Lots of things frighten me. Great heights. Driving mountain roads. Bugs crawling all over me. Women.
One thing I am no longer scared of is the dark. Once I overcame my certainty that squishy black things on my floor and under my bed were going to dissolve me (in retrospect, I may have been seriously affected by the original “The Blob” movie), I have had no issues with darkness.
Nevertheless, I scheduled all my driving during daylight hours. This was more from an alertness and visibility issue than a fear of dark squishy things.
However…my start this morning, for what looked to be a 10-hour drive to Denver, was planned for 5 am, but I was ready to go at 4:30, so I just took off. Even in that expanded daylight area, it was still pitch when I left.
No worries, though, as the trip started out nicely on a mostly straight and primarily traffic-free road. My biggest concern was not being able to see any wildlife as it crossed the road until too late. You can read more on that in the miscellany section.
A little while into the driving, I glanced at the nav map and was aghast to see the upcoming road. I already knew WY 22 had warnings for steep grades, but the upcoming turns…!
Trust me, the picture doesn’t do it justice. These were more than hairpin. And the road had the best of ID 32 (see yesterday’s miscellany). Add in no sun. Add in a 10% grade. Add in potential wildlife. Add in the 273,426 bugs coating my windshield. Who the heck made this road?
And yet…to give you an idea how my mind works…What I should have been concentrating on was how to successfully survive my travel on the road. What I was concentrating on was this blog. I was writing the headline and the first paragraph. I was taking mental notes on the contours and terrors of the road. I’m such a goofball.
Anyhoo, I made it and the day is full of miscellany for your perusal, so without further ado…
Miscellany of Day 28:
– As mentioned, the first thing my headlights hit as I entered WY 22 was a Game Crossing sign. Fortunately, I didn’t have an event until after the terror run. And then…
1 hour, 11 minutes into the trip, a chipmunk darted across a curve, going left to right. I swerved left to avoid him, which was wrong for two reasons. One, he then retreated back to the left (#$!%#) and two, an SUV came charging around the curve. I swiftly returned to the right lane.
1:51, two moose casually stood on the shoulder of the right lane. I slowed as I approached them and, sure enough, one dashed right (out of harm) and one popped across my lane to the other side of the road. I had to slam on my brakes because it waited until just before I got to it. This sucker was as tall as my car, so I figured it was better to let it pass.
1:59, two deer, munching on the left side of the road. Both skipped back to their left, no harm, no foul.
2:57, a bunny zoomed across from left to right, this was my closest call, as I only saw the blur at first.
3:01, a bunny (different one) zoomed across from right to left
5:25, one of those little rat-like creatures zipped up to the edge of the right lane and froze, then zipped back to the grass.
– I saw my first herds of Bison as I rounded into the flatter (and placid) areas of WY 22.
– Coming off of WY 22, I saw a sign announcing “Hatchet Resort”. I don’t know about you, but that would not be my first choice of stops. I can see the owner wearing a pig head and carrying a chainsaw.
– At one point in the drive, on an incline, the sun poked around a mountain and I was fully blind. I couldn’t see a thing in front of me (of course, it was as I was entering a turn…nothing like extra drama).
– I passed a turn-out for the Continental Divide at 9,654 feet. I would have pulled over for a look if it hadn’t been 40 degrees out (and me in shorts).
– At one point on the trip, the traffic came to a complete halt as the two-lane “highway” was reduced to one lane due to road construction. We followed the Pilot Car at 20 miles an hour over basically gravel, as they had torn up the previous road.
– I think I’m finally toughening up on the driving. After 7 hours yesterday, I did 6 hours today without a pit stop. Compared to my first trip to Jacksonville, where I could barely make 2 1/2 hours, that’s major progress.
– Following on that, I feel pretty good right now. I probably could have gone to a game tonight and left tomorrow. It’s a shame, then, that I booked the hotel for another night tomorrow, since the game is at 1 pm and I probably could have made my next drive the same day. Ah well.
After today, I will only have one more trip in double digit hours. After that, they should all be 8 or less. That should lessen the impact of those brutal same-day travel and game days ahead.
I need to catch up on some “real” work, stuff I would remember to get to if I had my trusty Outlook checklist, like:
– Give Subaru feedback on the good and bad of my new car
– Follow up with T-Mobile about that goofy roaming issue as well as the generally crummy signal strength I’ve been getting.
– Provide some feedback to the beta driving I’ve been doing for that world-saving startup company (I’ve been given the green [pun intended] light to explain more about that to you, I just haven’t found the time).
– Reach out to people in the cities I will be visiting for tips and suggestions on hotels and locations.
The weird start time tomorrow may play into that, considering the game ends in mid-afternoon (the stadium is only a 15-minute walk away), so maybe I can accomplish something in the down time.