January 31, 2012
Big Sur Backroads
I had nowhere to be and time to kill. The Coleman cooler in the back was packed with enough food and ice to last me a few days. The Syncro’s fuel gauge was just north of 3/4. Quick-mental-math. 230 mile range. Freedom.
Reminding myself that I was in no rush, I pulled over to the side of 1 in Big Sur and inspected the surf a few miles off with a cheap pair of binoculars. Closing one eye, I adjusted the focus ring until the lone surfer came into clear view.
“No chance in hell,” I murmured, reaching for a handful of almonds from the bag resting in the drivers seat. Munching and peering through the binoculars-turned-monocular at the distant surfer, I sat for twenty minutes deliberating if I should join him. I never saw the surfer catch a wave.
Travel’s with Charlie and the Monkey Wrench Gang, both half read, lay in the passenger seat next to the almonds begging for attention. Avoiding them with my gaze, I grabbed another handful of almonds and set the binoculars down. With a turn of the ignition, the Syncro rumbled to a start and I released the emergency brake. Continuing on the single lane dirt road, traffic on the 1 some few hundred feet below whizzed by. Reminding myself that I was in no rush, I kept it in first gear and crawled up the winding road at 10 mph.
Not a bad address.
Climbing above the tree line, I pulled over onto the shoulder and turned the van off. The analog face of my Casio read 11:35. Time to kill. Grabbing my iPhone, I put on Cortez the Killer and placed it my breast pocket with the speaker facing up. Setting the car alarm out of habit, I followed the trail out onto the meadow. I wouldn’t be gone for long I thought, but then again I didn’t have to be.
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