(Perhaps it's his absence provoking our bitterness? Hmmm... No, it's definitely the regressive design change.)
But back to
"Been to Orick, lately? No, not through Orick, but to. Pulled over, parked the car, got out, stretched the legs and grazed on the sights? Certainly we're not posing this question to Orick's few hundred residents, nor to the handful of plucky merchants who daily tootle out of the hills to unlock storefronts, kick aside yesterday's dust and then, as the hours tock away, sit humming to themselves in the pin-drop silences between yammering roars of semis jake-braking on the 101."
Look'it them verbs go! "Tootle"? "Jake-braking"? Yum.
And, hell, she makes going to Orick sound like a fine idea.