Paula’s Post #35 – Short and sweet this week folks.
I’m fresh off the mother of all road trips traversing more than half the Western USA in a marathon, four day trip through – count’em – California, Arizona, (okay, only a few miles, but it still counts) Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Oh, and British Columbia, can’t forget British Columbia.
My road to hell, as usual, was paved with good intentions. I was going to write. I was going to edit. I was going to finish polishing my manuscript in anticipation of pushing ‘send’ and smugly sending it off to the rest of the group before Wednesday’s May 15th deadline for polished manuscripts.
Alas… as we all now know, the most common of themes in this blog is:
Who knew that snaking through the windy, twisty, red rock canyons of Utah is, shall we say, less than conducive to writing?
Who knew that the world’s biggest rainstorm would strike, just south of Salt Lake City? (No kidding, I actually thought it was hailing it was so loud. My husband, who will drive through anything, had to turn on the four way flashers as we crawled along at 20 miles an hour on the interstate where the speed limit is 20 mph, which, as you can imagine, is less than conducive to writing).
Who knew that my husband would become fascinated with the Family History Center in Salt Lake City and need to spend three hours with the Elders looking up obscure Scottish Aberdonian families? (Who knew, for that matter, that pathetic, parochial Google doesn’t even recognize ‘Aberdonian’ and thinks I need to spell check it)?
Who knew that my husband would liven up the trip by getting caught speeding (clocked at 88 mph) but not get a ticketed because the ever-so-nice fresh-faced, Utah State Trooper conceded he could not vouch for the accuracy of his radar in the rain. And no, not the big rainstorm, just a little residual mist at this point.
Who knew that my husband would miss the ‘no gas stations’ for the next 100 miles sign as we headed into the Wallowa and Blue Mountain ranges that separate Western Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
Who knew that you could actually drive a Land Rover until the fuel range indicator read ‘0’ kilometeres left (at that point, my husband shut off the engine since, little beknownst to me, it plays havoc with the fuel pump and injectors to actually run out of gas).
Who knew that after travelling 70 kilometers with the fuel indicator light on we would hit ‘0’ just 3 miles outside of Baker City, Oregon, where the next gas station was located?
Who knew that my husband is soooo… lucky that the Utah Highway Patrol apparently didn’t tell the Oregon Highway Patrol that they clocked him at 88 mph, and that a mere 15 seconds after shutting off the ignition at the top of the road leading down to Baker City, Oregon, a lovely Oregon State Trooper pulled up behind us to see if there was a problem. And called Triple AAA, who dispatched a tow truck with gas and got us back up and rolling with 30 minutes.
Who knew Baker City, Oregon has a Starbucks?
Who knew that there is a fabulous, cool vibe to Boise, Idaho and that I would end a long and exhausting day driving enjoying the lively atmosphere of one of the most unique restaurants I’ve ever visited. In Boise. Check out Barbacoa Restaurant, where you can stimulate your senses and elevate your mind.’ (Actually, I just saw a bunch of really drink college girls flirting with the bus boys , but it was still a cool restaurant. I’m serious, you really, really, really need to click on the link above, you will so not believe it!).
Who knew that there is literally no where good to eat in Yakima, Washington. (If you disagree with this, kindly advise).
Who knew that Seattle, Washington has the worst F*&^%$ traffic ever in the whole wide world? (Actually, I knew that. Sort of. And Honolulu is actually worse, but Seattle runs a close second).
Who knew that I am married to the only man on the face of the earth who, a mere 200 miles from our destination, Vancouver, would say… “let’s stay another night somewhere nice”. (And for all you romantics out there, I highly recommend the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington).
Who knew that when I actually did pull out my lap top and try to write, write, write on the road, road, road, with the truck rolling, rolling, rolling, the battery indicator would show the same ‘0’ with which we had more than a passing familiarity after the running-out-of-gas-incident.
Who knew that when I actually got home to Vancouver I would be caught up in a non-stop whirlwind of friends, social engagements, work and ‘stress’ (the latter occasioned by the fact that our home is now listed for sale and we’re starting to receive offers… not fantastic offers, but offers).
So, as ever, I ask myself the proverbial writers’ lament – where did all the time go?
Seriously though, how can I be unhappy. I met some remarkable characters, saw some of the most beautiful, breathtaking scenery in all of the US, had a great time spending four straight days in a car and hotel rooms with my husband and a seventy pound poodle, visited some great towns and cities that would make fabulous locations for future novels.
Especially Boise. Who knew?
But I can’t think of that now, – I have to get back to writing. I’m determined to push ‘send’ before dawn tomorrow, even if I need to write and edit all night.
Tomorrow, I’m spending the day with my two year old grandson.
And, if there was ever any doubt, I have my priorities straight.
Oh, and to revive a bit of a ‘tradition’ I think we’ll need during the ‘Critique Retreat’
Miles Driven this Week: 1,600+
Dog-Friendly Hotels checked into – Three (but the Willows Lodge was da bomb!)
Pie’s Eaten This Week: 0
Starbucks visited this Week: 4
Pages Edited this Week: 55, (give or take).
Pages to be Edited Tonight (Monday) before the ‘Send’ button is pushed: 69
Pages actually edited Monday night: 17
Pages actually edited Tuesday morning 2
New house showings today: 2
Pages still to be edited before Midnight tonight: 50
Who knew I was going to spend the last 24 hours stickhandling showings and offers on our house?