Friday, March 22, 2013
On the Road to Nowhere
Ever felt/feel like you were/are on the road to nowhere?
You know, where life just seems to be going nowhere, and there are no turn offs for you to
start over or get "back on track?"
I have felt these feelings at many points in my life, although a much anticipated camping
trip actually turned into this for me!
In the summer of 2010, I literally "rode the road."
(I know this story may look very long, but please read it. I assure you that you will be laughing by the end of it, even if it seems boring at the beginning.)
My family and I were especially eager for a camping trip that August. It had been a couple years since we last experienced the amusement of such an expidition! Consequently, we each excitedly prepared for the desired get-away. Reservations were made months ahead of time for us to stay at the beautiful Olallie Lake, where we were to spend four nights in a cute, little log cabin near the water's edge. During that time, we planned to hike at least one trail through the forst, and take a small boat out onto the picturesque lake. Plus, we looked forward to enjoying a camp fire at the end of each day. Full of anticipation, our vehicle was packed with not much room to spare, and a small raft lay securely tied on the top of our van. On the day of our trip, Mama as to drive my sisters and me out to our cabin, and then Daddy would join us the following afternoon. I thought this would most assuredly be the best part of my whole summer; that is, until our plans went amiss.
Yellow Jacket Delay:
On the morning of our awaited retreat, the 19th of August, my family and I were anxious to be on our way. Sure, we had a late start. Accounting for this delay was a yellow jacket sting on the previous day. The unfortunate wasp victim was my mother. She was itching and swelling, somewhat uncomfortably, from the sting she received. However, with pain medicine in her system, a poultice on her wound, and an ice pack taped on the top of that, our vacation was still in view.
At two o'clock in the afternoon, we left out Hillsboro home and hit the road full of energy and excitement! However, we did not get very far. My mother began feeling worse just when we reached Newberg, about fifteen minutes down the road. As a result, we stopped at a Thriftway store, hoping to find a medication that would help stop her sweeling, itching, and stinging. In the store, mom hunted down many ailes, reading the labels of all sorts of drugs. She even fruitlessly talked to one of the store's druggists for a good while. Meanwhile, my sisters and I waited out in our crammed automobile. As a great deal of time flew by and we became uncomfortable in our seats, I could not help but stare at our car's clock. One by one the minutes dragged by before my eyes. "What could be taking her so long?" my littler sisters consistently asked. The exclamations of, "I'm tired!" "My back hurts!" and "I'm hot!" rang through my ears. When my mother FINALLY came back, we were each excited to resume our plans that is, until she told us that she had found nothing.
Consequently, we visited another store. Again, my sisters and I tried our best to make ourselves comfortable in the car while she searched and searched for a remedy to relieve her worsening symptoms. Once more she climbed into our car empty-handed. Despite this inconvenience, we all decided we were not turning back and giving up on our long awaited camping trip.
Again, we set out on our adventure, even though the day was passing quickly and we were not much closer to our destination. Nevertheless, as before, we did not get very far. Upon reaching Tualatin, around four o'clock, Mama's arm was itching and swelling too badly to be ignored. Knowing she seriously seriously needed medical attention, we stopped for the third time, at a Kaiser Clinic. At the clinic, Mama first had to fill out paperwork and hope she would be seen. Then, she sat in a waiting room for an extended time before being examined by a doctor. Lastly, she was prescribed with a medication, which, of course she waited in line for at the pharmacy. In the mean time, my siblings and I sat in our car again. We waited, and waited, and waited. A long hour later, we watched with relief as mom emerged from the clinic. She had received some special medication and more ice packs for her arm. We were back on the road again and NOTHING was going to stop us!
Out of Gas
Our plans were proceeding well now as we made our way to our camping destination, but those plans would soon go awry. Fun conversaton filled our car, gorgeous scenery and a stunning sunset surrounded us., We did meet the homeward-bound rush-hour traffic, though, forcing us to proceed slowly. Yet, we were on our way, and that was all that mattered!
When we finally make it through all of the traffic, we were still happy. Cheerily, we drove from Estacad, listening to upbeat music and even now enjoying the setting sun, that shined through the forest's branches. Half an hour after leaving Estacada, however, we had a serious problem. Mother glanced down at our gas tank gage and to her horror noticed that it was close to empty! Over fifty miles lay ahead of us. We would never be able to make it with so little gas. Thus, we returned to Estacada and fed our hungry tank. It took another whole hour to reach the place where we made our turn-around. Would things ever begin to go smoothly for us?
Starting where we left off, we hoped the worst was behind us. With a full tank of gas, what more could go wrong? A few more miles put behind us, the clock showed sewven in the evening. Now, it suddenly started getting dark, and my family and I were beginning to get a little worried. What if the resort was closed by the time we got there? What if we had to sleep in our car until morning when we could get our cabin key? Or, what if our car broke down? We, only a mother, teenager, and two little girls, definitely did not want to be stuck all alone in the middle of the wilderness. Still, we made out way to our destination.
The Bad News
With our fun retreat plans still in mind, we continued driving. Unhappily, we found our Google directions becoming very hard to follow, so much so that we ended up lost. We did not know exactly where we were and which turn-offs to take. Repeatedly, we drove past a few of the same turn-offs, hoping to find a sign we had missed. Finally, we were forced to turn a ways back and stop at a ranger station. There, we found a couple ranger who readily answered our questions. With new directions we were back on track. When we at last reached the dirt road leading to our lake, it was pitch black. For a while, we proceeded slowly in our car as it rattled down the bumpy path. Then, we noticed that something strange was happening. Car after car passed us, going in the opposited direction, and we proceeded, the only people heading to the resort. At first, nothing seemed wrond. When the first and then second car passed us, we patiently moved to the shoulder of the narrow road to let them pass. However, when our van moved over for the third, fourth and soon tenth car, we began wondering what could possibly be the matter. Still, we drove on. After thirteen long, bumpy miles, we reached our destination at last, only to be informed that a nearby forest fire was changing our plans! A ranger standing at the gate which closed off the resort told us that the fire was raging towards the lake. In one hour's time the fire had gone from burning thirty acres of the surrounding forest to ninety. Everyone was being evacuated! We would not even get a glimpse of the lake! My family and I were utterly disappointed. My little sister, who had sat so patiently while stapped in her car seat all day, began to cry. What an end to our camping trip. It was now nine o'clock, and we had to make our way homw with no hopes of camping that later in the summer. Olallie Lake would not be open for another year. By the time we finally reached ou house, we had been sitting in the car for over ten hours! I have never been more happy to see my bed.
So yeah, I have "ridden the road."
Anyways, if you are feeling like your life is going nowhere, I encourage you to do the following:
~ Take a deep breath
~ Fix yourself up
~ Eat yummy food
~ Read a good book
~ Soak up the sun
~ Look at Pinterest
~ Make fun plans
Ta ta for now! :)
P.S. Please share your funny or sad stories like mine in a comment on here. I would love to hear from you and know that I am not writing to a blank audience. haha
P.P.S. I know life can get rough, so if you need to rant about life problems to a stranger, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org