She listens to the world move [beat, two-three, beat] like old people listen to talk radio. And flutters in her own world, wild thing, she programs an image to her brain:
Much like a ballet, she falls when she fears the music is stopping. [pressing her cheek against her knee] Then valiantly she jumps and spins, [twirling two, three, spinning two, three]
But eventually, all music ends;
fallen on the stage
If you connected with this poem, the comments section is for you to share your thoughts and/or experiences.I am grateful to anyone that chooses to share – I make that space for you.Thank you for taking the time to read this poem today.
Lo had a medical appointment in San Francisco, and normally we’d fly there (sometimes there are even direct flights) and stay with friends, but these are not normal times. As if a global pandemic weren’t enough, the whole west coast has apocalyptic forest fires and apocalyptic air quality, so we brought along our whole-house air filter in the back seat:
Lo: At least I got to take some pretty pictures while we drove and take advantage of my love of photography and composition as a type of story telling.
Here’s Red Rock, Montana in a drive-by black and white.
Jacob: Heading south on I-15 we passed something that looked like a dozen McMansions jammed together. Turns out it’s the headquarters of a shady multi-level-marketing company.
Lo: Except they claim to not be that shady. That’s the fun part about all of these. Every one always claims to be better than the other. Every poison less toxic. Every one ignoring the rules around dosage dependency.
Jacob: This was the last blue sky we’d see for a long while.
Jacob: The charger we stopped at in Twin Falls was right next to the Snake River bridge and visitor center. It was incredibly smoky. The landscape here is beautiful, but felt so alien under an orange sky.
Lo: When we made it to Twin Falls we decided to stop and actually look at the Snake River. It’s this beautiful green color slithering its way through a deep gorge in the Idaho plateau.
Lo’s mom and her siblings lived here as children. She told us upon seeing this picture that this is not the original Perrine bridge. She remembered, even though it has been over 50 years. Human memory is amazing.
This is the eighth highest bridge in the United States with an elevation above sea level of around 3,600 ft (1,100 m), and an approximate height of 500 ft (150 m) above the Snake River. Idaho is an optical illusion – it’s flat because it’s the top of the plateau.
Yeah, that little dot is the sun.
We passed by this strange fence facade again. We’ve drive by it a few times – before on our way to Rigby for the solar eclipse. Lo was happy to grab a picture of some of the more unique features of the drive.
Jacob: This was one of the longer and more desolate stretches of drive – US 93 from Twin Falls to Elko. Most of the drive was on interstates, but sometimes you just can’t get there from here…
On the second day the road out of Elko felt like it could have been endless.
Power lines stretch across the desert and yet traces of agricultural activity and taps into aquifers are still obvious amongst the windblown landscape.
We pulled off the highway in the Nevada desert and drove around a little. This is the smallest underpass I’ve ever seen, barely wide enough for one car at a time.
Jacob: I have to wonder if they put up the sign just in case, or in response to someone escaping…
This was just a few doors down from the charger in Lovelock, NV. It was very convenient to access, just off the highway, but the town has seen better days. This yard and garden must have been beautiful once. The house itself was once a lovely, small two story.
I guess this exit just doesn’t have any capacity right now.
We missed the sign, but apparently there had been a rock slide?
For those that know Lo, there’s a hidden message she’s been trying to catch a picture of for years and finally succeeded.
At the Truckee charger a dog lounged and slept in the parking lot while his owner sat and picnicked nearby. Would not be moved for cars – nope, nope.
The Donner Summit rest area picture has no filters. That’s the color of the light filtering through the smoke.
So of course we looked up what in the world was going on. And… Oh. That makes sense.
There were *a lot* of portapotties along I-80. We suspect this might be due to all of the rest stops in Nevada along I-80 having been closed.
We got to Vallejo and wandered around the parking lot while the car charged. Here Lo managed to snag a few pictures.
We saw no shortage of interesting vehicles on our journey. Some chose unique intimidation tactics to keep other cars out from in front of them on the highway.
Our AirBnB in Richmond, California had the unpleasant surprise of a broken window. We managed to create somewhat of a seal and set up the air filter. It had the lovely benefit of a garden with citrus trees hanging over the fence.
Even the caution signs have opinions in California.
While in Richmond we did see a pack of wild turkeys taking over an Arco. Perhaps all of the humans staying home has lead to wildlife reclaiming its territory.
The sun continued on its tangerine and purple haze way.
And Back Again…
After the UCSF appointment we drove through the Castro. This was once our neighborhood.
Though there are many things we don’t miss about San Francisco, there are many things we do miss. There’s a sense of membership to a community here that is lacking in other places we’ve lived. This is where Jacob and I joined NERT. This is where we attended neighborhood watch meetings. A part of us will always be here.
It wouldn’t be the Bay Area without ridiculous and impractical, yet eye-catchingly hilarious furniture design. Seriously.
We saw a variety of interesting vehicles. This one might be an M1117? Someone that knows these better than we do, please confirm.
We ended up getting right behind the vehicle. These weren’t the only military vehicles we saw on the road being shipped places. Who knows where they’re going *shrug*.
By Tuesday afternoon, the air in San Francisco had finally started to clear up, just in time for us to leave. We had originally planned to head back Wednesday morning, but we both were itching to get home, and hitting the road Tuesday night let us get home a full day earlier. So off we went.
On I-80 on the way out of the San Francisco area, there was a brief traffic slowdown caused by, uh, this. Batteries can be scary if they catch fire, but not as scary as a gas tank…
As night was falling, we stopped to charge at a mall in Roseville, CA.
