Are There Bridges Between Here and Las Vegas?

IMG_0378We’re hitting the road in the morning, driving to Las Vegas for a weekend with our son and his family. Polly will be in charge of the house and Mister B while we’re away. We thought we’d booked a pet-friendly hotel at Lake Las Vegas but the fine print on the confirmation email says “no pets allowed,” so leaving one dog behind is a last-minute change.

As it is, we’re leaving with two dogs, Lulu & Fritzi, but they’ll only be with us the first ninety miles — we’re dropping them off just this side of Phoenix to stay on our friend Millie’s ranch. She’s a fellow dachshund person, and they should enjoy their getaway as much as we’ll enjoy ours.

Don’t tell Donna (I can already hear the stampede of friends rushing to do so) how relieved I am Mr. B isn’t coming with us. I’ve been anxious about this trip for a couple of weeks. Last night, when Donna agreed to leave Mr. B home with Polly, my doubts and unrest vanished and now I’m eager to go. Worrying about taking him along was stressing me as much as I suspect it would have stressed him. Old dogs, the two of us.

So how is it we’re leaving one dog home with Polly but not all three? Good question. Why not take Mr. B anyway and leave him at our son’s house since he can’t stay with us in the hotel? Another good question. We have reasons, okay?

Speaking of old dogs, I think I’m still good behind the wheel and can easily hack a couple of 400-mile drives — but isn’t that what every aging driver says, even after the kids have started hiding the keys? I ran a red yesterday, a first for me. I looked away a second too long while searching for a street address and glanced back just as the stoplight changed from yellow to red. I had to make an instant choice between slamming on the brakes or pressing on through. It was raining and it felt safer to press rather than risk locking the wheels and skidding into the intersection. It was the right decision, but was it also a sign of slowing reflexes? And since when did I start taking my eyes off the road?

We’ll get home the afternoon of April Fool’s Day. Then it’s straight to bed because I’m on the hook to take friends to the airport in the wee hours of the 2nd. Happily, their return in mid-April will be at a more reasonable hour.

Trip prep is the only agenda item today. I could probably top off the tank, but Costco’s on the way out of town so we’ll do it tomorrow. I took the truck to the car wash Tuesday and it’s been in the garage since, but we’ll almost certainly hit rain on our way north. Which means we’ll need to put garbage bags over our suitcases, since they’ll be in the bed of the pickup. Yes, we take the truck rather than the car on long trips. The truck is big and comfortable, the car is not. Carbon footprint much?

We remember the Sunshine Skyway collapse of 1980, and of course it was the first thing we thought of on hearing news of yesterday’s Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, almost a repeat of what happened in Florida 44 years ago. Mind you, we weren’t in Tampa when the Sunshine Skyway went down, but we moved there five years later and knew the new bridge well. We always thought “what if” when we drove over its central arch, scarily high above Tampa Bay. Generally, though, we don’t think twice about crossing bridges. We will now, at least for a while.

From what I’m reading about the Key Bridge collapse, harbor officials and local police agencies acted correctly and quickly when the ship’s pilot issued the “mayday” call, setting up roadblocks and stopping traffic from crossing the bridge in the nick of time. One officer on the scene even thought of the workers filling potholes on the bridge and got on the radio to call for their evacuation, alas too late. As one commenter on Twitter remarked, this was government (what the MAGAts call the “deep state”) in action. The men and women who responded to the middle-of-the-night mayday call were just regular civil servants doing their jobs.

That, at least, is something we can be proud of. Something also to carefully consider before voting, because Republicans — all of them Katie, not just some — give not the slightest shit for the common good.

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