Ever had one of those driving days when everything seems to go just right? One of those days when traffic is soaring along at just above the posted speed limit and nearly every traffic light you encounter is green. The sort of day when the freeway, normally a bumper to bumper strangle of brake lights and impatience, is flowing freely and you actually get to work early for a change. A day free of careless, ill-mannered drivers, or shattered nerves, a day when you’re not provoked into calling anyone a jerk, moron or a-hole and you’re not inclined to finger wave at a single bad driver. Yes I know those days are rare, but they do come around every now and then and when they do, you really, really appreciate them.
Would you believe I’ve just had 3 of them in a row! God’s truth! I can hardly believe it myself! On Monday morning I returned to work after an awesome 16 day Christmas Break. I have a relatively short drive to work, it’s about six miles by freeway from my driveway to my school parking lot, maybe seven if I take surface streets, which I usually do. Even though my drive is short, I’ve had monster mornings where it’s taken me more than half an hour to commute those six miles. The longest was nearly 50 minutes!
Like I said, I don’t normally take the freeway, but on Monday I figured that traffic might be light because of New Year’s falling on a Saturday and I was right. Traffic was zipping right along. With no backup at the San Dimas Curve I made it to work in less than 10 minutes. My drive home was equally as smooth.
On Tuesday I gambled on the freeway again and won. Traffic was a little heavier and there was minor slowing at the SD Curve, but I again made it to work in about 10 minutes. On the way home traffic moved smoothly but about a half mile from my off-ramp it began to back up a bit. I decided I better start making my move to the right lane and put on my signal. I was in a near state of shock when the car approaching in the right lane actually slowed down so that I could move over. I gave him a courtesy wave and pulled off at my exit. I couldn’t believe my good fortune, two days of flowing traffic and a courteous driver, what an incredible way to start the new year! Wednesday I rolled the dice yet again and jumped on the freeway. Traffic was about the same as Tuesday and I was early to work again. The drive home was an absolute breeze. I began to wonder just how long my luck would hold out.
Well, it didn’t last long. Today everything was back to normal. I got on the 210 freeway on-ramp and put on my blinker so that I could move over two lanes to the left. You have to understand my on-ramp. The ramp lane doesn’t merge left like most on-ramps. It continues on and becomes a ramp onto the 57 frwy. The first lane to the left of the on-ramp lane also becomes an entrance to the 57, therefore, I’ve got about a quarter mile to move across two lanes of traffic to get onto the 210 West if I don’t want to get sucked onto the 57 South. Moving over one lane was no problem, I eased right over, but getting into the next lane was a bitch. Nobody would slow down to let me in. One car, a white Toyota Camry actually sped up to blocked me! I was quickly running out of room and would soon be merging onto the 57, so I gassed it, got my minivan up to about 85 and pulled left in front of the Camry. The woman driver immediately laid on the horn and began riding my bumper. You have to understand that this is the last section of the 210 West where you can actually go fast before arriving at the San Dimas Curve where vehicles from the 57 merges with the 210 west bringing traffic to a crawl. So this woman was pissed. She was so close behind me that I could easily see her facial expression. I finally raised my hand in sort of a questioning, what the hell gesture. I don’t know why, but she backed off. A few moments later she managed to pass me. She was a young lady, early twenties, probably a student, I lost sight of her as she wove her way through the crush of cars ahead. She was in a real hurry.
I crawled along for about ten minutes or so. In that time I managed to not only raise my stress level high into the red zone, but I also did some choice swearing at several drivers who should have their licenses revoked! I was finally able to get off the freeway at Grand Ave in Glendora and took surface streets the rest of the way to work. Total trave time today; 28 minutes. Yes things have definitely returned to normal. The traffics back and so are the a-holes! Thank’s Lord for 3 incredibly, wonderful travel days!
As a rule the freeway is usually pretty light on Fridays, but I’m not gonna press my luck. I think I’ll stick to the side streets tomorrow…
**You know the white Camry I was telling you about. Well when I pulled up to the signal at Foothill Blvd and Citrus Ave guess who was right next to me, putting on make up, waiting for the light to turn green? You guessed it!