It’s snowing in Boulder, Colorado today. I just came from the desert. Before that I was ice climbing.

Three nights ago, I had a dream that my van would not slow down on a New Jersey off-ramp. Even inside of my dream I recognized the symbolism. Determinedly, I brought in the “decelerator” to my mechanic and asked him to fix it. He did. My dream self told my real self, there, it is better now, you can sleep. Never mind that I have not driven in Jersey since college, never mind that there is no such thing as a decelerator. I was proud of my semi-conscious state. I was evolved. And then I got the flu.

Three weeks ago I was driving around southern California. I was speaking at several REI’s in San Diego and Manhattan Beach, going to meetings with Patagonia in Ventura, and, in general, over-committing myself to the Co Cal roads. Is it an 18-lane road when there are nine lanes on either side, or a 9-lane one? The van has horrific blindspots. I was geriatric compared to the other more seasoned CA drivers. I leaned forward, forgot to blink, and over-gripped the steering wheel—two hands, one at ten, one at two. I even listened to smooth jazz, intentionally, to try to chill out and agreed when the announcer told me that 94.7 the WAVE was the “smoothest thing in my car.”

Now, if the poodle had been there, he would have been the smoothest thing in the car. But, alas, I was on my own, then. Yesterday, with the flu, I had him to watch over me and keep me company. I didn’t tell many people I was sick, mainly because the first four I told all said the same thing: “maybe your body is telling you to slow down.” There were only so many times I needed to hear this mantra. I’m just glad it didn’t happen in the van, or in Namibia, where I head to on May 1st.

Besides, the down time gave me time to do things like join Twitter (@majkaburhardt). That way, I’m sure to have a broken decelerator again sometime soon.