Thursday, May 23, 2013

Road trip frustrations and funnies II

This particular day of travel, had of course been planned down to the minute I would arrive in my driveway back in the Peaceful little town of Eagle, Idaho in five and one half hours. I had an extra hot Starbucks Grande Latte by my side, and in my lap for breakfast was my favorite, Bluberry Scone! (which we all know is basically a cube of butter with white flour, and 5 or 6 blueberries , dropped in so we can feel all healthy about it!)

I made up my mind I would not pull in anywhere to eat, couple rest stops and that's it. When I'm headed home..I'm not driving and enjoying the scenery..I just want to get there!

However, the stormy sky WAS determined to make me take notice of its beauty as I flew along.. with its ever changing display of different clouds, some white and flat on bottom, some black and low and heavy with drops,  it was amazing. Lightening flashed now and then, by the time I got to the Blue Mountains, it was snowing for about 20 minutes! What a show! Coming down the hill into La Grande and going through of the prettiest places Ive seen! Beautiful fields and pastures, with Majestic Mountains rising behind..Love it.

Well 3 hours into this trip, I of course realize that I am hungry. Already made one stop thanks to the Grande Latte, but determined not to stray off course for something as trivial as food, I decide to hit one more rest stop somewhere past Baker. Maybe check out one of those vending machines. Surely, there must be one or two "healthy" snacks available.

After using the facilities, even though the wind is blowing and it's COLD! I head back to the car to put on sweatshirt and gather up some change for my frugal time effective "lunch". As I head to the vending machine I notice that the thing is literally wrapped in a monstrous rusty metal cage with chains and locks and oh for goodness sake!!! Vandalism??? Clear out in the middle of nowhere?? For a bag of chips?? Rotten kids anyway, always ruining conveniences for the rest us nice people.

As I survey my selections, I am amazed once again at the junk people eat. I see that I have 3 choices of so called" Healthy "snacks.
(1) Yogurt covered fruits and nuts. (too sweet.)
(2) Dried apple rings (too boring)
(3) Wasabi nut mix...hmmm.enough sodium to cover a week, but..sounds tasty, decision made.

I have to reach about 2 inches into the cage to reach the place to put my dollar bills. (yes...this small bag of salty delight was $1.75) I am happy my hands are small so everything went in.  I press D2...clangity clang clang bag is dropped, just change...I notice it has shorted me 50 cents.
*sigh* I put the change plus more change back into the slot and again push D2 my taste buds are already happy just thinkin about this salty snack! Noises rattle from inside the machine, I watch in anticipation...kerplop! Whaaat!!? I did not hit the M n M button..why did it give me those!!? (now don't get me wrong, I love M n Ms...but this was NOT my I'm getting mad.
I stomp back to the car for more change and toss the random unwanted snack in the front seat. I return to the armour wrapped enemy put in more money and PUNCH the darn D2...noises, rumbling sounds from within the protected beast..yes!! the proper lever is moving..the bag moves forward starts to drop...... but it does NOT drop. It is of course hanging by juuust a corner... "Are you KIDDING me??" Much to the delight of the truckers and other Rest Stop Stoppers watching this drama unfold... I begin kicking the outside of the blasted armor, and trying to shove the thing out of its clutches, I body slam the side of it, then realizing my foot will fit in the area where food is supposed to come out, I give it four or five good kicks.I am huffing and puffing and realize..I'm no longer cold. I give it one last punch, which really hurt, then in defeat headed back to car.

There in the seat next to me is the crumpled bag of M n Ms. FINE. I will eat them.
I open the bag and try to shake a few out in my hand.. nothing comes out I look inside the bag and realize, this bag of M n Ms has been sitting in this vending machine since 1979. I start the car, turn on Ramble On by Led Zeppelin and head towards home. I realize by this time I could have pulled in to a Shari's and had a Cobb Salad  in the same amount of time I have "rested" at this stop.

I dumped them out on the counter when I got home just to document my experience which resulted in an empty stomach and a bruised hand.
and entertainment for a few other bored and weary travelers.

"Ramble on..nows the time the time is now to sing my my daughter says, "Led Zeppelin makes everything better."

Road Trip Funnies and Frustrations

We all know, Roadtrips come with many surprises. Traveling with littles ones, the surprises may be hourly.  For instance, one of my favorite  memories, (from my two year old, tucked in her car seat in the back of the Suburban) " Mommy, I have to go potty".".Mommy I have to go potty" followed by my ridiculous request every time to hold it just a little longer...this went on for about 30 minutes, when we finally reached a rest stop..she happily announced " I don't have to go anymore"..which of course meant we now needed to change her clothes. :)

Now this Roadtrip was recent in my travels, and was just me. Heading back from visiting my Kids and Grandkids in Seattle, I timed my exit perfectly(6:30) to miss Bellevue rush hour, and onto I-90 without incident, or losing my temper. I made if from Woodinville to Sammamish in 25 minutes and feeling quite smug about it all, was even congratulated by God with a beautiful Double Rainbow for my perfect plan of Departure                                                                               

 I set my cruise control (cause oh yaaa...I'm cruisin!) and put in my Favorite Crosby Stills Nash CD. Now as I'm flying along over the pass enjoying the tunes, the beautiful Mountains and trees, I happen to notice a flashing sign that was announcing the top of the pass would be closing in 10 minutes for Blasting, and would remain closed for an hour or so..DRAT! My plan had been foiled, and the rainbow had drizzled away in the relentless rain.

