I started work again yesterday and was immediately greeted by 90 minutes in my car. Ugh.
My drive isn't terrible. It is 33 miles one way and picturesque throughout. It takes me exactly 42 minutes door to door, day in and day out. Unlike my Seattle commute (Cap Hill to Skyway,) it never varies. There's never an accident or construction to turn a 20 minute drive into 2 hours of hell. But I just can't get around feeling like I'm wasting a huge part of my life driving and flipping through the radio listening to NPR or sports radio or the 80s station.
Zoo and I did our budget last week and found out that we were spending about 25% of our disposable income on gas. Driving and eating up gas is one of the lifestyle costs of living in the country. Still, it bugs me.
So I decided to start biking part of the way. This morning I drove to Brickerville, up and over the N. Fork - Siuslaw River Rd and parked by the bridge in Minerva. Hopped on the bike and did the 12 miles to school in about 45 minutes. It's a beautiful ride. The gradual decent down the N Fork starts in pure coast range forest and quickly opens up with the valley into a string of pasturages. Little homesteads, barns and cows fill the flatlands and the hills above feature various stages of logging from clear cut to mature forest. Finally, it all levels out into a broad estuary rife with ducks and geese. The weather this morning was perfect. Fog clung to the hills, but slowly burned away as I rode. A hint of blue sky was overhead when I pulled into the school parking lot.
So my commute now takes a good bit longer, but it doesn't feel so wasted.