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Enjoy the Scenery

     I'd never seen creatures like this. There were lots of them—some black, some white, a few lemon-yellow or silver-gray or cherry-red. I was off to a three-day vacation in the Danish village of Solvang in California. My friends had told me to enjoy the scenery on the drive up, but I couldn't take my eyes off these strange beasties on either side of me and in front of me. There were some behind me, too.

     These critters had round, black feet that were spinning constantly. Their eyes were luminescent-yellow or clear—like glass. Most of the eyes were big and round, but some were slit like cat-eyes. Their spinning feet were moving them forward; some faster than others. I couldn't see any legs on them: their big bodies sat squarely on top of their spinning feet. The bodies were metallic-looking, some with sexy curves; some were squat and sort of cube-shaped. Off to my right some giants of the same species crawled along, their long, tall, boxy bodies jolting up and down on dozens of spinning feet.

     Most of the creatures were moving at about the same speed as my Mazda but a few hurtled past, their feet spinning topsy-turvily; others moved slowly and steadily, gradually falling behind.

     I missed any scenic views I might have passed because I couldn't help staring at these strange creatures. They seemed to be running loose, with not a sheepherder or cowboy in sight—not even a sheepdog to keep them in line, although I'll admit they stayed in quite straight lines, except for an occasional renegade.

     I had traveled miles and miles observing these creatures when suddenly multiple flashes of red flared up in front of me, coming from the rear ends of all the creatures! What was up? Whatever it was, every one of the creatures was slowing down so I slowed down, too, to see what was happening.

     Couldn't see anything. The creatures kept up at a snail's pace for what seemed like an eternity, but was actually only five minutes—and then they stopped. Hundreds lined up like they were waiting to get into a Padre game or a rock concert, but there were no sports stadiums or amphitheaters in sight.

     I had to stop, too, or I would have run over a bunch of them. A few minutes later the herd began to move forward, slowly then faster as they spread apart. It was like unseen gates had opened up. By the time I exited onto Highway 101, they were mostly gone, having spun off in different directions as I drove north and finally, I could see the scenery.

     Ahhh! Wow! To my left, a sea of immense flat dark-blue land stretched to the horizon. Blue? Flat? Oh! It is the sea! The Pacific Ocean! It was beautiful! To my right, crooked tree trunks topped with broad dark-green heads dotted the dirt-brown hills shaved off at the edge to form jagged cliffs. After a while the highway curved up and down, taking me and my Mazda through thickly-forested hills and valley farmlands. Occasionally I saw one of those black-footed creatures ahead of me or passing slowly by, going in the opposite direction, but mostly I enjoyed the scenery.

     Overall it was a wonderful trip, but to tell you the truth, I spent most of it hoping that I would not see another one of those black-footed creatures on my return to El Cajon.

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