I drove from LAX to San Diego Airport, starting along I405 to I5 in the early morning gloom. I had gone up to LA with our Brazilian delegation. They had onward flights from LAX, but I was unable to change my San Diego reservation w/o it costing more than a new ticket. Just as well. I spent the night at LAX Marriott and hit the road early to catch my 11am flight in San Diego. I could have left much later, as it turned out, but I like to be sure to be on time.
Even early on a Saturday morning, there was traffic, not bad but you never got the feeling that you really left the city. The radio had some oldies including “Ventura Highway.” Ventura is the other direction but it seemed appropriate for me too. I kept on thinking of all those songs from the 1960s about Southern California. It must have been an interesting place back then.
The freedom of the road is not what it used to be. It is easier to drive on the Interstates, but they are pretty homogeneous. You can still go on the blue highways but they are mostly drained of commerce. The Interstates did their job. You can drive all over the place w/o really knowing for sure where you are.
Great stories are usually about journeys. The Odyssey created the genre. The story requires unexpected challenges, discomforts and dangers to be confronted and overcome. Life is easier on the highways now, but we have fewer stories. My trip from LAX to San Diego was easy and predictable. My greatest challenge was exiting at a rest stop that had no bathroom (see above). While that seemed very pressing at the time, it wasn’t; not exactly the same as facing the Cyclops.
My picture up top is a pull off on road. There were no facilities there. Below are stairs at the convention center. It reminds you of one of those Aztec pyramids, but I think there are even more stairs in San Diego. People were running up and down in exercise reminiscent of the myth of Sisyphus.