Oh, I drove so many miles on Thursday. This will be a Friday post because it's after midnight, Central Time, though it's still Thursday, here in the Pacific Time Zone. There were beautiful expanses... and grueling California freeways, where all the streetlights are off and the signs are unlit, which I understand... but still... it was hard on the weary traveler, who'd driven all the way from Moab and was just trying to find the way to San Jose.
With my mystifying Mapquest instructions, I got confused in the end. It was late enough and I was tired enough that I stopped to ask for directions at a gas station. The guy sees the papers in my hand and exclaims "Mapquest!" I get the feeling he's got an endless stream of people stumbling in after botching an attempt at Mapquesting. He gives me instructions that are so simple I repeat them three times to get absolute assurance I'd heard right. I've driven nearly 1000 miles, you understand, and am just about as fried as you imagine me. But not quite. I hold up to 16 hours of driving better than you might think. I spent the last hour or so listening to an XM Satellite radio interview with Carlos Mencia, which helped immensely.
Back at my car, a young man in a buzz cut and tattoos started telling me of a better route into town. It had more steps, so I demurred. He seemed disappointed, and I had it together enough to express appreciation: "I'm sure that would work too."
In town, some festival was ending, and the streets I wanted to use were blocked, but I kept rolling down the window and talking to the police, and they were nice enough to let me through the blockades and give me directions to my hotel, which is not the hotel where the conference is. I'm a weary traveler, but one who planned on being weary, and booked a room in a posher hotel.
Let me leave you with the photo I took impulsively, while stopped at one of the few lights that broke up the long glide across Route 50, through Nevada. Town: Eureka. I have found it. Silver, presumably. Or: I have found the manliest icon in Nevada.