General Non-Fiction posted September 23, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level

Road trip

by Wendy G


We are doing another "fun" road trip to visit my ninety-three-year-old mother.
We tried in May - but Covid interfered, and despite travelling 2200 kilometres, we did not see her.
Our first day of driving was uneventful, but we were happy to overnight at the same motel as last time, with a deer farm on site. Our dog, Sunnny, was delighted.
Day two had a delayed start - we wanted to catch up with an old friend, so we didn't set out until 11 am. Shelley has cancer, hardly mentioned. A lovely catch-up, but we really needed to make up time if we were to arrive at our destination by dinner-time.
After travelling north for a considerable distance, we were to switch to a highway heading east to the coast. Forty minutes into our journey on the east-heading highway, there were warning signs that the road was closed further ahead, and we needed an "alternate route"! No other information. 
There was no viable alternative nearby - we were literally in the middle of nowhere.
The only "alternate route" was to backtrack to the intersection and head further north before joining another highway heading east; then we would need to head south again, thus completing three sides of a square - and adding a couple of hundred kilometres (and more than two hours) to our journey. By this time, it was raining heavily, and the long drive with limited visibility was stressful and tiring.
We found out later that a truck had caught fire, and the highway was closed in both directions - but for less than two hours. We had imagined a landslide or similar, on the steep and winding road. 
We finally arrived, very late, and exhausted, at our destination for the next three nights - a cabin by a picturesque river inlet. However, reality soon hit. 
It was small and old, very old, very tacky. Never mind, we could manage.
Then we heard it. A plane coming in to land at the nearby airport. I could almost see the faces at the plane windows! Every five or ten minutes they roared in and out. The deafening noise continued till 11 pm, then resumed at 6 am, when the day began with taking Sunny outside. 
Into the rain. Into deep puddles surrounding our cabin, almost marooning it. Not easy to encourage Sunny to do what he needed to do, as the puddles nearly reached his tummy.
Over the next two days we did enjoy visits with relatives, some close by, but my mother lived another 130 kilometres further north. More driving. More rain.
Henry had lost his wife a few years ago, at a relatively young age. A very reserved and private person, he had become quite depressed. We were his first visitors since our last visit in May. He was very appreciative of our company. Quality time. 
We did also have special time with my mother, (now very tiny and shrunken to a shadow, but still with a bright smile) as well as my sister, nieces and their families. Four generations live together, ranging from eleven years to ninety-three. It works extremely well. But the number of people meant I had little time for quiet one-on-one time with my mother. Will this be the last time I see her?
Last night - yet more heavy rain, and a storm at 1 am. Sunny was very distressed during its lengthy duration. We still woke with the alarm clocks in the sky at six this morning - planes departing and arriving.
We were to drive several hundred kilometres today, in order to spend the weekend with our daughter. We had chosen the scenic coastal route south and then would turn inland.
Plans were rearranged this morning. Many of the coastal areas were in danger of flash floods. They were still recovering from floods earlier this year, repairing roads and infrastructure. The heavy rains of the last few days had put everyone on edge - "please avoid the area" was the request.
So back we went, the long way around again. Intermittent heavy rain all day. So much for visiting the "Sunshine State"; we saw no sunshine, no golden beaches, bronzed surfers, blue waves. Just torrential rain, on and off, creating hazardous driving conditions. Is this the predicted third La Niña event? Will it indeed last several more weeks?
For the first time, after lunch today, Sunny tried to run away when he realised it was time to get back into the car. Do I blame him? Not at all. Enough is enough, and I agreed with him!
We have finally arrived at our final stop-over, near our daughter, having completed 2100 kilometres already. Hopefully a happy and relaxing weekend with all the family present will make the tiring road trip worthwhile. Hopefully too the flooded river 45 kilometres away will not impact our homeward journey.
Home is only seven hundred kilometres away. That's nothing!



Written on my mini IPad. I have no internet while driving, and limited energy by the end of each day to write or post stories. I hope to catch up some reviewing tomorrow. My thoughts are with all my dear FS friends.
I think I am having withdrawal symptoms.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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