All went well yesterday. We left home just after 6 a.m. and arrived in Blois at 7. It was dark and neither one of us likes to drive at night any more. To get to Blois, we drove through five villages (or small towns) — Noyers-sur-Cher, Saint-Romain-sur-Cher, Couddes, Contres, and Cormoray — that have 30 mph speed limits, or even 20 mph. Then, just south of Blois, we drove on a stretch of four-lane highway with a speed limit of about 70 mph. Then we crossed the Loire and drove in heavier traffic around the eastern edge of Blois to our destination. The whole trip was 46 kilometers — less than 30 miles — but took nearly an hour.
I left Walt in Blois and drove back on a different route that takes a little longer — 57 kilometers = 35 miles. That took more than an hour. But by then the sun was coming up and I didn't get lost, despite the fact that my last drive to Blois dates back three years or more, and the memory ain't what it used to be. The roads are narrow and winding, with little signage, but again traffic was light and my memory of the route served me well. I had Natasha in the car with me to keep me company.
The fact is that major work is being done on the east-west railway line just north of Saint-Aignan and we had to plan our routes accordingly. We needed to avoid grade crossings, some of which are closed for several hours every day. It's hard to know which ones or when.
I had to go back to Blois later in the day, to pick Walt up and bring him home. And I have to go back to Blois next Monday, unfortunately. Wild times.
P.S. The photos here are more of the ones I took from a plane while flying over the U.S. southwest 20 years ago.