Monday, 31 May 2010

A Drive and and a half

Driving, driving, driving

Well I have made it back to Canada. I had to leave the USA not because of a visa this time but because my car insurance ran out on the 1st of June and I could not renew it from over the border. So began the long journey from Knoxville to Squamish.

I gave myself a week to do the trip as I wanted to go via Yosemite and Redwood in California. I had a choice of a few routes. I could head south and go through Texas, Arizona etc but I had been along that route already with Wes so decided against it. I could come back the way I came but did not want to endure Kansas again, so opted to go North through Nebraska and Wyoming.

I left a very hot Tennessee on the Monday morning and survived a sticky non air conditioned 13 hour drive to Rockport, Missouri. The next morning I set off West. A whole 16 hours West towards Salt Lake City. My left arm was getting very hot and a little sun burnt by this point. I arrived in SLC about 9.30pm. My friend Steven was very kindly letting me use his house to kip in even although he was in Colorado. I have never been so pleased to see a bed as I did that night. I awoke the next morning and really did not have the energy or inclination to get back into my car again, so decided to have a quiet day doing nothing.

That quiet day turned into a very fun and exciting day. As I was having breakfast I noticed a man in Steven's garden, so thought I would be a good house guest and check who it was. It turned out to be his Dad who had come to cut the grass. We chatted and had a cup of tea, then he asked if I would like a ride on his motorbike, a 750cc Honda, for those interested. I of course accepted because I had never been pillion on a big bike like that before. It was so much fun he took me on a 50 mile tour of the canyons surrounding the city, including driving along the highway at 80mph. Awesome! In the evening he treated me to a Thai dinner. Once again US hospitality amazing. I am so glad I decided to have a day off.

The following day I jumped back in the car and intended to get to Yosemite so that I could spend al the next day there. To cut a long story short I did not get there. Snow, closed roads and much swearing on my part took me in a huge circle that took me back to where I had once been. Totally scunnered I gave up the idea as to now get there would be so much more driving and I mentally could not take anymore. I got a motel in Tahoe and decided just to head straight North the next day. Squamish was still a 2 day drive away.

I crossed the very busy Memorial day weekend traffic at the border patrol and was thankfully let back into Canada after a 1 hour wait. Annoyingly the border guard lady did not take my US visa thingy out my passport and I did not think to look until it was too late. So i will have to go back to a border and try and hand it in. Federal offence if I don't, but I will wait till my butt has forgotten the 60 hours of driving trauma.

Spending that much time on the road by yourself gives you time to mull over many things, so in between taking photos/video, texting people, looking at the map etc, I studied other road users. It would appear that tail gating is as much a national sport as football, baseball, ice hockey and just like these sports the supporters of this sport are all very different. I have made 4 categories.

1) The Trucker, generally male and from those that I have seen overweight. They will drive their million tonne truck at least 2 feet from your bumper. They clearly do not like to touch the brakes as this would make them drive at the speed limit. If you can you get out the way as fast as possible, if you can't then you just have to stick it out and hope that he can muster more speed to get past you.

2) The non lorry truck driver, again generally male. The make of truck does not matter it could be Chevy, Dodge, Nissan, Toyota they are all the same. They will drive right on your ass for as long as it takes for you to get out of their way. You know that they do not want to bump into you as they would not afflict any damage to the very expensive turbo charged often pimped out extension of their manhood. Either get out their way as soon as you can, but it is more likely he will under take at the nearest opportunity to get to that important meeting/bar he has to go to.

3) The general run of the mill car driving asshole that just seems to be in a hurry all the time. He will tail gate then as he passes will give you the death stare before he speedily cuts you off and shots off down the nearest exit.

4) The last but possibly the most scary is the female that drives something expensive that either Hubby or Daddy bought her. She will tail gate even when there is room, space, time to over take but she does not notice as she is too busy talking with nobody important on her phone. If you are really lucky she will be checking her hair and putting on her lipstick too.

I am sure there are more categories but those are the main ones. They probably hate Canadians who take photos and text, but actually I don't think they care too much about their cross border neighbors anyway.

Mother truckers on my ass

So what am I going to be doing over my last 12 weeks. Yes only 12 weeks left, I personally can't believe it. At the moment I am not doing too much as guess what it is raining. I am actually quite psyched on doing some walking and trail running if I can, my fitness has certainly taken a bit of a dive over the last 9 months. So in other words I will keep you posted as I don't know what I will be doing or seeing.

I tried to post the video I made but it won't upload. Will try another time. Sorry.


I thought I recognised the gray clouds and rain.

All photos by Caroline Harvey

1 comment:

Beth said...

Wow, that was a mamouth journey. Glad you arrived safe and sound. Hope the rain stops soon! Xxx