We pulled in yesterday afternoon, after camping at the Fruita section of Colorado River State Park, and having a nice lunch in Aspen. We had a slight delay in the morning because I was busy getting a speeding ticket. Let me tell you about my speeding ticket.

We're not really sure how he tagged me; he must have had his radar gun on just as he got on the highway. He pulls me over, comes over to the passenger side, and says, "I clocked you at 79.5 miles per hour, and this is a 65 mile-per-hour zone. I will be writing up a ticket, I'll need your driver's license and the registration for this vehicle." And that was it. No authority games, no "Do you know the speed limit here?" bullshit. It was a pleasant business transaction.

After some chuckle-inducing mishap where I gave him my old interim license instead of the registration, and him being unable to pull up the records by plate number because California's computers weren't responding, he explained that this wouldn't affect my California driving privileges, because the violation didn't occur in California. He couldn't say if it would affect my insurance, but if Colorado doesn't tell California about it, there's a good chance it won't.

Doing 14mph over the limit (good thing I'd been slowing down) is probably a $350 ticket in California/Massachusetts/Washington. Probably much more.

Colorado: $68.80. Kick ass.

The guy's lecture-free professionalism really makes me want to write the State Police complimenting his work.

So we're all here at aikido camp now, at 6800 feet. Weather's not too hot so far, and regardless of needing to acclimate, I've been at altitude for a few days now, so I'm not noticing huge problems. Being here was a bit anti-climactic at first: "I just drove for four days and now I have to do stuff? And then drive home?". But it's a good time, and a few things in my head are straightening out, and that's always a good thing.

Check out this 2004 article on SUVs by Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favorite science writers. It turns out that the motivations behind SUV ownership are essentially a refusal to accept the responsibility of driving: to assume that an accident is inevitable, and to surround yourself with a cocoon that feels safe, elementally, even if it isn't. It's a stark contrast to how most of my community tries to go about things: we're largely at varying points in a place where "We're all going to die anyway" is a rallying cry to go do cool fun stuff, rather than some intimidating pronouncement of doom. Of course we're going to die, but that's really not very interesting, so what comes after that?

Photos are slowly going up on my Flickr page. Very slowly. Maybe I'll finish up tonight.

Or not. Now it's time for bed.