Indio, California: I went with Lisa to fetch Leo from school Friday afternoon. I had packed Leo's lunch so asked him about what he had eaten. This was our conversation in the car:BUBBE: Leo, did you eat your lunch today? LEO: Oh, yes. BUBBE: Did you eat the pizza (it was flatbread)? LEO: Oh, yes. BUBBE: Did you eat the chicken? LEO: Oh, yes. It was good. BUBBE: Did you eat the pasta? LEO: Oh, yes. BUBBE: Did you eat the raspberries and strawberries? LEO: Oh, yes. When I cleaned his backpack after school, his lunchbox was empty. Leo had eaten every morsel. Dave was away until nearly 5p for his meeting/luncheon Friday in Santa Monica. We were torn as to when/if to return to Indio. Rush hour traffic would be a bad choice - with so many Angelinos heading to Palm Springs for the weekend. The kids had dinner plans; Leo had a party at his school - so we could either go to dinner on our own or head to Indio. We ended up leaving Los Angeles at six o'clock and sailed out of town for our usual-two-hour-drive. Traffic was fine as we left the city. With our toll-pass gizmo on the dash, we can use the toll lanes and fly past all the commuters sitting in traffic. DT complains that we are wasting spending $1.60 to drive down the interstate, but I am pretty sure this is money well-spent. We must pass hundreds of cars - hundreds of cars that will be far behind us as we continue east on I-10 to the desert. And so we drove east on I-10. All the while I am watching traffic on my iPhone (DT is driving) and am alerted that an accident has occurred in Banning (about 40 miles west of Indio). Then the freeway traffic alert message boards begins showing long delays in Banning. We are still miles away from Banning, so assume the incident will be cleared by the time we arrive, so forge on.
But miles behind of the incident, traffic slowed and then stopped. We crawled along for miles and miles, unable to find information as to what has happened ahead. At 8:30p, we decided to take a detour and have dinner at Fisherman's Market & Grill in Banning, thinking the accident will clear while we dine. After managing to exit off a ramp, we had our usual fish & chips.The workers at the restaurant were discussing the accident with the customers (many of whom had pulled-off to escape the bottleneck) and were giving advice to avoid the accident scene. The road in front of the restaurant - paralleling the interstate - had developed its own traffic jam with truckers seeking an alternate route. After again checking the map on my iPhone, I lured DT down a far-flung street following the interstate and we were soon back on I-10 East, past the accident and sailing towards our campsite in Indio. NO KIDDING: We entered the freeway and merged exactly behind the same cars we had been following for miles in stalled/stopped traffic before exiting for dinner. This means we pulled-off and had dinner while traffic moved about one mile. After returning to Indio - 4 hours after leaving Los Angeles - we learned a young man had been hit (and killed) by several cars as he attempted to cross the freeway in Banning. Details as to why he was crossing a six-lane interstate are unknown as I type this, but such a sad day for his family and for the poor motorists who struck this pedestrian. Be careful out there, people. Until my next update, I remain, your safe and praying correspondent.
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