I opted to depart Des Moines a day early on account of weather, and after seven hours of iPod-fueled flatness, I hit the Colorado state line. I texted a few people to let them know my whereabouts and within minutes, I went from the cruise control on 82 MPH to whythefuckdidItradeinmyHondaElementforaMiniCooperjeezuschriiii…
The snow was coming at me like I was in some weird vortex, lanes were becoming less of a certainty and more of a concept. I keep staring at the other side of the highway, seeing plow after plow, following them with my eyes like a snooty stewardess who keeps passing me over for the peanuts. After white-knuckling it for a good 10 miles, I pull off the freeway at Sterling, CO and try to check into a hotel, exhausted with the pseudo-hallucinogenic experience.
Yeah. Apparently everyone else had the same idea.
I get back ON the 76 and within a few miles, the blowing snow subsides and I’m back up to 60 MPH. Then there comes the Trans Am.
I’m just going to drop some waaaaaaaay random knowledge here and tell you that if you have a 1980s vintage Trans Am, it’s built for pavement. Or the salvage yard. It’s not built for snow.
And as such is the case, driving it 25 MPH in the only plowed lane of traffic is epic asshattery at its finest. I grew a pair and said to Beatrice Olivia (yes, that is my car’s name), “Darlin’, we’re gonna pass.” I swear I could feel her seat heaters kick into overdrive and with a flick of the turn signal, I passed the Trans Am going (gasp) 40 miles per hour. I was back on my way at 65 MPH.
Approaching Denver (within about 30 miles), the 76 turned into an icy whore. You could give this bitch your money and there wouldn’t even be a reacharound. Sheet ice on the highway. Beatrice whispered something that doesn’t bear repeating under her breath and we slowed to 40 MPH.
Apparently Beatrice was an ice skater in a previous incarnation, as she loves the stuff. Not a slip or slide, my Dynamic Stability Control kicked in and we slithered into the glorious magnesium chloride-lined streets of Denver with a gleam in our collective eyes/headlights. I had two dogs and two cats itching for terra firma.
Fast forward to this morning – part of the reason I came back to Denver early was to register my car prior to leaving for California. So I log into the County of Denver website to check on payment methods (as it’s something funky like cash or check only, no cards or no debit cards or whateverthefuck), and I see this:
So I’m printing it out and bringing it with me on my road trip to proudly display when my temporary tags expire. Fair dinkum.
The snow is still coming down here in Denver and from what I hear, my decision to depart early was a wise one as it’s freezing rain in Des Moines. The last thing I wanted to do was luge across Nebraska.
And so it comes to pass that at 10 A.M. on a New Year’s Eve, a redhead in Denver is watching puppies play in the backyard snow and pounding-out a blog post about yesterday’s drive. The trip to Iowa was a good one. I’m always grateful for time spent with Jason’s family and friends and we even got in an impromptu UNO night at the High Life. Given I hadn’t played UNO in nearly 20 years, here are some things I learned (and re-learned) about this favorite childhood game:
- There is no Motorboat card in an UNO deck (as Adam Pirillo would have one believe)
- Fuck You rules at UNO are harsh and people will lie to you. Lie, lie, lie!
- It IS possible to do an effective impression of a whale spouting water. In a bar. And NOT get thrown out. While this has nothing per se to do with UNO, it’s important.
There are reasons people come into your life. Maybe we’re not the ones to ask why, how or when, but it’s a real gift when you can be a part of a bigger buzz than the one we constantly feel obligated to create for ourselves. I enjoy being Erika and I enjoy being Redhead Writing. Yet without one, there’s certainly not the other. Like corned beef hash without a side of country gravy (suck it – I’m from the South). I’m awkward. I often say exactly the wrong thing at just the right time. I eat too much, I drink too little water. I’ll cry at the drop of a hat. I like superheroes, stories of the impossible and stupid jokes. I know more than is right and proper about the history of corsets and pattern making and…well, yeah.
It’s the only me I’ve got. And for what it’s worth, that “me” thinks it’s a crying shame there’s not Motorboat card in UNO.
Next stage? Denver to Studio City, California. Departure date? Tomorrow (with any luck). It’s amazing what runs through your mind when you’re driving for ten hours. It’s even more amazing what doesn’t.