Ernie and I have just made an epic journey. I’m posting this from bright, cloudy Washington after having finally slept. The plan was to drive straight to Washington after work. I had never considered that we couldn’t do it until every single person I know said, What? You’re going to drive 20 hours with no stops for rest? …Well yea…what of it? We figured it’d be easy. We’d sleep in shifts and drive to Washington. Good times. But suddenly I had doubts. Were we going to fall asleep at the wheel from exhaustion? Did we need to stop in at a motel at some point? Who knows! I’d never driven this far in my life.
So Monday morning, I got up at 8 am to finish my stupid Excel class with my borrorwed computer lab book. Then I went to work, came home, and made dinner. THEN we set out for Washington at 1 am. I got maybe three broken hours of sleep in the uncomfortable front seat of the Corolla. By 5 am, it was my turn to drive. I got to see the sun rise in middle California. I drove for about 11 hours because Ernie got about 20 minutes of sleep the whole ride. We passed an exit for Hooker Creek and Auction Yard road, saw about a hundred thousand adorable cows, sheep, and horses, and zoomed past a gigantic metal horse-dragon on the side of the freeway that I desperately wanted to stop for. I wasn’t even tired.
We stopped in Redding for a revitalizing breakfast and when we got back on the 5, it had changed from a farmland straightaway to a curvy mountain drive. Trees popped up everywhere against the bluest sky, and the mountains were so clear and close, they looked like a painting. This is where adventures happen, I thought to myself. The second we crossed the Oregon border, however, it was suddenly raining buckets on our car and lightly snowing. It was surreal. The drops were at least three times the size of any raindrop I’d ever seen and I could see every one flying horizontally at our car. It was like being in the Matrix, if in the Matrix, Neo had driven down an icy mountain at 40 miles an hour next to a bunch of semis.
We stopped in Eugene for gas for about three seconds and happened to be less than a minute from Danielle’s college. We were so close, in fact, that we had gotten to her college, parked, and were wandering around tired and lost before she had left the library. Love to Danielle!
And even when we had dinner with the ever-fabulous Kate in Portland, we were still SO awake. The last three hours between Portland and Redmond, however, were the most hellish hours I’ve ever spent driving. There are no streetlights on the 5 in Washington and there are all these giant, looming bridges. Add to that a bunch of complete ass holes on the road and last minute directions and it’s a huge goddamn clusterfuck. Those last three hours were the only part of the journey that I didn’t immensely enjoy.
So there you have it. The 20 hour drive from Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca to Redmond, Wa is perfectly possible to do in one go. Next time, though, I’m not stopping for anything but gas, food, and peeing. Much as I enjoyed every second of our social calls on the way, I think those were what made that last three hours killer. So I will be enjoying beautiful Oregon and Washington for the next week. See all you mofos on the other side!