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HesperiaStar.com
  • Making the most of driving time

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  • One thing every Cajon Pass commuter has is time — driving time. Most have a lot of driving time in the morning and sometimes even more in the evening.
    When I first started making the commute from Hesperia to West Covina, I wondered how to best use that time. Sure, you want to keep your eyes on the road and stay alert to all the cars and trucks around you — especially in the Cajon Pass — but it is possible to use that driving time to accomplish other things.
    I used my time differently depending on the day, my mood and how tired I was.
    In the mornings, I always started by listening to the radio traffic reports. I wanted to know immediately if there was a crash on the hill so I could arrange to take an alternate route. If all seemed to be fine on the freeways, then I would listen to radio news shows just to see if there was anything big going on that would require me to begin preparing coverage. If there was, I could call editors, reporters or photographers as I was driving and set the wheels in motion. There were not that many days when I had to do that, though.
    Usually I would check in with my right-hand man, or he would call me. We would discuss coverage plans, personnel issues, you name it.
    On a typical morning, I could do all of that and still have time left over, though. Sometimes I would use the rest of the time to think, mostly about work. I could come up with story or project ideas, or ponder problem areas and possible solutions. Sometimes I would try to come up with new ways to do things.
    Other times I would listen to books on CDs or other audio programs. There’s nothing like a long drive to provide you with time to listen to personal development CDs. My favorites were anything by Dr. Joe Vitale, though Dr. Robert Anthony is very good too.
     Going home was different matter. After a long day of work, I tried not to think about work anymore. Now, that didn’t always work, but I tried to put it out of my mind.
    Sometimes I would use the driving time going home to touch base with family members. For quite a while, my wife and I would talk at length every night. Since I wasn’t getting home until 8:30 or later — often a lot later — it gave us a chance to catch up and stay somewhat connected as a couple.
    The rest of the time I used to bounce around the radio dial. On Monday nights during football season, I always listened to the broadcast of the Monday Night NFL game. If there was a big Lakers game on, I would listen to that as long as I could (reception usually got pretty poor by the time I hit the Cajon Pass). The same was true of Dodgers games.
    Once in a while I would tune in to sports talk radio, but there’s only so much of that you can take unless they have really good guests.
    Often I just felt like listening to music to relax. I kept six favorite albums on CD in my car at all times — “Rock of Ages” by The Band, “Who’s Next” by The Who, “Get Right With the Man” by Van Zant, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” by Derek and the Dominoes, “Greatest Hits” by Bob Seger and “Breaking Through” by my wife, Luanne Hunt.
    There’s nothing like great music to soothe the soul on a long drive home after a hard day’s work.
    Give us your feedback
    It appears that all the construction work going on in the Cajon Pass is adding to the drive time for Cajon Pass commuters. I’m hearing some people are finding it is taking them an extra 20 minutes to get home.
    I’d love to get some info from commuters about what is happening during the week, as weekend traffic patterns are usually much different than the Monday-through-Friday drives.
    Steve Hunt can be reached at 760-951-6270 or shunt@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stevehunteditor.
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