I packed out of the room at Noon and headed for the storage locker, where I pulled about ten or fifteen boxes of miscellaneous stuff in collapsing boxes and put them into my van. I then cleaned out the small filing cabinet (saving the files in another box to take home with me) and put it into the van as well, and headed for Sutter.
When I got there, I surprised my mother. I had forgotten to tell her I was coming up this weekend, only my sister, and my sister hadn't spoken to my mother this week. Not that this was a problem -- I'm always welcome to drop in unannounced; I lived in that house for many years and still have a key to it. My grandfather was happy to get the filing cabinet, which will help them organize a whole lot of loose papers once they get some hanging files to put in it.
I was happy to spend several hours with my mother and grandfather, but eventually it neared 4 PM and I was still facing a long drive home, so I reluctantly said goodbye and headed south. On a whim, I went through Sycamore Slough. On the map, this is a shortcut, but I don't think it really saves any travel time, because the maximum safe speed on the road is about 20 mph. It's paved, but it's been patched and re-patched so many times without a proper repaving job that it's like driving on a washboard. Still, it was interesting to see the wildlife: a rabbit or two, some ground squirrels, hawks perched on poles and trees, and around one corner a peacock in full display and raising a horrible racket.
Around two hours later I reached Vacaville, where I stopped for dinner, it being a convenient halfway point on the trip. I decided I had enough time to go for a walk, and my path took me up and down a stretch of road next to a golf course. Here I saw some ducks and quite a few ground squirrels, and then something I don't think I've ever seen -- what I guess must be a burrowing owl perched on a small mound of dirt next to what I assume was its burrow. It kept a close eye on me as I walked by around ten meters or so away from it. With another 3,000 or so steps logged, I headed back to the van and the final 75 miles home, getting there around 8:45 or so.
After getting home, I hauled the boxes into my apartment, and they now await my re-sorting them. Much of what's in them needs to be thrown away or recycled; the rest will be put into new boxes and re-stored; however, this time I'll remember that when packing books I need to fill the boxes all the way to the top so that they don't crumple under the weight of the boxes above them. Books don't compress very much, after all, but if you leave clearance between them and the tops of the boxes in which they're stored, eventually you get collapsed boxes.