Getting home from BM was quite an adventure in itself. My first solo roadtrip ever! I enjoyed it immensely, well, for the most part…
Sitting in my car for four hours in the blistering duststormy heat during the BM sunday exodus was not terribly fun though. ‘Specially since Agnitara(my subaru outback) choked up in disgust and refused to start somewhere in the middle of it. Luckily, two very kind men spent half an hour or so helping me diagnose why we couldn’t even get it out of park… As the car filled up with dust and everyone behind us made their disgruntled, or amazingly patient way past, we eventually figured out that it was stuck in ’shift lock’ and pryed the shift panel off to find the cleverly hidden lock button. That got her out of park but didn’t do beans for ignition-THAT took a jumpstart from the good woman a car over.
I kept her running from then on and had no more problems… Well, except for missing a turn in the dark and ending up in Reno! Hey, it was dark and poorly marked to boot! Luckily, some other nice Burners at a taco stand that appeared like a hungrylostgirl’s dream oasis on the long desert road gave me ample good advice and not-quite-so good directions that nevertheless got me to Reno after a few more turnabouts.
Reno was a garish mess of brazenly blinkling casinos and scarey motels. The first one I tried said ‘acancy’ in green, which looked hopeful, but after ringing the bell for a while and watching the blind(or mostly blind) manager feel his way to the door, I was informed it was a double and I left it for the supersized American couple who happened to pull up just then in their supersized pickup.
I headed towards the University, hoping for something slightly less squalid. A sign proclaiming: ‘University Hotel’ caught my eye and I made the stupid, stupid quickie u-turn that brought me up close and personal with one of Reno’s finest. The officer cast one eye over my dust-encrusted ride and gnarly green dreads and proceeded to grill me. I assured him I wasn’t the drunken maniac hippiechick from hell he took me for, merely a tired citizen looking for a motel. He looked pretty dubious and informed me that I’d be more likely to find a spot to park and sleep than a vacancy, but that if I did I’d probably get run off by residents or police sometime during the night. Sigh, so much for protecting and serving-I guess that only applies to properly groomed citizens. At least he didn’t write me a ticket. I thanked him politely and turned back to the obnoxiously glittering downtown lights. I pulled in to a tiny, grotty motel that said ‘vaca’ in red, after passing six or so that said ‘no’ in either color. After a brief struggle with the sliding glass door, I managed to get in and the big, blousy, tough-looking ol’ lady behind the counter took my credit card and then as a couple came in behind me, hastily told me to ‘go around’. She rolled her eyes at my befuddled look and gestured me out.. I walked around the front of the building and lo, there was another, identical sliding glass door! In I went and the very same proprietor lady came out from behind the curtain that seperated the two motels. I can only presume that I entered the wrong side-the side where you rent by the hour and definately not by yourself!
Ah well, at that point all I wanted from life was a shower and a bed and though the faucet took some persuading and the hot water cut out pretty quickly I quite happily made use of both.
The place looked even skeevier in the morning, but the lady was very nice to me and let me fill up my cooler from her ice machine. I hit the road fer serious, drove ten hours, stopping only for coffee and gas. Met all sorts of burners scattering off home in all directions. It was pretty cool, watching out for the dusty cars and tarted-up bicycles and big tired grins. Starbucks in Susanville yielded an insipidly sweet chai latte and an authentically sweet, tattooed, green-tufted hottie named Dragonboy.
I was pushin’ for Breitenbush Hotsprings, dreaming of the delicious sacred luxury of soaking in the meadow pools, dipping in the gorgeous river and steaming in the awesome cedar sauna cabin. My heart rejoiced as the roadside foliage grew gradually greener, taller and wetter-glad for the return to my beloved, succulent PNW after a week in the blank, hot desert dust. But Bend had other plans for me. When I got there and popped out of my car to ask directions, the first fellow I encountered was so staggeringly drunk he could hardly stand, let alone speak intelligibly and yet, he insisted on blathering me the whole incomprehensible nine yards. Sigh.
The guys inside the store were rather confused and confusing, so I asked a largish young man in a largish shiny truck on my way back out and he gave me excellent directions, but then told me that I couldn’t go that way because highway 20 was shut down from the forest fires and the evacuation of Black Butte Ranch. Doublesigh.
I gave up and weeded through a bunch of over-priced motels until I found one I could almost afford and curled up happily on the comfy queen bed, took a series of boudoir shots to commemorate my green braidiness,
luxuriated lavishly in the nicely appointed bathtub and my new favorite chocolate-coconut body oil-aaaaaah, my dust-dried skin rejoices anew to think of it! And then happily flopped between the lovely squeaky-clean sheets to watch the end of X-men and almost the entire Die Hard. I think he’d saved the hostages before I passed out.
I woke up to the phone attempting to compete with the crashing of a wild thundernrainstorm. My mom got all excited to hear I was in Bend-her new sweetie lives there! Soon, I was happily breaking my fast at Sam’s comfy, art-filled hacienda.
He treated me to a royal repast, complete with fresh-baked biscuits, bacon, eggs and ‘taters-God, it was good after all the road food and trail bars! Such a good, dear man. We talked and talked and he even gave me a spontaneous breakfast piano concert while I sipped my tea. It was the perfect respite from my solo road adventure.
Determined to spend at least an hour or two at my heavenly Breitenbush, I headed for the mountains. Agnitara bravely went up and up and up and down and down and down the steeply winding highway, through the swathes of charbroiled mountain forest amidst green, green valleys.
Breitenbush at last! I paid my $12 and went directly to the far meadow pool. It was exquisite, exactly what my poor car-achey muscles wanted. Aaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Later, in another pool a foxy Tibetan(I’m guessing) boy attempted to entice me with his knowledge of spirals(I was wearing a playa gift, a spiral pendant) and the Golden Ratio. His lovely lean muscles and impressive hard on vied for my attention rather more eloquently than his conversation, but I only had an hour and I really, really wanted to sit in the sauna. Still it’s always nice to be admired and the warm sparkle in his eyes as he handed me my towel stayed with me for a long time on the drive home.
I made record time, from Breitenbush to Seattle in four and a half hours, but I was really draggin’ my tail the last few miles. I was so happy to see the lights of my own dear city, I almost cried with relief! What an adventure! How great to come home to(in order of appearance) my garden, my house, my friends and housemates and last, but certainly not least, my kiddo.
Oh and my bed, my own sweet, sweet bed. I think I’m almost caught up on my sleep… Intense roadtrips are apparently a wonderful cure for insomnia.