Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Just a taste of the heat

Was plenty for me.

Yesterday morning I saw a listing on Freecycle for two 25' foot soaker hoses. Free! Really could use those for the backyard - that dank, crusty, dried out, underplanted hell through which the Puppyman romps. They are in Walnut Creek. Okay. It's still free damn it.

In the afternoon I travel eastward. Before entering the Caldecott Tunnel I check the temperature on that handy dandy temperature and direction toy above the rear view mirror. I love having that thing, TGF mourns that she doesn't have one in our new to us Subaru Forrester (Thanks Sarah!). It shows 84 degrees. Not so bad. After barreling through the tunnel, within about 5 minutes on "the other side" it registers 96. Eek. As I drive it continues to climb.

Last week, while in stop and go traffic heading to Hot Pot City, the Purple Beast did not like the heat. Not at all. She died on the road. Twice. Luckily she started back up right away, but at her advanced age, and without a recent tune up, well the heat is not her friend. Today was hotter.

As I drive east the heat creeps up, making me a bit nervous. Of course not having really read the directions I take 680 South, quickly realizing I wanted North. Should be simple enough to turn around, right? If you said yes, you do not drive in California! Driving in circles I land in the center of Walnut Creek's shopping haven where the temperature reaches 112! Yes, I said 112. Please note dear readers I am driving without air conditioning in order not to stress PB. I finally wind myself to 680 North and as I am coming right up on my exit, Treat Avenue, she conks out. Again, she quickly starts back up but man, was that stressful. I find the address I want more easily than I had hoped given my early screw up. I decide it would be best to give Purple Beast a break so I go up the road to a Peet's on Ygnacio
Valley Road. Deciding that it would be appropriate to update TGF I find some relative shade under the eave of the little strip mall and call.

The heat, about 110 according to the car, isn't so bad standing still, in some shade. Until I step in Peet's. It's air conditioned and I now feel the heat, now it feels like it was just all too much. I think, jeez, modern life really makes us kind of wimpy. Meanwhile I enjoyed my vanilla latte with a scone. What was I saying about modern life? About 20 minutes later I get some gas (did I mention I was close to empty?) and find my way back to 680 when I look up at the temperature - 115 - one hundred and freaking fifteen! I am still driving without air conditioning. Driving I am silently praying that the temperatures will reverse downward. By the time I am back at the tunnel entrance it's about 103. Emerging from the tunnel, whew 85. Yesssss! As I drive on the access road to the west of 80/580, along side the water, getting close to home, there is a lovely breeze and the car registers 71. 115-71= 44! A forty-four degree difference. How is that possible in a 25 mile span. I ask you. No really, how is that possible? Sure I understand a bunch of it, but the reality of it is a bit mind blowing.

Hm. 1.5 gallons of gas? Maybe less. So perhaps $4.00
Vanilla latte and lemon curd scone, with tip $6.00

Did I say free?


jer said...

OH MY GOODNESS! i'm cracking up here in duck weather ohio. thanks goodness that i'm not the only one who has a lousy sense of direction. hopefully it'll cool down soon for u all. great to read the "adventure" for a "free" hose it's "priceless"!!!!!

wen said...

T works in Pleasanton, which, really is not so pleasant at about 115. Santa Cruz on the other hand? I had to come in off my porch. Too chilly in the evening. :) I (heart) fog.

I never had a car with AC (despite living in the Midwest) and so I'm often baking on the freeway in the South Bay or elsewhere, with the temp in the 100s and sweat rolling down my back. I think "oh, if I only had AC"...and then I remember, OH WAIT...I DO!

Andrea said...

i think it's that tunnel. must be magical. =D

Jennie said...

My Outer East Bay story: After my sister's wedding, I had to return some things to the cake maker, in Walnut Creek.

It was 9PM at night and 90 degrees. Ugh.

(Then there was El Paso, 100 degrees at 12 midnight. Hell? You decide.)