Lo got out and walked around. There are huge differences between the levels of permanency in the signage and overall social compliance to mask wearing and social distancing between California and Montana.
All around the stores were reminders to social distance, including Xs on the ground like one may mark up a stage for rehearsal.
Lo: An installation that struck me reminded me of The Freedom Of Speech Wall in Charlottesville, VA near where I went to undergrad.
What I Missed The Most:
Late Night Movies
The Bars 😦
My Wedding 6/6/20 😦
Jorge Angel-a (?)
andar con los compas
school and friends
CC and Damien
I miss go school
By midnight we were in Reno. The charger here was in a casino parking lot, so we had to maneuver through the disorienting maze that every casino town seems to be. So much neon…
Reno was a ghost town compared to its usual self. Admittedly, we’ve only been through a handful of times now, and we try to avoid stopping because of the crowds and traffic. Even the parking garages have the gates removed and no longer cost money. It’s surreal.
Lo: More like 1960s/70s with strong elements of preserved mid century Americana at its best in my opinion. The rooms were very clean (though we also did a surface/touch-point disinfecting for our own sanity). This place would be great to use for photoshoots and as a filming location. I should have taken pictures of the swimming pool!
We saw this truck in Nevada. Thanks to my trucker friends and those that are familiar with Cyrillic languages, it means “drivers wanted” or “drive for us.”
At one of our charging stops in Idaho the car hit its peak charge rate of 250 kilowatts – about the same as the average power usage of 200 houses.
It being September, the tunnel was not icy.
Lo: I find Nevada beautiful. I know the American desert isn’t exactly what most people think of as magical, but I’ve seen rainbows from thunderstorms over this desert. Extreme weather creates gorgeous landscapes. I’m not experienced enough at photography to capture lightning yet.
Into Idaho from Nevada farming gets interesting. The suspicion is that Lo really wanted a picture of that horse.
We’re welcomed back into Montana by this mansion of a fixer upper off of I-15. Lo keeps joking that she wants to move in.
Finally home! The smoke had followed us the whole way back, so we got the air filter back into the house in a hurry.
Jacob: After we got home I added up all the statistics for the drive. In just four and a half days, the total was:
2,449 miles driven
39 hours, 47 minutes on the road
705 kWh of electricity used by the car – as much energy as in less than 20 gallons of gasoline
20 charging stops at an average of 19 minutes each
We hope you enjoyed this whirlwind travel adventure post about driving to and from San Francisco in an electric car for a doctor’s appointment at UCSF. Road tripping during global pandemics is ill advised and we recommend anyone considering repeating this to take all necessary precautions to protect your own health and well being, as well as the well being of others.
Lo: If you want Jacob to author more posts, please drop a comment and leave a like. Let him know what kinds of posts you’d like to see.Your feedback is valuable ❤
If you see these photos posted elsewhere, please let us know. At this time a few are posted on Lo’s instagram, but mostly they are on this page only. Lo is still developing a unique watermark and is dealing with photo-stealing. If you would like to use any of these photos:
For unpaid projects, simply credit Lo and link back to this website.
For paid projects please send Lo an e-mail and we can exchange a fair use contract with more details.
Content Warning: This poem addresses the current situations resulting from USPS delays on medication deliveries.
My spouse and I are okay; we stand in solidarity with those currently struggling and fighting to obtain their life sustaining medications.
We are a household that requires medication for daily survival. Without it at least one member of our household will not survive. While we are able to pick up our life-sustaining medications at a drive through pharmacy in town, many people do not have that option. This may be because they are in a rural area, or because their insurance only covers medications from a mail-order pharmacy, such as in the case of the VA. In the state of Montana, the United States Postal Service is the primary resource for delivering critical medications to rural communities that make up the majority of our state.
United States citizens are dying due to USPS delivery delays.
USPS is a critical service and is in serious trouble. There are too many sources available for me to cite them all here; that means you can find them yourself easily. I’m worried that this time, buying stamps is not enough.
I spent the weekend cleaning To keep our fears at bay As tracking notifications continued With each ping – a new delay As ICUs are filling; filled Don’t call 911– Nowhere you can go Homebound isolation burial As medications fail to show So many insurance companies Require mail-order specialty 90 day supplies [Won’t pay otherwise] But ours only does 30 day And the postman might not show: How many people are going to die? I don’t have tracking notifications– No pings, nor badges For human suffering. I’ll focus on cleaning; What I can control: A clean and comfortable coffin In which to hold each other Before we go.
If this poem inspires you to get involved, what you can do is call your representatives and let them know the situation with USPS is critical.
Content Warning: This poem may not be suitable for all audiences and may contain information that some could find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.
The Corpus Of Jane Doe
A mountain of paperwork Encumbers my day In the mortuary she waits- Chalk-white and purple Coagulated blood at the points We knew to be the lowest Where she laid waiting to be found
She is your typical body- No tattoos or piercings Barely more information than: Hair, Eyes, Skin, Size
What is the immutable?
She had an identity with a past: Information trapped behind Unmoving lips and rigor mortis Lost to the depths of an unseen mind
Someone loved this woman: Her vibrant smile I never see How her cheeks flushed At compliments or with tears
We gather information -what we objectively know- To approximate backward Into a time before death When parents held a baby And gave her a name
Thank you so much for reading my poem today! If you found its words meaningful, please consider liking, commenting, and/or sharing it with others. Truly, I am grateful for the time you spent reading my work.