Distance: 6 blocks
Ciwt has lived in cities so long now she'd forgotten about narrow, winding roads in the little towns near San Francisco. As you climb toward the views, the trees, the birds, the quiet, the roads often aren't wide enough for two cars, nearly every curve is completely blind so you have no idea going around whether you'll encounter another car or a bike rider - or a deer. It's all very quaint when you walk it, but I decided today I definitely would not want to have to handle roads like this on a daily basis.
The final decision came when I was checking out a lovely, serene cottage with light pouring in and redwoods and Japanese maples rustling outside. It was built as a meditation cottage for visiting monks. Normally all that Ciwt could have wished for.
Except, that is, for the road and, even more daunting, the driveway. My car was perched at the top of it, there was no room to turn around, so the only way out was to back down a steep blind curve to the (curvy) 'main' road below. The owner of the serene Zen cottage said "Do you want me to back your car down? I've done it a thousand times." "Sure," I said and ran down to the bottom of the driveway to wait - and wait and wait..Finally I walked back up and saw my car part way down with one tire over the edge of the steep hill. "I couldn't figure out where your brake pedal was," she explained. Two young men were in the main house; they came out, and the four of us worked as a team figuring out how to get the car back on the driveway.
We succeeded, and driving away I still planned to rent the serene Zen cottage (if I was chosen from the full list of interviewees). But with each blind curve, each car I had to stop and let pass, each bicyclist reality intervened and my resolve dissolved. It was taking all my energy and nerve to stay present - and Ciwt loves to drive. If I rented that Zen cottage, I'd need it just to calm down from the journey there, but then I might be too calm and spacey to handle the roads on the way home. Ommm....