I was able to leave my apartment just before 1 PM today to head up to Yuba City. What a difference leaving at 1 makes compared to 3, 4, or 5! Traffic reports said to avoid the Benicia Bridge, but that Berkeley was clear, so I took the route I almost never take: I-880 to I-80.
Aside from some minor slowdowns at a couple of congested junctions, I was at the limit (well, as I rarely drive that fast, somewhat below the limit) just about the entire trip. I was astonished. The door-to-door time, from starting the van in Fremont to stopping it in front of the hotel in Yuba City, was only 3h 15m. That's 148 miles in 195 minutes, an average speed of 45 miles per hour, including one stop at Vacaville to use a restroom and buy a coffee. Usually it takes me at least an hour longer than that, and usually more.
I checked in to the hotel without incident, and they gave me a room right next to the pool deck and hot tub, which pleases me greatly, and I'll take advantage of it later. I like the hot tub, but not the cold walk between the hotel room and said hot tub.
Things aren't perfect. Either they've replaced their TV sets or else different rooms have different models, as the set in my room does not have the RCA connectors I seem to remember seeing on other TVs in this hotel, which means I can't feed the downloaded rugby match to the television set.
My biggest goof was to forget to bring the RSA key for my company's VPN. That means I can't log in to their network, so I can't get any more work done on my current project. (I need to remotely log in to the modeling machine on my desk at the office. While I can read my e-mail through the web interface without my VPN key, I can do nothing else.)
Still, today's trip augers well for my planned trip next weekend, as I plan to leave at 1 PM again, but this time instead of Yuba City, my destination will be Ashland, Oregon, on my way to Mehama for a week, and my trip schedule does oblige me to maintain a fairly high average speed, but I'd rather not spend a lot of time driving 70 because the mileage suffers so badly when I do so. (My van isn't all that aerodynamic, after all.) If I can make the kind of time next week that I did today, I will be well pleased.
Oh, and that small earthquake
that hit the Bay Area this afternoon? I was ten miles south of Yuba City when it hit, and wouldn't have even known about it if I hadn't been listening to KNBR at the time. Current Mood: relaxed