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Middle Aged Man Meets MR2 Again For The First Time

Sorry for the local references in what follows, but today in the Bay area was truly the day described in "and what is so rare as a day in June? Then if ever come perfect days" and so it was somewhat unhappily that I went to work, thinking this is the kind of day you regret having been working when you're lying on your deathbed. A few more hours, a few more bugs, 7 PM passed, and it was the best part of the day. MR2 was waiting in the parking lot, top off, ready to go. Nobody to go with, but after all, you can't talk with the top down and the extra weight is noticeable on the uphills and there's no discussion about rolling up the windows or putting the tops back on because it's too cold.

So off I headed, politely enough from Mountain View until Page Mill Road started getting interesting. A few sudden decelerations to avoid bicyclists, but at least none of them passed me, as sometimes happens going downhill on Page Mill.

Skyline at last, no more bicyclists, no cars either. The weekend drivers are all back to their grind. I can go as fast as I dare, which is not all that fast since I've been to traffic school recently. It's the magic time of day, sun down but still light, cold wind blasting the top, the heater turned up all the way blasting below. A perfectly clear day after an unseasonable weekend storm, but I don't have a lot of time for sightseeing. Bits of fog drifting in and around the trees on the ridgetops, but nothing serious this early in the summer.

I start to get into the groove from time to time, turning off my background thinking and just doing the driving. I suppose racers get over this, but I have a lot of trouble shutting down the background discussions and getting into the zen of observing and acting effortlessly, perceiving each curve and reacting accordingly without thinking about perceiving each curve and reacting accordingly. Once you start thinking about lifting the pedal or braking at the wrong time, you start doing it.

I got to Saratoga gap, ready to head down toward home, but... it still isn't even close to dark yet, so I go the other way toward Boulder Creek. More wonderful zooming along in third gear or even second gear, wasting dinosaurs at extravagantly high revs. Thinking about what kind of noise this box-stock supercharged 88 makes. It does not roar, rumble, whine, hum, or purr at high revs. What's the right word?

I guess I need a thesaurus. Then I remember that I am thinking about something inessential and try not to. I am remembering now why I bought this car; kind of like remembering why you got married after many years. I feel better than I have in days.

So far I haven't passed a single car; finally I run into a T-Bird that dutifully pulls over at the first turn out to let me by. Hard to believe that in my youth, T-Birds were thought of, sort of the way MR2's are thought of now.

Finally I get into the populated outskirts of Boulder Creek and posted speed limits. There's still a little excitement ahead cruising back on 17, but it's not the same thing. Don't try this on a summer weekend; the slow and thick traffic will break your heart in an MR2. And don't try it in the winter after a storm unless you are really focused on maintaining traction since even on a sunny day you can zoom along from the open into the redwoods and suddenly have to deal with a very dark wet curve and no room for error.

Information courtesy of David G. Hough