Friday, June 27, 2008

The Vision

For the last week, the sun has been the color of sunset most of the day, the light has been orange, and the air has smelled like smoke. We don't live that close to one of the many fires in northern California, but there are so many of them that the smoke is everywhere. For the firefighters' sakes I'm happy there's no wind, but a wind would blow the smoke away.

Yesterday morning a big rig crashed through the median on 880 and hit a delivery truck and a flatbed truck and burst into flames. The truck had been going south on 880 but the wreck closed the highway northbound for hours - and when it reopened, it was only one lane. It took me almost three times as long to get home yesterday afternoon, though all but one of the southbound lanes were open. There's a CHP officer relating the story and video here (search for "I-880 fatal crash" in the video section on the left hand side).

When I went to the BART station to pick up Zirpu, I saw that Mission was really backed up. Mission is a state highway with three lanes in both directions and runs parallel to 880, but it's a local road with stoplights every mile or less. It took almost no time to get to the station, but the station itself was all backed up, since cars couldn't get out. To make a long story short, we were forced to turn the wrong way and took "the scenic route" through town - places we haven't even thought about since we were house-hunting. A round trip that usually takes 15 minutes took 45 minutes last night. Zirpu said, "You don't know how much traffic 880 takes until something like this happens."

I found the whole thing really depressing. I try not to think apocalyptically, but this was in life my vision of the beginning of the end: smoky, orange skies, and thousands upon thousands of cars idling in traffic.

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