Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Day Two's Morning

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. 


Jason Langlois said...

*hug* *soooo many hugs*

Victoria said...



Jason Langlois said...

It's hard to reply to these. They're so far in the past, so the initial impulse to mansplain or offer advice is pointless. And, really, over the years of reading your blog it's pretty clear you don't need that.

But what I feel, really, underneath the horror and wincing ... is solid belief that you can do this. I mean, obviously, you did this. You survived. But even if I didn't know the outcome, I would have faith you would come through.

Victoria said...

Aw Jason! You are the loveliest of lovelies and I SO appreciate your resistance to mansplain (the world needs more of that! ... the resistance that is ;) ) But in this case if you have something to add that might help me next time (NOT THAT THERE WILL BE A NEXT TIME UNIVERSE!!!!) I mean... if I ever end up driving a similar route or a new vehicle or something... or, no, not me, but hey, maybe someone else who's reading along about to do something similar.... if you have helpful stuff to add, I say go for it!

And thank you. (Other) Blog-Jason certainly kept telling me I could do it at the time, so it seems more than normal that YOU Jason feels I can too. (Even with the spoiler alert of knowing I'm home safe... we're kind of all reliving it... even I am, typing it all out again) So, thanks. Driving type stuff welcome from you, cuz you're the nicest :D

Victoria said...

I mean, there's lots of things I know now that I wish I'd known then... I won't be offended by advice, maybe I'll even end up saying "oooh, that would have helped!" or "totally did end up doing that" :)