Monday, September 10, 2007

PYRO CITY and Other Places of Note

I’ve got a bit of a rumble in my tummy. It started at about 7 p.m. tonight. No, it’s not a case of the stomach flu. My confidence is deteriorating because I have to get back on the road for home soon. Having just gone through it this past Wednesday, and planning to embark on the next leg this Wednesday, I’m just unstrung.

I think part of my apprehension would be due to my family’s recent and profound traveling issues. In the past 12 hours I’ve been utterly thunderstruck as first one brother nearly misses a flight and another one does! Ugh. I hope the bad travel karma ends with them. But in case you’re wondering what I’m actually up against, let me recap Wednesday for you.

PS – The DVD players were a godsend.

4:14 a.m.
On the freeway with one totally sacked out nearly-1-year-old and one insanely awake and talkative 2-and-a-half-year-old. So begins the hour-long monologue from Cooper on every thing from the dark to grandma’s house to the rules of the DVD player. When this child gets “insight” get prepared for a long listen.

4:29 a.m.
Pass the blue Q. This is the high-rise headquarters of the company I used to work for. Let’s just say if it only took me 15 minutes to get to work in those days, I would have considered staying longer.

4:56 a.m.
Cooper starts to nod off. Finally the chatter stops.

5:39 a.m.
Wyoming welcomes us. Not 4 minutes later we pass a corrugated steel warehouse emblazoned with “PYRO CITY” and I feel an unnatural desire to photograph it.

5:54 a.m.
Stop for gas in Cheyenne. During fill up Cooper jumps awake and asks, “Where’s grandma and grandpa?” This wakes up Mason. Oh buddy, this is going to be a LONG haul.

6:25 a.m.
Is it really 48 degrees outside?

6:35 a.m.
The sun rises (at our backs) and the temperature soars to 51 degrees. Mason falls asleep

6:39 a.m.
We pass the “Vegan Bus.” No joke, it was green, gigantic, and really said “Vegan Bus” on the side. Also, approximately 27 bicycles tethered to the top of it.

7:20 a.m.
Cool rainbow. Is it going to rain?

7:21 a.m.

7:34 a.m.
Mason wakes up and resumes his graham cracker snack, naturally. (This was the cracker I handed him back at the gas station – he didn’t drop it in his sleep.)

8 a.m.
Stop for breakfast and bathroom breaks in Rawlins. In walks an authentically dressed Wyomingite (cowboy hat, big belt buckle, and fancy tipped boots) and Cooper leans over to me and loudly whispers, “Mom! A real cowboy!” Cowboy hears. I permit Cooper to play on the McDonald’s playland for a few minutes.

8:37 a.m.
Finally back on the road and watching DVDs.

8:57 a.m.
It’s still raining.

9:55 a.m.
Mason closes his eyes, but I suspect he’s actually been asleep for the past 20 minutes. Cooper chooses this moment to dig through his backpack and excitedly whips out Moe Monkey and squeals, “What are you doing in here!?!?!?” It’s still raining.

10:17 a.m.
I can’t believe how quiet both boys are. We get to Green River and sail through the tunnel (quick reprieve from the rain).

10:29 a.m.
Cooper zonks out (I guess his 4 a.m. chat left him sleep deprived.). It’s still raining very hard.

10:57 a.m.
I think the rain is fixing to let up.

11:25 a.m.
We’re in Utah! The sun is shining, the boys are sleeping.

11:27 a.m.
Doh! Mason wakes up.

11:47 a.m.
Double Doh! Cooper wakes up, too.

12:12 p.m.
Stop for gas in Morgan. Was anyone else getting nervous about how long it had been since I stopped for gas?!?!?! I literally put in 16.224 gallons. Decide to stay for lunch and a bathroom break. Cooper smashes his fingers in the diaper changing station. Screams for a few minutes. I walk out to discover – by the stares – that the assenting opinion is that I’ve just beaten him. Oh well. Order super nasty taco stuff in the adjoined Taco Bell restaurant. While eating my bean burrito (is that a good idea?) a moving van full of Amish or Mennonites, or something pull up for gas. Didn’t know they could travel by motor vehicle. Watching them manage the credit-cards-only, pre-pay gas pump is fascinating.

1:01 p.m.
Back in the car. Guess what? It’s raining.

1:30 p.m.
Full belly has put Mason to sleep.

2:15 p.m.
Cross the Utah-Idaho stateline. Mason is still asleep and Cooper is quiet as a mouse (watching DVD). Note to self: Don’t EVER move to Malad.

2:44 p.m.
Mason wakes up, though peacefully. Think I’ll power through.

3:16 p.m.
Cooper says, “Ewwww, smell my feet. They are stinky.”

3:40 p.m.
Poor Mason. Done with riding in the car. To entertain him Cooper and I start making up songs about stinky feet.

3:44 p.m.
Cooper contritely says, “I’m sorry I swallowed a penny.” This happened more than a month ago.

3:59 p.m.
Pull into the parking lot of grandpa’s office. Ask for directions to the new house. But mostly, just want to see grandpa.

4:19 p.m.
We’re here. Cooper exclaims, “It’s grandma’s house – with the XBOX!” He has never played XBOX.

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