August 31, 2020:

The information is unclear.

I might be able to go home. The authorities have opened my evacuation zone. But there's a small sliver of a still-closed zone blocking a necessary road. Literally, one little block remaining closed, or I'd be home free.

I decide to try. I ask the cottage manager to hold mine in case I have to return. Pack my car again full of guitars and plush cheetahs, drive an hour north from Asilomar to Ben Lomond, taking the back road to my neighborhood which is so very nearly obstacle-free.

At the road block the Highway Patrol won't let me pass. I tell the officer, pointing: "That's my street right behind you. I need to go one block and turn left to get home. My house is in the cleared zone."

He first tries to invent explanations. It's interesting that people do that. "Maybe the electricity isn't ready?" Actually the electricity has never been off. I've been able to remotely monitor the security cams the entire time. But he's got his orders. "Sorry sir, no-one's allowed to pass."

Although I know what the answer will be I try again from the main road. I tell the officer there, "Hey your buddy up the ridge told me to tell you it's ok for me to pass." He knows I'm kidding.

It was worth the attempt.

Drive the hour south to Asilomar, where still awaits my little cottage of exile.