Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interesting Times

I met a real friendly dog in my travels from Wellton, Arizona to Manteca, California. Normally that isn't news, except this dog worked for the government. Shortly after turning north on Highway 95 from I-8, I encountered a customs stop. These stations are placed strategically several miles within our country. Their purpose is to interdict illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

I was duly stopped while a dog handler snooped my car. Suddenly the dog became excited and came up to my window and jumped up. Thinking he was just being friendly, I started visiting with him. At that point the officer directed me to pull over into an inspection place. Just before complying, the dog handler, who appeared to be the senior officer, asked me if I had any prescription drugs on board. I replied that yes, I had several. Asked if I was carrying hydrocodone, I told him I wasn't, but I did have some codeine. He then released me to continue my trip. I believe that if I were a younger person, possibly of Mexican descent, I'd still be there with my car in pieces.

The amazing thing about this dog is that his sense of smell was so keen that he could detect capsules at several feet while still in the bottle. I'd hate to be a smuggler with these folks guarding the portals. They are really good at what they do.

Following this adventure, I spent the next eleven hours travelling to Manteca, California, where my son lives. One problem I noted about the long stretches of I-5 was that four lanes of traffic were insufficient due to a huge volume of truck traffic. I would come up on a convoy of five or so semis, just when the rear trucker would decide to pass the others. Sometimes this happened on an upgrade, causing this action to happen in slow motion while this one truck would overtake the other four or five trucks before moving over. With car traffic averaging 75 to 80 MPH, needless to say this bunched up traffic terribly. This example was repeated every few miles or so. Perhaps these truckers watched too many movies like,"convoy" and were playing games. At any rate, it lengthened the trip considerably.

Well, vacationing is fun, but I'm looking forward to getting home right after thanksgiving. Hopefully, the weather will behave, and I can take I-80 from Sacramento to Reno thence Winnemucka and right up 95 through the Salmon River country. If not, I'll swing west through the Blue Mtns to Tri-cities and up to Ritzville.

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