Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Zen of Porsche Driving

Elijah is sick again... I get to watch him tomorrow. He has an ear infection again... No seizure this time. I took a break today and went for a drive.

I fired up the 914 and cruised the foothills.

I started out going into Ione. I went by the old Rancho Seco "nucular" power plant. It is kind of crazy because there are all these vineyards out there now and I'd be scared to drink wine from those grapes. It was fun though humming along in the Porsche. I kept the top on and I just listened to the sound of the wind blowing through the window. I passed a bright green 914 in Ione. I waved at the guy I thought might have been the owner. He sure gawked and mine. It is really bright with the orange roof on versus when it is off.

Once I got through Ione, I turned up 88 and headed into Jackson. Not the Jackson from the Johnny Cash song but the gold rush town in Amador County. I have always had a strong attraction to Ione and Jackson. For example, I remember going to Ione on vacation when I was three and I got new shoes because my old ones got muddy. I remember them vividly because they had stop and go on them and one was red and the other was green. I was 3 when I got those. Jackson has different memories. Again on vacation from the bay area, we'd go to Jackson while camping to do laundry or get donuts or site see or whatever. It was fun coming into down. They still have an active gold mine and all that going on. I have other memories of Jackson too. It was the place you went to hang out at in high school. My family liked vacationing so much up there, we moved there 20 years ago to the lake down the road where we vacationed.

I stopped, regrettably at Taco Bell for lunch. It's been kicking my ass ever since. I ate my food staring at the only car wash in town. I was wondering why they were not open on such a beautiful Sunday. You'd think it would be a popular day to be open (like the 2nd or 3rd best of the week... not that I know anything about car washing).

Once I finished I trekked up 49 through Mokolumne Hill. That road is a blast in the 914. I zoomed over the river for the turny road up to the top of the hill. Then I blasted through the historic district of Moke Hill. 10,000 people lived in the town 140 years ago. Maybe 700 or so there now. They struck gold there and mined it out back in the 1860's or something like that. It was a rough place at one time too. They had a very diverse group of people living there... Indians, the Chinese, Mexicans and white bread Americans all fighting for the gold. I wanted to stop for a beer but the Taco Bell was wreaking havoc on me.

Once at the top I headed down into San Andreas, the town where I went to high school. It's funny a town named San Andreas and the San Andreas Fault is 100 or so miles west in the bay area. There ain't much to the town either except that is where Elijah was taken for his last seizure and some drug store that seems to be popular around the area. High school was fun. I liked the history of the area a lot. It was a cool place to grow up.

So I headed out the back of town down Dogtown Rd. I hadn't been down the road in years until a few weeks back. This time I had the right car. The 914 hugged this road tight. I never went over 50 miles per hour once but even that was a bit fast!! When I came through Calaveritas I heard a pop. My engine lid on the 914 blew open on me. I had to pull off and refasten it. It was fun... when I stopped, all these cows came running at me and they stopped at the fence line. It nearly freaked me out. The majority of Dogtown is a narrow one lane road. It was a fun ride hugging all those corners and squealing the tires and slamming on the brakes. But the pavement was way too uneven for my suspension. I bounced all over the place for 11 miles. Once I got into Angels Camp, I stopped for a break at Starbucks.

I felt better at Starbucks. I got some relief there. I had a little cappuccino and a bottle of water. I had a little biker group stop and ask me about the car. That was kind of cool. I mostly sat there checking the college basketball scores on my iPod. I drove into downtown because one of the biker people told me they saw a bunch of Porsches earlier. I didn't find any so I turned around and headed back down to my parents. Highway 49 is fun in that car.

Overall I had a great time, not thinking about anything. I didn't think much of the pain. I had such an unusual time last week with the pain, hardly being able to walk. Today I felt fine... I felt normal as normal could be. My shoulder is killing me but that is probably from driving. The road seems to calm my nerves and helps me think clearly. I got a busy couple of weeks here so I just needed a little break.

I had filled up before I left and I refilled the car once I got down to Valley Springs. I drove 115 miles and took 4.3 gallons. Not bad for a souped up 35 year old car and all the hard driving I did. About 27 miles to the gallon there. Not bad at 4 bucks which is now the price for super unleaded in California. I have to buy it for the 914 and the Cayenne. I buy super for the 914 because engine burns cooler. In the summer I run octane booster too with that. If not I don't I seem to have more vapor locks with that hot engine. Didn't burn any oil which was really cool this trip.

I like turtles.

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