It is addictive.
I think it takes a long time to take over however. I have been commuting 120 miles a day since 1983. This is an estimate on the light side as this is the bare minimum. I finally stopped as of January of this year. In between there were the over 2200 mile trips outside to visit in the Pacific Northwest.
The thing is driving in the day is ok, you get to see scenery. But driving at night is different. Driving on I5, the main corridor through Washington and Oregon is best done at night. Allan and I used to refer to it as running with the big dogs. The big trucks hauling goods up and down the highway.
He had insomnia, a pretty bad case of it. So Allan was always the driver, either for the people he hung with or just by himself. He would drive for gas money. As long as there was music, he was good to go. And the going was always fast.
I already enjoyed driving so he was able to corrupt me easily. Driving at night here in Alaska has its own special charm. Mostly it is two lane blacktop. The roads are far from perfect, dips, potholes, frost heaves and tight corners. There are places where having a big truck going by on the other side requires nerves of steel because he is going past you at close to 80 miles per hour with maybe a foot between your mirrors and his.
Then there are the road hazards. Hitting a ton of moose at 75 mph can and has taken the lives of the moose, the vehicle and the driver. Caribou aren’t as big but they can do enough damage to put you in the hospital.
But there you are in your own little world, music cranked, the road ahead holds a semi. He’s going slower then you want to go. So can you pass him? It’s night so you are looking to see if there is any little hint of headlights ahead. The dotted line says you can try it but it’s always on your nerve up here. Has your rig got the guts to take a semi rolling along at 70 or a bit over? Are you going to try it? Make up your mind quick before you run out of dotted line. Places to pass are few and far between on Alaska roads.
Hit the turn indicator as you jam your foot to the floor. The little six takes the gas and before you know it, the semi had dimmed his lights so as not to blind you and you are around him doing 80. Ease back in front of him. No sharp jerks on the wheel if you hit a slick spot you could be in the ditch in the blink of an eye.
You’re free! The road ahead is clear. Not another car in sight. Rushing through the black night, music blaring, you are gone. It’s a rush. Good thing using gas is the only really bad habit I have.
A little two lane black top Alaska style for you.