. Christian, Spanish, conservative talk, top-forty, and that's it. A bit of NPR around Bakersfield when I am in the right place, and again when I hit Nevada.

During the trip, my poison oak blisters shrunk visibly. Even though I am far from back to normal (my children were horrified) I see the improvement and know I am out of the woods. The infection has receded significantly, the arm is less swollen. My legs are so much better they are no bother at all. I have taken two large doses of prednisone without ill effect to my stomach. Whew. Life is good!!

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