I am home from my Wonderful, Magical Road Trip and can say categorically it was the freest, most enjoyable, most interesting vacation I have ever taken-even better than the narrowboat holiday that started in Wales and ended with a week in York that Rene and I took in '02. And I thought nothing could beat that trip.
I admit to starting this Road Trip with a bit of trepidation, after both Peggy and my stalwart daughter Meg told me they could never embark on such a journey. I was not worried about the miles to cover or meeting people I had invited myself to visit, but of the times in between, when I had days and days alone. Loneliness was my main fear, and, to my great pleasure, I rarely felt more than a few tweaks of loneliness the whole 2000 miles!
I can honestly say the trip was so much fun that I'd leave tomorrow to do nearly all of it all over again, if I could. Unfortunately, I can't. The trip which went so smoothly for 23 days, ended with a bang the 24th day, on Rte 115 near Brodheadsville, PA, when I smashed into someone who had stopped while I glanced off into the woods, and totaled my car. Yeah, Bummer.
I've never been in such a crash before. I was well seat-belted in, and the airbags went off. (I never knew the one on the driver's side was pink, the one on the passengers side was green.) Smoke and powder filled the car, the woman whom I hit leaped out of her car, which did not look too badly damaged, and can roaring over to scream at me. By that time I was sitting half out of the car, saying softly, "I'm having chest pain, could someone call an ambulance?" Good strategy, cooled her jets fright down. I asked if she was OK, she said yes, but her puppy was upset, at which point the ambulance arrived and took me away.
I am fine. The chest pain was from the seat belt, not my heart, and while I spent rather too long on a backboard-nearly 4.5 hours!-they finally decided I was free to go, and I called a taxi and draggled into a nearby hotel, asking for soup and a room near an ice machine. I must have looked baaaad because they practically ran to get me settled. The next two days I was really, really sore, but have recovered well. Meg came to get me, and, though we argued all the way home (too much stress and pain, not to mention pain meds, on my part) I arrived safely and have since recovered.
The difficult ending did nothing to dampen my spirits about the rest of the trip, however. I loved it, Every day, the people I met, the back roads I took, the time alone and with my friends, all of it was fun and fascinating and even educational at times.
I believe I left off recounting my trip 'way back in early October when I was visiting Judi and Virginia, and our time at the Zoo. The one thing I forgot to say that besides the wonderful Octopus, I also got to see Judi's mural up close and personal. She painted it years ago, and I remember reading about it for a long time while she worked on it, and seeing the pictures she posted. I only want to add that it is more wonderful in person than in pictures, for I could look at each little bug, each special tree, animals half hidden in grasses, oh my! I felt the history I had read about in her journal all those years ago come together with the present in such a special way. Another gift from both of them-time and space to look and enjoy.
I will write more about the rest of the trip, my time with them, in Charlottesville with Mr. Jefferson, with Kas and her family (yes they are as wonderful, crazy and busy as her journal indicates, and I now consider them family, in a very special way), with Alpha, my friend Persephony's daughter, with my god(dess) son Ian, and with Martha, Adam's mother. (Adam is Meg's fiance.) I'll also tell about my continued relationship with Gertrude, my GPS unit, for she has now become another kind of family member-a pushy one!
I will slowly catch up with my journal reading, although some of it has already gone west. I had 876 e-mail when I got home and was a bit overwhelmed. Now I am trying to figure out how to afford and buy a new second hand car (UGH, one of my most hated time wasters, but necessary for life today, I guess.)
Many Blessings, Margo