GABST Day 5: Driving Miss Daisy

I-5, Oregon
I-5, Oregon

Dear I-95,

Longtime user, first-time writer here. I just wanted to reach out to you because I met someone today that I think you would like. More importantly, I met someone with whom I think you should have a conversation, and from whom you could perhaps take away a few tips. A role model if you will; mentor, even.

Her name is I-5, and she’s pretty accessible, with a 24/7 operation spanning the U.S. from Mexico to Canada. And while I of course respect that you’re a busy road, and might not have the time or the inclination to travel cross-country for the mere purpose of a little inter-interstate highway tΓͺte-Γ -tΓͺte, I can’t help but feel that it would be worth your while.

You see, I-5, like you, spans multiple states, and over 1,000 miles. She too shepherds weary travelers from one destination to the other, whether for business, pleasure, or those awkward holidays with distant relatives that fall somewhere in the middle. In short, you two have a lot in common.

But there are some key differences. For example, I-5 is beautiful. Now, I’m not saying you’re ugly per se, just that with all those guard rails and Jersey barriers — to say nothing of the flat and heavily commercialized landscape beyond them — you do leave a little something to be desired, aesthetically speaking. You see, I-5 has mountains and green acres. It has sheep farms and cow farms and horse farms; its rolling hills give way to vast expanses of lush landscape, on top of which sit open skies with heavy fluffy clouds just begging to release the kind of sporadic downpour that forces drivers to keep one hand trained on the windshield wiper controls.

I-5, California
I-5, California

And perhaps most importantly, I-5 is only moderately occupied. Of course, I’m willing to accept that this may not always be the case, or may only be the case between Portland and San Francisco, the 11-hour drive I undertook today. I’m willing to accept that I may have been lucky. But I can’t help but celebrate the mere possibility of such luck, when a decade of driving on I-95 has never, not once, yielded the same infrequency of overbearing 18-wheelers and impatient left-lane drivers. You see, I-95, you’ve always gotten me where I needed to go, but the difference is that I’ve almost always wanted to murder someone by the time I get there.

Anyway, these are just humble suggestions, unsolicited recommendations from a moderately experienced traveler. I’m sure you have your reasons — for being crowded, and bland, and home to about 7.3 million Cracker Barrrels below the Mason-Dixon line. I’m sure it’s difficult being you. Which is why I think you should take some time this summer to pack up shop and head to the West Coast. Pay a visit to I-5 and ask her for some advice. Maybe you can’t get all the rolling hills and scenic cloud cover in one fell swoop, but I’m sure she could at least throw you some sheep farms.

Your friend and longtime neighbor,

3 thoughts on “GABST Day 5: Driving Miss Daisy”

  1. Now if you ever get to a chance to travel on the Pacific Coast Highway, south of SF- that will leave you breathless!

  2. Not sure how far south you’re driving, but trust me: I-5 takes a major turn for the worse after Sacramento.

  3. Ahh yes, that’s about where we got off. But I-95 has zero pleasant stretches, let alone an 11-hour one.

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