Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our Drive to California: The Bad Part

After we left Las Vegas, the feces really hit the cooling apparatus…

Brian’s mom called about 30 minutes after we had gotten back onto I-15 S to see where we were and how things were going.  I told her everything was great.  That we had gotten to Vegas in great time, had a great lunch, and that we should be at my Aunt’s house in about four great hours.

I should have knocked on wood, but being in a car I didn’t have any readily available.   I’m pretty sure my words jinxed our trip.  Or maybe it was a sign from God that we shouldn’t be going to California at all.  However, He didn’t seem to mind that we were in Sin City, so the logic didn’t really support that guess… but still, God is a mysterious being that we can never fully comprehend.  All I really know is that from that moment on, our trip became a trip from Hell.

Traffic came to a complete halt and for the next two hours we stopped, inched forward a foot or two, and then stopped again.  I don’t even think we were going five miles per hour at that point.  Traffic was horrible.  I had been posting status updates on Facebook from my phone, letting everyone know our progress, and once I said we were stuck in traffic all I got were snide, unwanted comments:

“That’s what you get for traveling at the end of everyone’s vacations.”

“Welcome to California… be prepared to spend A LOT of your time like that!”

“We can’t stop here!  This is bat country!”

Maybe that last one didn’t really pertain…

Eventually we began to move again, driving along at 40 miles per hour without stops.  Later I think we even got up to the speed limit and then wham!  SNOW!  It was snowing just outside of Barstow and I couldn’t have been more furious!  The icing on the cake – supposing that our move to California was cake – was that I would be living somewhere snow-free!  I hate snow!  Why was snow following us to sunny California??  WHY, GOD, WHY??

So traffic stopped once more.  I don’t think it had to do with bad driving conditions, but more a shock and amazement that it was snowing.  People were getting out of their cars and having snowball fights.  Taking pictures.  Frolicking.  Making snow angels.

And for the next few hours we progressed slowly again.  It was getting late, we were stir crazy, and we would pass an exit once every half hour it seemed.  At one point we tried to get off the freeway and get a motel for the night.  We were both so exhausted…  But down there it was madness.  Lines and lines of cars at the gas stations, cars packed into the parking lots of the motels (all full by the way) and when we tried to sneak into a small diner to use the bathroom we were greeted with swarms of people and a cranky hostess.

Back into the car we went.

Another hour or so and we finally reached the exit to get to my aunt’s house.  We were so happy, thinking the road would be far less busy.  We were wrong, of course, and worse yet, the road was terribly icy.  We found ourselves in a long chain of vehicles driving 2 miles per hour, watching as various cars slowly collided and/or swerved off into the sides of the road.

We arrived at my aunt’s house at around midnight, when the plan was to get there by eight o’clock.  What should have been a fun four hour drive from Vegas to Palmdale ended up being an eight hour drive that pushed Brian and I to the limits of insanity.

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