As it turned out, I was feeling slightly compromised yesterday morning from my new drugs, but not terribly so. I took my time packing things and organizing the house, and right before I loaded the car, I drove into Fremont to return a library book that would've cost over a dollar to return after I got home. I figured that, even though the drive totaled about 2 miles instead of 300, it would give me a good sense of how I felt operating a car. It turns out I felt fine—almost completely normal, and actually more normal than I felt walking around the house. As I told Alice, I thought I was maybe 15% impaired, so that put me about even—of course—with most of the population. So I loaded up the dogs and we got out of Dodge, turning onto Wallingford Ave at 2:00pm.
The trip was completely uneventful. I chose to drive the speed limit the entire way instead of pushing limits, and I set my cruise control at each exact speed on the dot. I was surprised to find what a pleasure it was, and how unstressful, to not be constantly wondering if I were going to get caught. Hmmm . . . new habit to be formed??? I was also pleased to see two or three of the cars that had passed me on the side of the road accepting speeding tickets as I drove by at a leisurely 65 mph. I saw a lot less traffic than usual while I was going the speed limit; the few cars I encountered were passing me, with the exception of an RV-trailer mess that pulled out in front of me in Washtucna. I was going 65 coming down the hill, no one behind me. He pulled out, in the bottom of the valley where highway 26 starts up the hill again, causing me to practically slam on my brakes. I had to get down to 20 to avoid hitting him, and as soon as I could pass I did, laying on my horn the entire time I was next to him. I mean, really.
We stopped twice, once for milkshakes and once for gas. The 4-Runner averaged a respectable 22.4 mpg, and we arrived in pretty close to 6 hours.
There are four dogs for me to play with this visit—two chocolate Labs (Spackle and Tessa, who used to belong to one of K's nieces, but was banned from Seattle after she nipped one too many toddlers), one Australian Shepherd (Sadie), and one Hoover. Sikem was left alone this morning, and he has been unhappily broadcasting his woes ever since. Later this afternoon when it's maybe not quite 90 degrees we'll have our first ride.
And, for the most part, I'll probably be posting on the Dilettante Traveler for this trip.