Our volatile weekend began on Friday afternoon but I’ll fast-forward. By nine o’clock that evening we were on our way to our weekend escape…
Driving through old forests on a marginally maintained mountain logging road at night is sort of scary. There’s plenty of horror movies about driving on dark and heavily forested roads, in the middle of nowhere, that include deranged humans with axes and chainsaws. With new GPS technology, people have taken these seasonal roads during the wrong season – and died. Which obviously didn’t happen to us as I am here to tell the tale, and we’ve driven this one road, in season, for five years. Which doesn’t mean it isn’t scary at night as it does include potential encounters with black bears, deer, free range cattle and maybe an alien.
But we were brought down by a chuck hole. Sporty cars don’t belong on seasonal logging roads that are accessible for diesel trucks with monster tires.
Only one tire was destroyed but replacing it with an under-deflated spare-tire donut, while in a National Park in the Pacific Northwest, can be a really long 15 minute span of time. Even if you were lucky enough to have a decent flashlight, which we did.
It’s a 30 mile road with no cell service and our ancestors didn’t have it so good in their covered wagons. There was really no danger from foraging animals as we set our food-stuffed containers on the pavement to get to the spare tire. But logic takes a hike when you’re stranded in the wilderness at night.
We saw one other vehicle on that road and they paused, as Ed tightened the last lug-nut, to make sure we were OKAY. Then we slowly limped our way to our camp trailer and did little more than unpack our supplies and set up our morning coffee pot before we snuggled into a safe and secure sleep.
The next morning, Ed did his best checking over our sporty car so the tires would make another 40 miles, to the tire place, for repairs. He arrived unscathed but the damage was worse. Three new tires, and a diagnosis for an alignment repair soon. I spent hours in a meditative float in my kayak, in the middle of a lake.
I know I’ve been driving the wrong car these past five years. It’s a Tiberon – which translates to Shark. It gets great gas mileage and performs well on every level for a vehicle that will get me from Point A to Point B. It was awesome to have a really cool-looking car. But it is the car I chose while settling my parents estate. It is human to make unusual life choices during times of emotional turbulence.
I’ve never been a sport car enthusiast, though I am an admirer. My Shark was a great choice when I realized my parents were gone and my girls were grown. Getting a little wild and crazy is a good thing during turbulent times. And I’m always an advocate for having a Good Time. Especially when you are settling your parents estate and you are way too young to be an orphan and a mentor for the next generation.
But I’m also an advocate for living a long time, healthy and happy. This means my sport car days are ending. I’ve no clue what my future transportation needs may be, or what will be a good choice for the next five years. My girls and my friends all have opinions regarding what my next vehicle should be. This car has really been a wrong choice for me since the day I brought it home from the dealer. And that makes it a right choice because I don’t fit into a “type” anywhere.
I’m not normal. In my opinion, “normal” does not exist and is a goal I will never achieve. I wanted to be normal, according to others judgments, occasionally. But I could never promote normalcy on my daughters. And I’m proud of that failure.
The Shark has been my vehicle for seven years now, and that’s the shortest time I’ve ever invested in a vehicle. So it is time to consider the new adventures life offers, and what vehicles may be a good choice. For a few years.