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  • Waiting for a ride

January 28 The Results Are In: Pay the Toll


Vallejo 7:30 AM
I join a dozen people waiting in the carpool line. This is a no-kidding, heavy duty cold wet fog and I’m glad I am wearing a warm coat and hat. Have you noticed that many people (most actually) do not wear hats, or even gloves in the coldest weather. How do they do it? It’s been proven that much of your body heat escapes through your head. But I’ve also read that if you keep your big toe warm your body will be warmer. How odd is that. Moral is always wear a hat and socks in cold weather. Everything in between is negotiable.

The line moves and in about 10 minutes I’m tucked into the front seat of a 4-door silver BMW with a sunroof. The driver strongly resembles Wally Cox. We head out through the fog which is thick as can be on the Carquinez Bridge, but then an amazing light show begins. Near the end of the bridge the sun is back-lighting the fog and we leave the bridge in a golden cloud.

The mix of sun and fog through the hills on either side of the freeway is spectacular. Wally Cox gets on his cell phone. He’s having a high-tech sort of conversation with his office.

He ends his call and asks me if I’ve heard about the new bridge tolls. (see Michael Cabanatuan’s article in today’s Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/28/BA0D1BO1M7.DTL) Of course the conversation picks up. How could I resist! He agrees the toll is not fair, but shrugs when I ask him about it. We then discuss fast trak and the transponders (car pool drivers will be required to have them come July 1). My transponder has not beeped in months and I wonder how the fast trak folks are keeping track of my car’s bridge crossings. Wally says they’re probably reading the license plate, but suggests I order a new one.

The sun is fully blasting away as we cruise past Berkeley. Then around the corner onto the Bay Bridge approach and there, once again, is the lone egret contemplating the traffic and the bay shore waters he stands in. I wonder if this is the same egret I see most mornings.

Wally returns to his cell phone. It’s cozy in this car and I’m thankful I’m feeling better. We go back into the fog and across the bridge into San Francisco.