Too Much Highway
I have been taking loops and turns still following the bicycle route whenever the opportunity arises. I walk parallel to the main road when traffic is heavy enjoying the shade, kids playing, manicured front yards and an occasional runner out for an afternoon jog. The disadvantage of side roads [besides the small blisters which have crept up between my toes] are the occasional barking dogs. In the better neighborhoods mutts are always leashed to a tree or captured behind a fence. Brazeningly, I bark back at the most vicious among them.
Without warning the route rockets me right onto congested Highway 101. A heavily wooded area squeezes me onto a narrow shoulder where the asphalt has already begun to bubble under the steamy mid day sun. I put on a reflector vest in hopes of being seen before being blown of the road. A few Highway Patrol cars wiz by me but fortunately do no stop. The first exit off of this crazy road, where all drivers seem to be making double time to their destinations, is a savior. The route veers into a narrow road and way side cluster of buildings named Las Cruces. At a musty no star hotel I am able to wash clothes for the first time. With an unexpected spurt of energy I even shave.
At an adjoining diner the waitress tells me her husband works on a ranch and believes this dry, sticky, aging town is a good place to raise their four kids.