I am 47 driving hours away from completing training (would have been done by now if not for aforementioned breakdown and a slew of other unexpected delays), and my next step will likely be getting dropped off in Omaha to wait for another trainer (this would be trainer #5, for those counting at home) because Larry's going home for a week, and he's getting on my last nerve anyway. I don't do well when I don't get regular meals. And I mean, I REALLY don't do well. And flatbed operation requires an amount of effort I just have no inclination to make, especially without regular meals.
But in better news, I found what I believe to be my new favorite stretch of road in all the land: I-84 from Boise to Portland, first winding through the Cascade pines under a weepy gray sky then running along the Columbia river with Washington State on the other bank.
On the night of the Fourth of July, I drove south over the Grapevine snaking uphill towards Los Angeles in gathering dusk, and when I crested the hill the LA basin exploded with light, more and more fireworks beyond hills with every turn, confetti falling and dissipating into the brake lights of city traffic.
The more unfamiliar parts of California I see the more sure I am that this is my home, no matter where I came from or where I'll go in the future.
(Click on individual pictures for bigger versions. More can be found over on Flickr.)