Oh dear god no.
Not today, Satan.
I gripped the steering wheel and navigated countless potholes with the dexterity of a drunk toddler. I massaged my jaw. My ears were popping. Why were my ears popping?
Oh my f$^*&@ god. Is that snow?
I hadn’t seen another soul in at least a half an hour. I turned my phone off. Not like I had service anyway; might as well keep the battery fully loaded.
26 miles to go. A marathon. Well, at least I know I can walk it if I have to.
I went over my emergency plan for the twentieth time. I had my winter jacket, gloves, plenty of food and water, and a half a tank of gas. If my car decided to crawl into one of these cavernous potholes and never come out (I have a history with potholes), I’d probably survive. Maybe. I mean, I think so. I glanced at my temperature gauge.
I should have known this road trip wasn’t going to end well.
After an hour of navigating treacherous national forest roads between Packwood and White Salmon, Washington, I was never happier to see pavement. I’d been on the road for nine days ogling the Pacific Northwest.
With promising job prospects on the horizon, I figured it might be the last opportunity for a while for this Jersey girl to freely explore the terrain outside of Bend, Oregon (my new hometown).
From Mendocino, California to Cannon Beach, Oregon, most of the trip was fog-filled.
I began to wonder if it was a metaphor. (With no one but Uncle Jesse to keep me company, I had plenty of time to work on Deep Thoughts with Go Jules Go.) Even though it felt like my life was finally headed in the right direction, was I still not seeing things clearly? Was this a reminder to keep moving forward, even if I couldn’t make out what was ahead?
By the time I got to “NF-23” in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, nine days in, I was ready for sunshine.
Thankfully, I got just that as I neared the Columbia River Gorge. Squinting, I pulled down my car’s visor and decided to do a quick loop to check out The Dalles and Hood River before settling into my AirBNB in White Salmon, WA. As I approached The Dalles, a white SUV zoomed past me and suddenly did a U-turn.
Oh my god. Are those…am I…being pulled over?
“Ma’am, I clocked you going 68 in a 55.”
Seriously? 55? On a highway going downhill?
“I’m so sorry. I’ve never been here before.”
I’ve only ever gotten one speeding ticket…when was that…14 years ago? God, I’m old.
With trembling hands, I forked over my license and registration, Uncle Jesse letting loose a series of piercing warning barks. When the officer returned a few minutes later, I was sure the paper in his hands was my big, fat ticket.
“I’m going to let you off with just a warning this time. You take care of yourself.”
“Thank you so much,” I breathed, shocked. “I’m so sorry.”
I drove off checking my speedometer every .00009 seconds. When I finally made it back to the AirBNB, I knew exactly what would calm my nerves: Korbel’s finest and the latest episode of Counting On. (You do know this blog’s original name was Go Guilty Pleasures, right?)
I pulled up the wifi network and entered the password.
Fog or no fog, one thing was clear: It was time to go home and see what was around the next bend.
How do you fare on the road and with The Great Unknown? Any advice?
7 thoughts on “I Haven’t the Foggiest…No Wait. I Have.”
There’s no way I could do such a driving trip on my own. I mean, I know Uncle Jesse is probably great with directions, but… Glad you escaped the ticket and the scary roads! And good luck with the job prospects!
Damn, that is some stunningly beautiful country. Kudos for all the exploring you do on your own! Good luck with the new job prospect.
It’s a sign to get your butt back here to Bend! And you’re going to have to get a minivan, because many of your followers are jumping on the next trip!
That photo with Uncle Jesse in front of the snow-capped mountain should be on the cover of a 2020 Calendar.
I got pulled over on my cross-country trip going I think 80 mph in a 60. I had been driving for 14 hours straight, we couldn’t find any hotel rooms (this was way before cell phones) so I was delirious and it was my birthday. The officer handed me back my license and said, “Happy birthday, you’re getting a ticket.” Nice.
you took some great snaps along the way regardless of the weather! a new job prospect? whoo hoo! good on ya for getting out of a ticket too!
Awesome scenery! And is that Cthulu emerging from the deep in the tiled gallery? 🐙