Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just 80 more miles..

Today, I learned a good lesson from Mother Nature: Don't get too greedy with the weather.

Since we started our journey 3 days ago, we have had nothing but blue skies and sunshine, so much sunshine that in fact I was forced to stop at a Walgreens somewhere along the I-90 in South Dakota to buy some 'stylish' over-the-glasses-sun-gear so as not to burn my retinas from the glaring-ness that was the SUN.

So, today, when we decided around 4pm, that we were only about 160 miles shy of a city that would get us closer to a Seattle New Years and that we should just continue on, even if it got dark, I think Mother Nature decided she was going to give us a piece of her mind.

The first 80 of those last 160 miles were still serene - beautifully windy and picturesque amongst the Rocky Mountains. I had almost gotten over the fact that the day before felt just..too...long and had conceded that continuing on, past our 4-5ish finish time, would make tomorrow a shorter drive day.

Plus, there was supposed to be some precipitation tomorrow, so, we thought, in our wisdom, that driving longer today would make tomorrow that much better if we ran into bad weather. And, that we would be further along and into rain country potentially if a storm happened.

Sidenote: I have never watched more weather channel than I have in the past 3 days and I must say, those people are on SOMETHING because not only are they ALWAYS SMILING but they seem to actually LIKE each other, and tell jokes. One banter conversation included some good ole ribbing to the 'Canadian' guy because he wasn't a Rush fan. This literally created a 5 minute seguay into music and Canadians and in Canadian fashion the guy who 'didn't like Rush' APOLOGISED and clarified that it wasn't that he didn't LIKE Rush it was that he just didn't go to all the concerts, clearly in an effort to NOT get calls from either A) Rush fans or B) Rush themselves on the off chance they are watching the WEATHER CHANNEL at 10pm at night.

So, back to our 160 miles: We managed to stop after the first 80 for a 'restroom' break, to refuel and D to become the driver.

With Tootsie roll in hand, I jumped in the passenger seat and prepared for our hour long journey to our destination. I even said, "oh we should be there by INSERT TIME THEN ADD AN HOUR AND BE SURE TO POINT OUT HOW JINX WORTHY THIS STATEMENT WAS" as we pulled away from the gas station.

Out of knowhere, the mountains did that thing that people talk about, that you hear about and that we had been warned about. They just up and decide to change their weather. They become all, "Hey, you've been enjoying this drive just WAY too much so it's time for you to experience the thunder of my fury" or something along those lines.

Then, those mountains teamed up with Mother Nature and opened up a can of wuppassing snow all over our Yaris with all season tires (yes, we forgoed snow tires because we had NO IDEA how to get our other tires out to B.C. and yes, this thought was revloving through our minds for the remainder of the drive, thanks, no need to point this out)

The next 80 miles included multiple hills, snow, ICE, white knuckles, snow, frosty dirty windsheild and MORE SNOW.

Instead of our cool 80 mph we had been sailing along at all day, we were reduced to 40 MPH. Just as we'd get to a valley and think we'd passed through it, we'd see that omnious ADD CHAINS NOW sign or something to that effect which could only mean one thing: We were going UP UP AND AWAY once again and could expect MASSIVE FLAKES propelling towards our windsheild.

We watched as the distance to our destination continued to fall in miles - first 52 left, then 32, then 18, then 14 and then, seriously I swear right after 14, we ascended A-GAIN up the mountain for one last Mother Nature kick in the pants fest of messy snow.

Coming down the hill, the sign said 8. And suddenly, as if we stepped out of a vortex, the weather cleared and our exit appeared and we pulled off, ecstatic to be amongst Dennys and Arbys and Applebees and mostly, just happy to be away from the SNOW.

Needless to say, we have been very lucky with the weather and really, in the grand scheme of it all, this was just a minor blip on an otherwise clear trip. And also, that if it hadn't been for D, we would probably STILL be at the top of the mountain while Mother Nature continue to wup my ass as I sat on the side of the road waiting for the storm to 'clear'.

So, thank you Mother Nature, thank you for the glorious past 3 days that you have provided at the end of December for us to enjoy the beauty of the countryside - no matter how flat or barren - as we drove across this great big country.

And yes, I guess we deserved that last little bit. Our bad.

Tomorrow: New Years in rainy NOT SNOWY Seattle. Bring it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Adventure Begun

It has been 5 months in the making but D and I are officially off on our next adventure.

This adventure has coincided with the longest most intense project I've worked on since my days as a book publicist.

And so, I am only now getting to the point where I have 2 minutes to myself, to write about just what is going on in my part of the world.

I am currently making a cross country trip from Ontario to British Columbia via the United States to my new home in Richmond, B.C.

D is going back to school, I am continuing to be a tech writer and we will be in the Vancouver area for the Olympics, not before we make the epic journey in our car across multiple States in a much more comfortable albeit similar distance as many many pioneers from years past across this vast continent.

So far, so good.

With many things to say, I'd rather collect thoughts before I put them here, however I thought it was important to get down that I am leaving, gone, moving, outta here, off again.

What I also will share is that while many people would have put together a CD of all time favourite road tripping songs, we chose Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent for this journey.

I have chosen wisely. It has added more depth to this journey than I had anticipated.

I have been through 6 distinct States so far - Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Each now hold special memories for me. Some of them fleeting, others lasting. All of which I will save for tomorrow.

It's nice to be back.