Even though I’m from north Louisiana (about 140 feet above sea level), I’m familiar with the term pass (as it relates to roads and not grades).
This weekend I drove up to Modesto in the Central Valley and took the Pacheco Pass.
I’d barely noticed the hills when I rode up with my friend a month or so ago, so wasn’t too concerned.
Until I was.
My lane had a big dip in it, which caused a brief moment of panic.
And by brief, I mean brief in the sense that the universe is a gazillion years old and the 40 minutes it took me to get back to flat ground is just a blink of a cosmic eye.
This pass is through the Diablo mountains. Coincidence? I think not.
It’s haunted. The damn road is haunted. There’s a book about it.
Maybe I’m sensitive to the energetic residue of the numerous fatal crashes on the road.
Maybe I’m a flatlander who’s unsettled by the nearness of cliffs and the ease with which a person hurtling down a mountain at 65 mph might find herself offroading into a canyon.
Maybe I’m unnerved by sketchy roads and distracted drivers.
And maybe, just maybe, it’s all of the above.
Don’t worry Mom. I made it back. In one piece.