Tuesday, February 21, 2012
And here it is. The only decent shot I got on what was supposed to be a quick day trip to the coast and turned into a 24 hour debacle. I guess the story starts with the fact that February has been a rough month for me. February always seems to be rough, actually. I don't if it's because everybodies cranky from having to wear 12 layers of clothes between thier skin and the sun for several months or what, but I dread February every year. This February I've been struggling with overwhemling feelings and fears of failure as well as financial and employment problems. Usually a trip to the mountains or the coast helps put things in perspective for me, a mini vacation from my own over active brain. But this trip was not destined to be the pick me up I needed.
I woke up feeling a little less than fresh and my mom asked if I wanted to cancel for another day. But, despite feeling a little under the weather, I decided that the mental health benefits would outweigh the slight physical discomforts. We packed my camera, some snacks, and of course cell phones and wallets. I decided to wear my wool coat instead of my water proof coat because it's warmer and at the last second threw some gloves and a hat into my backpack just in case.
Once on the road, it rained the whole two and a half hours it took up to get there. It's February in the Pacific Northwest so of course it was raining, but this wasn't typical misty Northwest rain. It poured, there was intermittent hail, and the wind was so strong it yanked the wheel away from my mom a couple times, causing the car to swerve. But we were hopeful and determined and we made it all the way out to our destination. Originally we had planned on walking a two mile trail along some dunes from an observation tower to a light house. We got out of the car and ran up the observation tower, which was open on the sides but covered on top. It was so windy the rain was coming down sideways and whipping through the tower. The wind was so strong that it was making the metal grating hum and vibrate. Needless to say I snapped a couple pictures and ran back to the car, but not before getting absolutly soaked. I was beginning to regret wearing the wool coat and not the waterproof one.
And this is where our quick trip to the caost turned into one of the most frustrating 24 hours of my life.
Once we got back to the car it wouldn't start. Annoying right? But it happens to all of us at some point. My mom called roadside assistance and they told her someone would be there in an hour. We ran out in the rain to the little town we drove through to get there because we had been in a car for two and a half hours after all and I was feeling under the weather and therefore trying to stay hydrated and you get the point. Almost everything was closed except for one little knick knack/ quilt shop, which made my mom happy. She bought some fabric and we used the facilities and headed back to the car thinking we just had to wait a little while longer. That was at three o'clock. Fast forward through increasingly hostile phone calls over the course of three and a half hours and the tow truck driver finally showed up.
The next two hours were spent in the freezing cold cab of the tow truck as it went 35 mph down the highway. Next thing we knew the tow truck driver was telling us the truck wasn't going to make it up the hill outside Olympia so they had to put our car on a new truck while we stood in the pouring rain. They switched trucks at some country store with two gas pumps and an outhouse in the parking lot in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception, and they were going to leave us there. Needless to say that was not an acceptable plan so the first tow truck driver told us he would drive us into town while the other one drove our car to the dealership, with the promise that their boss "knew some places to get a rental" and he would call once he found something. Well, "into town" meant a 7-11 off the highway where the driver promptly and unceremoniously abandoned us with no way to get anywhere and no idea where we were. And you've probably already guessed that the boss never managed to call us back once his drivers where rid of us. All I can say is thank the lord for smart phones. I don't know what we would have done without my mom's blackberry.
We ended up finding a hotel for the night and walking through the pouring, freezing rain again to the car dealership in the morning to find out that they don't service cars on the weekend. That there wouldn't be anybody to work on the car until Tuesday because of the holiday weekend. I'm proud of both my mom and myself because at this point one of us should have just started screaming, throwing things and smashing windows while the other curled up in the fetal position on the floor and started sobbing. But we held it together and managed to get a rental car and eventually we finally made it home after 24 hours.
Now, if you remember back to the beginning of this story I said I woke up feeling under the weather. Spending three and a half hours soaking wet in a car with no heat, then two more hours in a tow truck cab with no heat, then walking through the pouring rain for a mile the next day did not make me feel any better. Since the weekend I've been laid out with a really bad chest cold and a cough that sounds like my lungs are coming loose, and I, like many people in America, can't afford health insurance. On top of everything, having to fork out money for a hotel room and a rental car, my mom found out yesterday it's going to cost $1,000 to fix the car and that's money we just don't have. I just want to cry for days. I don't know what to do. Sorry to be so depressing, but I needed to let it out somewhere and hopefully once I've written it all down and gotten it out of my head I can get on with trying to figure out what to do next. One thing I am very thankful for is that even though it is a very stressful time, nobody was physically hurt or in danger, and I have a very good friend who was willing to go to my house and feed my poor dog after I called her at 10:00 pm.