8:35 AM: hearing an odd noise from outside
8:37 AM: confirmed noise coming from passenger-side front of the car
8:45 AM: back at home; examination of driver side front wheel shows nothing out of the ordinary
8:55 AM: pulled over in a lot and more thoroughly examined passenger side tire, wheel, and surrounding area to confirm nothing is rubbing or dragging
9:02 AM: ignoring noise not fruitful; imagining wife at my funeral, wishing I had discovered the hole in the fuel tank before mustache-twirling bad guy dropped a match on the trail of fuel I was leaving behind
9:07 AM: confirmed fuel tank intact; found a small tree branch under the driver side of the car instead
If the wheel was grinding against something, the noise would have gotten louder when I opened the passenger-side window, or there might have been some vibration as the car moved, or may have felt resistance as I tried to steer. But I was convinced that my initial assumption was correct, so I ignored the lack of evidence and missed the obvious problem just a few feet to the left.
I stopped and looked under the car twice, but because I was convinced that it could only be an issue on the passenger side front, I did not notice the obvious issue, just a few feet to the left.
The cabin is sealed for a quieter ride, except for the cabin air filter, which is in the glove box on the passenger side.