The home of Sweaty Spice, the 'other' Spice Girl

Yesterday, I made what has become the annual tree to San Diego to visit my father (sadly, in late stage Alzheimer’s) and stay with my Brother. It is not really a trip I look forward to, but it is one of those must do things, as the end approaches.

But this post isn’t about that relative unpleasantness (if you have ever had a relative in late stage Alzheimer’s, you know what I mean), instead, I want to talk about the drive.

I left on Saturday, heading out from San Jose, and traffic was heavier than normal. Not to be unexpected, as there is a lot of pent up desire to travel to be with families for the holiday.

The trek over 152 (AKA Pacheco Pass) was uneventful, and once I was on I5 it was mostly smooth. A couple of bunched up spots, but about 3 hours in, I stopped for an early lunch (11:30) at the junction with highway 58 (the exit to Bakersfield).

Repast finished, I strap in for the trip over the grapevine. I had about a half tank of gas remaining, so I figured I would stop in the LA Basin to refuel, and to void the bladder. Once I hit I5 past the Grapevine, well, traffic was pretty fucked.

The map showed red everywhere. Near Castaic, just before Magic Mountain, it became stop and go. I found an exit, and with more than 100 miles of gas left I said “fuck it” time to pass up and pee. The time was 1:30. That should be 3 hours from San Diego.


Ha ha ha, what a cruel deception.

I looked at the Foothills highway (210) that skirts LA, and adds about 30 miles. Usually it is the better option. But not this time. Red, red, red, like that scene from The Shining.

This reminds me of the traffic map in LA
This reminds me of the traffic map in LA

So, the die was cast, I was going to gut it out on I5 through central LA, and get a birds eye view of some of the garden spots, like the city of Commerce, where I5 is lined with bland industrial buildings hawking restaurant supplies, Garage doors, discount kitchen cabinets, and many more.

You might wonder how the fuck I could read and remember so many individual businesses. No surprise, as through this whole area I was doing about 4 miles per hour.

Around this time, some aggressive asshole behind me (driving a mis 2010’s white Toyota Camry cut someone off, and instead of brushing off the slight, the guy behind honked, and gesticulated with the bird. The cutter stopped his car, got out, yelled at the person THAT HE FUCKING CUT OFF and then threw a fountain drink at his windshield.

Holy fuck. I guess I am in LA.

Of course, there are signs warning that the speed limit was going to shift to 55MPH (from 65MPH) near Griffith Park. Ha. Like you can do 65 or even 55 there. EVAR.

Once I got to Irvine, it eased up, and for about 40 miles we were at the speed limit.

Correction, I was doing 7 over (72, set on my cruise control) and I was being passed and left for dead.

Hey, LA drivers: If everybody would go near the speed limit, you might have smoother flowing traffic.

Crazy, I know.

Then I hit fucking Oceanside and Carlsbad. About 20 miles of < 20MPH traffic. I got a good view of the Toyota 4Runner in front of me with a license plate that was from California, but the frame tells me that he bought his steed from Camelback Toyota. Another Arizona transplant fucking up California roads. Great.

The one highlight of the trip was in one of the bunched up parts of I5, a little girl in the back seat was waving at the other cars, and I enjoyed waving at her. She must have been 4 years old, on a road trip, possibly the first one she will remember in the era of Covid.

The rest of the day sucked big tool.

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