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Unchained

On the Road in Winter

On the Road in Winter

Being on the road is a remarkably liberating experience. All regular life, activities, and responsibilities are temporarily absent. No commitments and no ties. No work, no play, no boredom, no frenzy. Just the easy feeling of making steady progress.

I just drove from Alberta to California. It took me three-and-a-half days. In previous years it has taken four days in each direction, and five days when I stopped to visit White Rock. So, this is a record. A couple of things account for this. One is that I left from Calgary instead of Red Deer, thus saving two hours. The other is that I left in December instead of January and I took a good look at the big weather map before I left.

Normally I check the local weather as I go along and hope for the best. This time I visited The Weather Network website several times over a couple of days and zoomed out to view the radar map over the whole continent. That way I could see all the rain and snow in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon before I left home.  So, with a combination of good luck and good judgement, I took the best possible route which was south through Montana and Idaho, then west through Nevada.

I tried this route once before, but it was terrifying. That time I drove through several  blizzards and had to put chains on the wheels of my car to get through the Donner Pass. I was reluctant to do it again. As it turned out, though, this trip was the easiest it has ever been. There was light snow on the high elevations in Idaho and Nevada, but not enough to slow me down and definitely no need for chains.

Just me and my satellite radio, singing favourite songs, arguing with political analysts, and laughing at comedians.  Now that I have arrived, I kind of miss those few days where I had nothing to do but just to keep on keeping on, unchained.

3 replies »

  1. You have hit on why I like my occasional 3-week coast-to-coast drives so much: it’s those days of just “keeping on keeping on” and watching the miles roll by, unchained, with all regular activities and obligations suspended save those aimed at having a good time.

    Good to hear you had nice weather for your trip this time, Anne!

  2. What does it say about us that we like to spend days alone in our cars? We are either psychologically very well-balanced or completely anti-social. 😀

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