I got a 2015 Mazda 3 sedan as a rental from Avis with about 25K on the clock and headed out on the I10 around 11:30 AM on Monday. The drive was uneventful save for seeing the aftermath of a jack-knifed truck just south of Beaumont California as I was passing through. A few miles before, I had seen a freeway warning sign saying there was a “truck jackrabbit incident” on the 79 at Beaumont and puzzled over what a “jackrabbit’ incident might be.
Anyway, I think I’ll stop taking the 79 as a short cut toward San Diego because that drive through San Jacinto valley & Hemet always annoy me half to death. Coming down from hours of 82mph driving into 35mph traffic can be rage inducing when one hasn’t been properly caffeinated. I may even consider switching to the I8 because the drive is much more scenic than the I10.
I had planned to stay in California until Thursday but we wrapped up meetings a little early on Wednesday so I checked out & started back home around 3:30PM & decided at the last minute to take the I8 east to the 85 through Buckeye & then hook up with the 10 back into Phoenix. There were far fewer trucks on the 8 & the drive is absolutely beautiful the entire way. The I8 winds through large rocky mountains down into a desert of drifting white sand before climbing back up to the Northern Sonoran Desert just as you roll into Gila Bend Arizona. Someday I’ll make this trip in a convertible.
The car was…not my favorite. It felt cheap and plastic everywhere, the road noise was horrific, and the automagic transmission does not suit my tastes at all. I really don’t like how an automatic car will immediately lurch forward when I take my foot off the brake. I’m quite accustomed to keeping my foot on the clutch or shifting to neutral when I stop at a traffic light, but I simply could not get the hang of it in this car. I also did not like the lack of visibility at the rear quarters which felt quite dangerous to me in close-quarter traffic and those famously narrow California parking spaces. With these modern designed vehicles it’s of little wonder to me that the backup camera has become nearly ubiquitous, and is in fact a mandatory safety feature in 2017 or 2018 model vehicles.
I got back home around 8:45 Wednesday evening and ended up being awake until nearly 2AM so I could finish up emails & incidents from when I was away. I feel as if I should post a few photos but have just been too busy with other things to sit down and upload them.
The block walls in the back yard are going to be replaced starting next Monday at 6:30AM and I need to get some work done.