Road Trip

Jul. 8th, 2004 12:21 am
tamaravining: (UR Here)
Things worry me. People who used to be central to my life, part of my knowing who I was, planning to leave. Life. What am I doing. Things Changing. I handle change better than I used to. But this last Fourth of July weekend I needed to get away, and Saturday, not Friday, which would have made more sense, and not early, or even during the day, but Saturday at 9p.m., I took off with one of my best female friends to run over to Caldwell, Idaho. Spur of the moment drove 9.5 hours, to stay 4, and drive back 8. For the roadtrip and the mind clearing, healing aspects of the road. And to put flowers on my dad's grave, which I haven't done in almost 15 years, and which has been on my mind a lot lately, especially with so many friend's parents leaving the planet.

The moon came up over the Columbia river; an almost full moon, shining down for hundreds of miles, making surrealistic sculptors of a kind of bare, desert land. I've always wondered how there could be so much water there, and it be so brown. It was cool and bright and dark and good. Just what I needed. It turned out that was a good time to take off, as coming back it was 90 degrees and very hot. Though I like heat, it knocked Tucci out.

We drove Saturday until I was tired, for about four hours. Got a motel, then didn't sleep real well, but I was reminded of all the hotels and motels I've stayed in all my life, traveling and later going to conventions. I used to be able to drop off at the drop of a hat, but this trip I slept fitfully.

The next morning ate road trip breakfast at a Denny's, the only time, usually, that I eat there. Then on to Idaho, leaving Washington by climbing up about 3,000 feet to the plateau that is the central part of the US. Coming back, east to west, it's kind of dizzifying, coming out of the trees into wide open country, and dropping down, with all the big trucks on the freeway going so slowly, through 2 or 3 switchbacks, back to the flatness of wheat country in Eastern Washington. I get vertigo there.

Near Caldwell is sagebrush, brown country with cinder cones of old volcanos sticking up here and there. Then you come to the Snake River and there's lush green right up next to the brown, sometimes perfect circles of green from the crops, and how the watering system is this wheeled contraption that goes around and waters from a central point. Then a town that looks bigger once you're off the freeway. Maybe many small towns would.

I went, on the Fourth of July, into an Albertsons, bought flowers, asked directions to the cemetary because nothing was really looking the same and there were many new things there, and it didn't smell like cows anymore. Then went up a small bluff or mesa (which looked much bigger when I was smaller) and found the Vining name in the old part of the cemetary without too much trouble. The size of the cemetary had about tripled. Lit a candle. Talked to my dad for awhile. It was nice.

Worth the trip there and back. We didn't stay long, just long enough to eat, and for me to show her the little house, that also used to look so much bigger, at 108 Woodlawn Drive, the first place I had to memorize the address for, in case I got lost walking with my 2 brothers and sister on the way to the public swimming pool, which is still there, or to the park where my dad used to direct orchestras on summer days, or to the Dairy Queen for a Dilly Bar. Couldn't find the tree covered boulevard near the College, but it is probably gone due to expansion. Saw the stadium where I went to rodeos.

Then, back in the car and drove back 8 hours, singing half the way, quiet some of the way. Clear skys all the way, until we came down I-90 over Snoqualmie into Issaquah, and there were the Seattle clouds. The thing I love about road trips, even short ones, is that things look a little different when you get back. A familiar road is now connected, all the way back for 500 miles in the other direction. And it's good to be home in your own bed again.

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