We’ve been “on the road” this week driving to La Jolla. As we were driving down the I-15 Interstate, I had thoughts of Jack Kerauoc and his book, “On the Road” written over 60 years ago. An almost “cult following” for young people everywhere, the book is highly recognized by literary standards and considered as one of the top 100 English written books of its time. I wondered how many times his characters crossed these same roads as they drove, hitchhiked, or rode on buses back and forth from the east to west coast and back again crisscrossing the US. Since the book was almost autobiographical, I’m curious if Jack Kerouac ever did find “It” in his real life? Although my journey to La Jolla lacked the “cool” factor, the music of Miles Davis on the radio, and the recreational drugs, it did give time to pause. It’s interesting how the mind wanders as the miles roll by…
To be clear, we would never be driving this long distance if we weren’t taking our dog, Chloe, with us. Leaving her behind for a month is not a consideration. She is a great traveller and happily sleeps most of the way. In light of recent devastating news stories of animals either dying or being misdirected on airlines we will never put her on a plane. If she was small enough to put in a carrier under the seat in front of us…maybe.
There are always some obstacles along the way! It usually involves some difficult weather conditions. We decided to leave a day earlier than planned after checking road and weather conditions for the route. Heavy snowfall warnings were enough for us to get the bags in the car in a hurry (leaving some important items behind in our haste). This was a good plan as we were able to outrun the weather for most of the trip. Although, once we hit the desert, with high temperatures, the car started to overheat probably because it was carrying extra weight and the road is up and down and around and up and down and around hills. The warning light for the temperature gauge came on so we quickly veered off onto an exit that I’m sure was going nowhere! Before we got going too far along to “nowhere” we pulled off onto an emergency access between roadways…a definite no-no. While idling the car in neutral (as the manual says) a state trooper pulled up with lights flashing wondering what we were up to. After a lecture on why we can’t stop in these areas, we were back on our way. Thankfully the temperature gauge light went off and stayed off for the rest of the trip.
We were worried about the car overheating the next day because the temperature forecast was into the high 20’s. Thinking it was a good idea to get a really early start (to get ahead of the heat) we were on the road by 6:30 AM. It was still dark (sunrise at 7:20 AM). My night vision is poor, and the first stretch of road was (unknowingly) on the Virgin River Gorge which is a nightmare to drive blindly… white knuckle for both driver and passenger!!! Not the best idea…
Driving is probably the best way to actually see where you are going. We were on the I-15 almost all the way. Passing through six states offers real diversity in the landscape. I love the big sky country in Montana with rolling hills, the evergreen trees, and rustic cabins along the banks of the small fishing streams. The movies, “The Horse Whisperer”, and “A River Runs Through It” come to mind. Idaho, by contrast, is barren with the exception of scrubby bushes. It’s very brown at this time of the year and the wind does not stop. The bare, imposing rocky “hills” in Nevada and Arizona with the burning sun and hot winds are also not for me. Excitement builds though as we cross the border into California. It means we are almost there. That first glimpse of the ocean never gets old. It’s breathtaking. We are home!
4 thoughts on “On The Road…”
Having driven to Santa Fe from Edmonton many times over the years, I can attest that the drive south is a wonder! As one leaves the green of Alberta (summer drives!) and heads into the vast plains of Montana, the desert in Utah, and up into the high mountains of the Four Corners and into Santa Fe, it is truly an exciting journey. And, best of all, we’d arrive at the parents’ house, where a good old New Mexican dinner awaited! Have a lovely time, and give Chloe a pat on the tummy for me.
Every adventure has to always have some kind of challenges OR it’s not truly an adventure! Glad to here all worked out so far! I have learned from my experience with vehicles over heating …..that my husband puts on the heat full blast! What it does I’m not exactly clear …. BUT what I do know is that I feel I’ve cleansed my soul and I’m sure I had lost 5 lbs with all the sweating that happens!
Safe travels and enjoy the beautiful Ocean!
A lovely account of your adventure thus far Judy…hope you get to La Jolla safely! Enjoy the ocean air and beach where I recall you and Chloe love to walk! See you in a month or so….
Thank you, Catherine, and yes, I will enjoy long walks with Chloe!