I woke up in the Mt St Helens (area) campsite and it was blissfully cold. I was so so thankful. Whatever weather system had drifted in overnight meant a blanket was necessary and I was so happy I wasn't roastingly, uncomfortably, unable to breathe-ingly hot any more. Thank you weather gods.
But I also wasn't willing (or particularly able) to do anything.
Jason was awake, he called. We talked. I cried. And cried. And cried.
"Ahh, this is what I was expecting last night." he said. Well, last night I didn't have the luxury of losing it. I had to get myself fed and watered and situated for the night and then I had to rest. No time for getting some of the stress and upset out. But I did with Jason that morning.
I don't remember the call or what I said. I think I talked about the driving and how hard it was and how scary it was and how I was pretty much unable and unwilling to keep going, but going back would be just as bad. Being on the road at all was a bad thing. I didn't want to.
I lay on my camper van bed with my one blanket over me and I cried and cried and cried. Or, more to the point, I guess I let out some of the fear and stress and awfulness I'd gathered up the previous day. And what a day it'd been. How did "three and a half hours" of driving turn into a twelve hour day? (Yes, I know there was a ferry but still.)
So this was Saturday now (the day I was supposed to be arriving) and I didn't even want to leave the campground I was in. I talked to Jason for what must have been an hour and a half before I had that same sense of "I have to do something, time is running out" and I reluctantly got off the phone. I tried to make toast (minor fail but whatever) on the grill thing and had cold steak (just a little... hungry but unable to eat) and felt very dazed by everything and I tidied my space and quelled the panic of not wanting to move and the clock ticked closer to checkout time (eleven.) I prepared myself and the vehicle as if I was leaving (put the bedding away, hauled that heavy as bleep cooler back up onto a slightly different but workable spot, moved stuff around, etc.) and then I just kind of sat there. In the driver's seat (because there's no where else to sit once the van is packed for driving.) Just sat there. Wishing I could somehow stay.
Which, of course, I could have. I could have paid for another night. The thought occurred to me, it really really did, to just stay there for a few days until I felt ok enough to drive back home, but this somehow also didn't make sense. I was *trying* to get to Nevada. Trying. I'd not made it very far and I'd had a horrible day doing it. I didn't want to drive anymore. Or maybe ever again. But I think there was at least a small part of me that didn't want to fail yet. To at least get a little bit further. I don't know. I just know I powerfully didn't want to leave the camp at all at all at all but I sort of had to.
I was worried about time. I'd wanted (when I was pre-planning) to be on the roads early in the day. And certainly the cool weather that had rolled in made me want to be on the road while it was cool. I was getting anxious that the sun was going to show up and burn through the clouds and I'd be in that heat again while on the road and I was upset that I hadn't left hours ago. I could have already been... who knows where, and yet I was stuck right there in Washington. It didn't help that I was texting with two people who were also travelling to Burning Man and they had both left later than I had and were already at a similar place in their trip that I was... or even further. That was hard to take. Kind of rubbed it in my face that I was both late and slow. And alone. And miserable.