We arrived in sunny California last Thursday evening after 6 days of driving and more than 3000 miles covered. The goats were delivered to their new yard, where they have settled back down to an enviable routine of eating, sleeping, and headbutting each other. Our little neighborhood in Vallejo is delightful, it not a touch out of the way (Amy’s commute to Oakland is tipping the scales at nearly 1.5 hours!).
Amazingly, the truck managed to wait until we were actually in the driveway before breaking down. We managed to blow the air compressor on the last day of driving. A minor fix, but it put our only vehicle out of commission for our only window of “move in and get everything unpacked before Amy starts work”.
So, what am I doing now? Pounding the proverbial pavement (technically pounding the keyboard) as I hunt for opportunities in the Bay Area; continuing to develop the necessary systems to get the OpenCTD up and running; finalizing a few papers that need to get out into the literature; plus I’m working on a secret project that you’ll here more about in the next couple of days.
So, has driving across the country given me any special insights? Not really, no. Except Nebraska is really long and there’s not much in it. Also, and unsurprisingly, goats really do make everything slightly more complicated and significantly more enjoyable.
Location: Scotts Bluff, NE
Distance Traveled: 1837 miles
Distance Remaining: 1163 miles
MPG: not great.
After replacing the surge-break assembly on the trailer, we resumed the long haul across Missouri, ending the day with a 10 PM arrival at the Diamond B ranch. The goats we’re ready to get out of the car.
Tired, but still wired from too much caffeine and a frustrating day, we made the mistake of turning on the TV to see if there were any good shows on. We discovered something along the lines of Doomsday Castle Builders. I adore Doomsday Preppers and find their mentality absolutely fascinating. However, I adore them in much the same way that I adore the poor one-eyed cat that constantly tries to get into our chicken coop. If there actually were a doomsday, these guys are the last people with which you’d want to be stuck. Anti-social, paranoid, trigger happy — I can’t help but assume the fact that they operate under the assumption that people will immediately resort to roving gangs of murders is less about understanding the human condition and more about projection. The entire mentality of the “prepper” movement necessarily ignores the fact that civilization exists because we’re an inherently cooperative species. It does make for entertaining television.
Actually, on second thought, we’re probably better off if the preppers go lock themselves in bunkers and let the rest of us get on with the business of recovery.
Progress to date.
Location: West of Lexington, KY
Distance traveled: 645 miles
Distance remaining: 2355 miles
Last night we checked in to the delightful Sunday Stables, where Luna and Hermione shared a barn (but not a stall) with horses, cats, chickens, and a llama. Susan Sunday was a fabulous host and the goats were glad of solid ground and some room to roam.
We crossed the border into Kentucky earlier this morning, and we greeted with the sight of massive oil refineries as well as an Amazon.com warehouse, very different from the mountains and coal plants of West Virginia.
After 7 hours of driving (North Carolina is a long state), we have crossed the Virginia border. Our departure from coastal NC was marked, inexplicably, by a flock of wild turkeys on the side of 70. Inconveniently, it also happens to be move in week for several Carolina universities; it was slow going through the Triangle.
The goats are calm, but confused.