I wasn't about to sit in a line of trucks on the road, (or finally find out what its like to have to use a water bottle for a potty) so I decided to pull off at the pass and get something to eat. Why not. if all else fails, we can always eat to pass the time more pleasantly..right?

 I pull in to a Pancake house with about 6 other cars who apparently had the same idea as mine, which delighted the waiter who had just cleaned his section (and had probably just texted his wife saying he would be home in 10 minutes) was going to close down for the night.

There was already a table of three men finishing up their meal, about 3 booths straight ahead of me. They were probably in their 30's, the one facing me was a good 6'4 I'd say. I placed my order right away deciding on a hamburger and fries cause that's what "Tall guy" was having and it looked good.
I, of course was scrolling on my phone looking at my adorable Grandkids pics and whatnot, eating my fries..sort of oblivious to what was going on around me.

I did notice that the 3 guys had gotten up and were heading towards the exit which was right past my booth..but I didn't need to acknowledge them or smile, cause I was in my "iphone world" you know what I'm talkin about! Suddenly..I was brought back to real life as Tall Guy (seemingly) fell from the sky and with a thud was laid out flat on the floor at the edge of my booth, I couldn't have gotten out if I wanted too, and was too shocked to move. As Tall guy landed, out of his bottom half came a loud and surely unexpected fart, and the top half of Tall guy agreed with whatever was going on with the bottom half and instantaneously, barfed up that beautiful Hamburger he had just enjoyed. Now all the while, his kind buddies were along side him, comforting and assisting the best they could.As I put down my last "enjoyed" bite of burger, I of course asked if he was okay..since I was siting right there looking down at him..He was coming to consciousness, and apologizing and trying to regain his dignity, (trust me, at this point, the poor guy had none), his friends pulled him up to a seated position with his back leaning against my seat.  

Apparently, they had just ridden they're bicycles up the pass and his body did NOT think that burger was a great end to the day! He was so embarrassed, ( hey..we ALL were!!) Poor guy! I just tried to act like it was no big deal and continued eating my fries so he wouldn't think he had ruined my meal, which of course he kinda had. Just before they got him up off the floor to leave, he leaned his head back and said to me with a sheepish grin.." It was nice having dinner with you!"

Our bodies are amazing, miraculous...when we have control of them.

Heres to you tall guy..Ride on!


Dry Creek Path

So..about this path (the literal path)...…

   It is two blocks from my neighborhood and I found it by chance shortly after we moved here to Eagle Idaho.It is hidden by trees at the end of a soccer field, like a treasure, like going through the wardrobe in the book of Narnia, is what it felt like  (and still does) to me when I first followed it.

   It was in October of last year, when I first wandered it with my faithful Black Lab, Chandler. I knew no one here at the time so it was just the two of us. But what I would soon learn, it was traveled by a regular group and their canine companions daily as well.  A rare and wonderful place you can actually let your dogs run free to explore the woods, fields, lake and creek that runs along side. All dogs on this path literally are grinning from ear to ear with their tongues hanging out in the middle!

   As we would greet the same people almost everyday, first for some reason we would learn the dogs names, Chauncy, Forrest, Lucy...then we started remembering the owners names by pairing them with their dogs.

    Some of us haven't combed our hair yet,or brushed our teeth, we most the time have on the same coats, boots sweats we wear of it is..? No one cares!

   Dogs on the path love the excitement of other dogs, chasing squirrels and an occasional fox..but we two legged creatures? We walk this same trail day after day for other reasons. The physical walk of 2 miles is reason enough of course. But we also are breathing in Nature,Beauty Peace, and Faith in the God that  placed it all around us. We see the changing of the Seasons, The Circle of Life if I might borrow a line from The Lion King. The Leaves that turned more amazing colors than are describable, that shone in the Autumn sun in all their glory, then fell one by one to paint the path and carpet the way into Winter, which came with sparkling white branches and the sound of frozen snow under our boots.

    It was such a joy to see Spring unfurl as we walked along, The green that emerged and spread on a daily basis..The birds who inhabit all this beauty go wild with joy! Blackbirds, robins, sparrows, singing their different and beautiful songs, chasing each other through the air, carrying sticks and grasses to build their nests! Two owls that sit up above a large branch Hanging overhead sing their haunting song in the late evening,telling us all to go home and let them have their way with the night.

    There are box turtles who sun themselves in the sand on the edge of the lake, Bullfrogs emerge in the reeds of the marsh, and the two elusive" Stars," a small Red Fox, (whom Ive still yet to see) and a Large Golden Fox who graced me with his beauty two weeks ago (FINALLY!) Everybody had seen him but me. As I wandered past the field of Marsh grass, there he was! He was lying in the deep grass with just his head showing, watching my every move..I froze except to slide my ever present iphone out of my pocket to try for a picture, but as if to say "You cant catch me!" He rose and silently flew gracefully through the soft grass, his beautiful fluffy ringed tail flying behind him, he was gone so fast, I just had time to blink and wonder..Did I just see that??? It made my day! I have also heard there has been a Cougar spotted here ....I'm O.K. with just keeping that one an un-seen legend!

    I truly feel,  that this has been such a blessing in my life right here, right now. A Place to reflect, to talk to The Father, to Listen to Him, To thank Him, for this gift of Life, filled with Love, Joy, sorrow, heartache... to lift up those I love to His Care, and to keep walking on and on the path laid out before me that ultimately will continue around the bend over the bridge and to an Eternal home so beautiful even a visual person like me cant imagine!
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