Sunday, April 4, 2010
Once upon a time I owned a Jeep Wrangler. I loved that jeep. Loved it. It was equipped with a hard top that I could remove -- though rarely without smashing my own and my friends' fingers. One rule that I had to follow, however, was to leave that top in place from Labor Day until Memorial Day. If I dared pull that top off before Memorial Day, no matter how warm the temperatures, I would get caught in a freak spring snow or rain storm of torrential proportions.
Wyoming is a little bit like the Wrangler -- except for the part about love, because I certainly do not love Wyoming. I will not be traveling in, through, next to, or near Wyoming from Labor Day until Memorial Day. If I even hint that I might want to, please remind me of this vow.
I get my brother to help me carry my children to the car and load them up. I thought they would sleep through this transition -- since they only slept about 4 hours -- but am surprised to find they are excited to get in the car and open their bribes. In fact, both agree it's like Christmas.
As we drive in the absolute dark of rural Idaho toward the local Starbucks Mason cheerily says, "I think my daddy is saying, 'Huh? Where is my Mason?'"
Make it to Starbucks. Without my asking, Cooper volunteers, "Mom we don't need anything." Well, good, because the last thing I need is for you to ask for a Venti Caffe Late.
I load the John Williams playlist I have assembled on my iPod and turn up the volume. May I recommend listening to the Star Wars Theme while driving through darkness? Feels exactly like flying at light speed. Well, except for the part where it takes eons to get where you are going.
Pass Malad, Idaho and the funniest marquee sign -- too dark to photograph -- announcing Donkey Basketball tournament at the high school. Donkey. Basketball.
Cross the Utah state line.
Is it too early for Junior Mints? If the pretzels and Junior Mints I'm inhaling for pre-breakfast snack are any indication of the nutritional value of the next 12 hours, then I am in for a dietary disaster of epic proportions. Fatness is in my immediate future. Well, maybe not fatness, but some serious self loathing.
I80 (planned return route) closed at Rawlins, WY.
Begin driving to in-laws house for advice and a good internet connection.
After reviewing web cams along I80 and a few along I70 I elect to leave Sandy, Utah and drive toward I70. I80 is closed and I70 appears to have closures and chain restrictions 2 hours outside of Denver (final destination). As we buckle up to move out Cooper says, "I hate that Wyoming part."
Hit McDonald's for breakfast. Make mental note to TiVo Food Revolution.
Our first "pee on the side of the road" moment. Cooper christens the Yuba Lake exit ramp and says, "Hey mom, this is kinda like grandma's dog who pees on trees." Oh great. Are all men born territorial?
We stop for gas in Scipio. Mason is asleep and I can't convince Cooper to use the gas station bathroom -- seeing as he just relieved himself at Yuba Lake.
(doesn't look very comfortable, does it?)
Oh guess what? Cooper HAS to pee on the side of the road, again. This time Mason wakes up and claims he needs to go, too. But seeing as it's 45 degrees and windy outside, neither one of them has too much success.
Stop for gas, restroom breaks, and a sandwich at Subway. I have no idea where I am and am pretty sure I have never been in this town before.
Cooper falls asleep. My family -- back in Idaho -- starts to realize that I'm way off course and calls to check up on me.
With no brother to chat with, Mason strikes up with me (though he doesn't really let me have a word in edgewise.
"Do you know that I sometimes dream? Sometimes I tell daddy, 'I had a bug dream.' And he says, 'Huh? You had a bug dream!??!?!?' And then I was asking for you. And sometimes my dream is about stinky cheese and daddy says, 'Whoa! That's a stinky cheesy dream.' Actually I said, 'Which hand is it in?' and daddy will say, 'This hand.' And then I said, 'Which hand is it in?' and daddy will say, 'This hand.' and then I said, 'Which hand is it in?' and daddy will say, 'This hand.'"
Me: "OK, Mason, I get it."
"And then he sees the Batman helicopter and he will say, 'Where did you get that from?' And Cooper will say, 'How did that get in there?' And then I'll tell him to wake up. And daddy will say, 'Open your eyes Cooper.' And mommy I want it to be star wars.
It's official, I loathe myself. And also, my ass hurts. It could hurt because it is spreading right now. Can you get stretch marks from road trips?
Cross into Colorado
You know what I really want to "I Spy"? Home.
Mason falls asleep. Cooper and I jam out to Black Eyed Peas -- the only non-hairband my husband has on his playlist.
Mason wakes up and Cooper calls home to make sure daddy is at home.
Pull into our drive -- which surprisingly has about a foot of snow on it.