Drove down to see Mom in Ogden, 800 miles in the Town and Country (circa 1999) and listening to albums from my youth. Didn't spend much time on the freeway. Got off about sixty miles into the trip and went on back roads to sooth my soul.
Eastern Oregon is currently a smokey mess. But the drive was still beautiful, didn't get past fifty-five much and stopped at orchards and ate some of the best apples and plums that I have had for quite some time.
The roads out west are in great shape, lots of fed funding going into projects. The only bad area was when I got down into Utah, where, due to the miracle of low taxes and small government, the roads and the schools suck.
I'm sitting in a Einsteins bagel store in Ogden, just had a garlic bagel with a schmeer for breakfast and now I am watching the archetypical Utah princess order her breakfast, her iPhone held in at breast level front of her, in the properly worshipful pose that has so recently become enshrined.
Mom is declining, I just came down to visit and had the good/bad fortune to arrive at the same time as a particularly bad spell. When I walked through the door, she was grey and looked like hell, the nurses didn't hold out much in the way of hope. I got hold of my Uncle and made arrangements for Extreme Unction. But, thankfully, she rallied and pinked up nicely. I was feeling a lot better when I left.
I'll head over soon and sit with her for a while. She is completely out of it, I won't linger too long.