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Go North, Young Man

“You’re going to have to take those bikes off the back,” our tow truck driver said when we arrived at the repair place. We peeled off a wad of cash, handed it over, and then removed the bike rack so he could dump our van off his flatbed.

While he fiddled with chains, Gary and I jammed our bikes inside the van and then met Ann and Denton, friends who bailed us out again by loaning us their car. Ann taught us how to turn on her Prius, a departure from the car I normally drive. Mine has a cassette deck and three hundred thousand miles on the odometer.

While they got ready to head back to their own house, Gary and I tried to figure out what we’d need to pack for our overnight in the Bay Area. Lauren would be waiting for us at Oakland Airport by noon the following day. It was 9:30 at night, and we had a four hour drive ahead of us.

“We may stop at a Motel 6 on our way north,” Gary told Ann and Denton.

Ann mumbled under her breath,“I don’t see that happening.” I had to smile. She knew what I knew: nothing was going to come between this mother and an on-time arrival at the Oakland Airport to pick up that child.

Using my cell phone for a flash light, I climbed into the van, tripped over our bikes, and picked out toothbrushes, clean clothes, my laptop, and phones. Off we went, heading north.

At one in the morning, we arrived in San Francisco and fell into bed.

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