Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Walk #257: Kortum Canyon and the Redneck Pickup Truck...

A hillside vineyard. Enviros in the Napa Valley have done much to stop this practice.

The view from the top...

Looking across the Napa Valley

Ed Abbey said that he thought walking uphill was just so "unnecessary". Agreed. But alas, sometimes it must be done.

Kortum Canyon Road is an uphill beast of a one-lane black top road that heads into the Mayacamas just outside Calistoga. Seeing as it goes into the Mayacamas (a small mountain range), the direction is all uphill once you leave Calistoga. Straight up.

A sign says "winding road" and gives the speed limit: 15 mph. That is about 12 miles an hour faster than what I am walking. A white pickup truck, doing much more than that, nearly whacks me as it careens up the hill.

What is it about men and Pickup Trucks? I spend much time on rural roads. I drive 165 miles to work on rural roads. I rarely drive in the city anymore. I go for the blue highways when traveling.

One thing I've noticed in these travels is the sheer stupidity of the male Pickup Truck Driver. Granted, I am a bit extreme in my beliefs. I think that 40 miles per hour on rural roads, that break up major wildlife corridors, is what the speed limit should be. Give the varmints a chance! Drive slow.

But Pick up Truck Drivers rarely drive slow. They careen along at light speed. Heading off to the next construction gig. Or home to their televisions and beer. These drivers are dangerous folks. They will pass on a blind curve; have no regard for any known laws.

And their bumperstickers are just as offensive. "Obamaism" with Obama wearing a Che Guevara beret. Most still have Bush/Cheney bumperstickers. And then there is always some sort of reference to taxes being too high. My bet is that 80 percent of those who attended the Tea Party Rebellion rally in Washington got there by driving their Pick Up Trucks.

I would like to get a Pick up Truck...but is anti-social behavior and stupidity a prerequisite before buying one?

Back to Kortum Road. I hike straight up for forty five minutes. Then back down. The views on top of the hill are worth it. The scenery is delightful. The mixture of oaks and redwoods fantastic. A delightful walk.


Ian Woofenden said...

Did the figure 8, at the end of a tired and grumpy day. Nice to push it in the overcast and then rain. No visits or stops. Still haven't calibrated my odometer, so these numbers are about 0.07 per mile low...

11.16 miles
59:29 (coming in just under the one hour I was aiming to keep under...)
11.26 mph average
35.82 mph max

greentangle said...

Another pickup post from my once and soon neck of the woods.


It's about being incoherently yelled at from a passing pickup, which has always happened to me a lot throughout my life wherever I've been walking. Don't remember if you've had/written about that experience on your walks.

Just ordered a freebie book you might be interested in--Weekends at Bellevue by Julie Holland, former psych emergency doc.

Jackie Callahan said...

I love the concept! I'm an avid walker, a lover of the outdoors, and keenly interested in traveling, so, all tolled, your blog is inspiring! Thank You!

Ian Woofenden said...

Lazy today -- no ride. Did some physical work, but mostly kicked back.

Big ride tomorrow -- 30+ miles RT to do brunch with a friend.

Slatts1962 said...

Great blog post! Edward Abbey would have thrown something at the damn pick up trucks, or at the very least have put something down on the rock to blow their tires...

lph said...


A fun post. As I said once before that it is so very obvious that you love agitating the irritable. Therefore I have a great idea for you. Buy a pickup truck (the older the better). And then plaster the rear bumper with several stickers. Here are some suggestions: "Make Love Not War" "A Village in Texas is Missing its Idiot" and my personal favorite "God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions"


Allan Stellar said...


I like the Gary Larson analogy...


Thanks for dropping by.. :)




Yup, when I buy that pick up truck (probably a new one though), I'm gonna slap a bunch of New Age Lefty bumperstickers on it... :)