On The Road To San Francisco —
Day 10 of the Price Patrol's Cross Country tour finds us on I-80 moving west. We have reached our 11th and final state — California. We are at 3,563 miles and counting, but suddenly an entirely different spirit hangs over our trip.
What had been a wonderful adventure — driving cross country, talking to people about an important issue, reporting via new technologies — has become somewhat less enjoyable. The pictures out of New Orleans are devastating.
My colleague, Mike Solmsen, and I keep talking what everyone there has to endure — including our other colleagues. Something seems a little less substantial today, talking about high gas prices — "pain at the pump." You want pain? Check out the Gulf Coast.
We did a little math yesterday. Through Wendover, Utah, we had traveled 3,106 miles. Comparing fuel costs with this time last year, we figured it cost about $115 dollar more in gas to do it this year. Now I'm not saying $115 is insignificant — and if we've learned anything the last 10 days, it's just how real the consequences of gas price spikes are — but looking at a multi-billion dollar disaster, and thinking about the tens of thousands of newly homeless, well, let's just say context is everything.
We are pushing on to San Francisco. On our way we will check in with some truckers at a truck stop west of Sacramento. And then tonight, I am driving a hybrid car in Vacaville, Calif. We're not sure what the time constraints of the CBS Evening News will allow, given the hurricane aftermath coverage, but you can be sure you'll be able to read about truckers and hybrids right here, as the CBS News Price Patrol Rolls on.