I thought I was ready. I really did. I’d been practicing my deep breathing and meditation in the days leading up to our trip and I was sure I had it this time. So there we were, on our way, and I was breathing a little faster than my practice sessions but still holding it together. I was enjoying the scenery as it went rushing by the windows—
RUSHING BY?! ACK! Must we go this fast?! Does this beast only have one gear? What’s the hurry? Isn’t this supposed to be a vacation?
So much for zen.
To make matters worse, if that’s possible, when we got to Calgary we picked up Teresa’s brother Mark and she climbed into the back seat with us. I thought it might be comforting having her there, but the first time I tried to take cover on the floor on that side of the truck I realized that one of my hiding places was now filled with feet.
Oh, the horrors of road travel. You understand, don’t you? Surely someone else out there must recognize the constant and inherent danger in hurtling down the road in two-plus tons of steel along with hundreds of others doing the same and often in the opposite direction? Seriously, is there no other way to get where we’re going?
Teresa and Nollind try to make things better for me, and I know they mean well, so when they scared me half to death by putting me in the trailer for a short distance as a trial, I forgave them. It started off well enough. After a Tim Horton’s stop on our way out of Vernon, Teresa and I went in the trailer and climbed up on the bed. I was very relaxed and happy to be out of the truck … until we started to move. Wait a minute! What’s happening here? This box doesn’t normally move once we’re inside it.
When things started to creak and groan I sat up. I couldn’t see out the window because the blind was closed but I could feel we were picking up speed. When the trailer wheels hit the first seam in the pavement there was a loud bang that sent me jumping on top of Teresa and trying to scramble down into the space between the bed and the closet doors. She grabbed me and told Nollind (who was on the phone) to stop the truck. The experiment was over almost as quickly as it had begun. A dismal failure.
It took some time for the excessive shaking to subside but, once back in the cab of the truck, I returned to my normal travel mode and stayed there for the rest of the journey. Funny thing was, travelling in the trailer almost made truck travel seem okay … for at least a few miles. At Calgary, when Teresa moved to the front seat, I was able to relax a little more and almost fell asleep on the floor behind the seat. Okay, who am I kidding. I was a long way from sleeping but I did close my eyes a couple of times.
This trip brings to mind a much longer journey on the horizon, our travels south this winter. Teresa made me a cave in the basement that I hide in during thunderstorms and she and Nollind have been talking about creating one in the backseat of the truck. I appreciate the thought, but there is one major difference between my basement cave and anything they can build inside the truck. My basement cave doesn’t move. But hey, I’m willing to give it a try if they are.
I realize that none of this tells you anything about our journey—where we went, what we did—only that it was hellish getting there and back. I guess Chico will have to fill you in next week, and I’m sure he’ll do so with much more enthusiasm than I could muster.