Driving I5

It was a long drive down from Portland to Sunnyvale for iPhoneDevCamp 3 on Friday. Here a few random things I noticed:

  • In nearly twelve hours (including stops) on the road Friday and in the couple extra hours I spent driving up to Annie & Eric’s in San Francisco tonight, I haven’t seen another smart car.
  • Down around Roseburg there are a couple of large billboards along the hoighway with several panels morphing the face of a man into a chimpanzee and the header “Are They Making a Monkey Out of You?” apparently for an anti-evolution group. I guess they’ve been there for a while. It’s not even a particularly good morphing job, but I suppose that’s the point.
  • Who Is Your Creator billboard

  • Horses like to hang their heads out the window on hot days, just like dogs. It was unbearably hot in most of western Oregon Friday — even in the morning — and one driver had left the top flaps on his multi-horse trailer open. There were three or four horses sticking their heads out the side to catch the breeze. That would have been a great picture.
  • I’ve been watching the old Patrick McGoohan spy series known in the US as Secret Agent Man. It was originally called Danger Man in the UK, and the DVDs use the Danger Man theme for each episode, which I’ve grown quite fond of. Johny Rivers’s iconic “Secret Agent Man,” is used for the menus, though. Johnny’s making an appearance later this month at the Seaven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon.
  • They really mean it when they warn you of high winds on the freeway east of Vallejo. And I’m wondering if I can submit an invoice for some front tires to Gov. Schwarzenegger after driving on I680.
  • Being at the scene of an ugly accident is a creepy thing. A couple of hours after I left home, I topped the smart car up in Albany. Just south of town the freeway arches over Midway Drive SE. About a quarter mile further south is an almost unnoticeable flat bridge that crosses Oak Creek, a short connector between the previously unknown to me Freeway Lakes. As I topped the first bridge, I saw traffic ahead of me in the fast lane was coming to a sharp stop, and as I slowed, I could see a small SUV out on the median going the same direction as me at a fairly fast clip, throwing up a dust cloud behind it. Vehicles ahead of me were pulling off to the left, and I did so, which was when I first noticed the bridge over Oak Creek as I crossed it. That was also when I realized why I couldn’t see where the SUV had gone, because the ravine under the bridge was several dozen feet deep, with steep banks on either side. The last I’d seen of the SUV it was north of the ravine, heading straight for it. When I next saw the car, it was upside down in the water, where it landed after driving straight into the ditch. Other, faster people had already stopped and ran down the bank and into the water, pulling the driver out and then flipping the car over to search for any possible passengers. I actually never even saw the woman they saved — apparently they got her out to the bank below where I was standing — and it didn’t appear that there was any real need for whatever I could offer, but since I’d witnessed a portion of the accident (although not the original collision) I stayed to give my contact info to the police. Thankfully, it wasn’t a harbinger of the rest of the trip.
  • Freeway Lakes Crash