On the road again!

After a week of school I quickly reverted to my previous sleeping habits and slept till noon. Then I had some crates and water bottles to set up, laundry to do at my mom’s, stuff like that. We watched a movie, “Catch Me If You Can,” about this kid who runs away from home and becomes this conman. He has a life as a pilot, then a doctor, then a lawyer, etc., but he keeps moving cause the FBI is on his tail. It was kind of like my life, except I usually don’t do anything I could get arrested for and I keep moving because I love it. At the end of the movie the paternal seeming FBI agent who tracks him down gets him out of jail and turns him into a respectable bad-guy catcher. I was so dissapointed. I would re-write it so that he was always on the road and always loving life and learning how not to get arrested.

So I didn’t hit the road until eight. It was dark, and it was snowing. I love driving like that, when it’s not really dangerous but icey enough that you’ve gotta keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times. I slowed down to forty five going up an icey mountain, and a truck sped past me going the other direction. Wooosh! The wind came off the truck and hit my van. No brakes, I tell myself. But I’m sliding anyways. From the wind I guess. It’s just a little slide and I steer out of it easily. Going down the mountain was easy. Snowy, but not icey.

Going back up again it started to snow harder and the flakes were bigger. I switched off my hi-beams and I could see better, but not much better. I started looking for a pull out, but either they were sadly lacking or I just couldn’t see them through the snow. Soon I could barely see the road at all, just the edge when I got close to it. Definitely time to pull over, I decided, and I swear a pull out just materialized out of thin air.

Once I got the van stopped and level I turned the heat up on high and took Bro out. In the dark so close to the road and with his hearing going bad I decided to keep him on a leash, so we peed together under twin willow plants. I squatted and watched the snow coming down while Bro followed tracks under the snow.

Back in the van it was toasty, but I left it on with the heat running anyways while I climbed into the back. Just as I’d thought, it was cooler back there. I searched again for my missing journal and flashlight (they’ve gotta be together somewhere), and came up empty handed again. How many places can a flashlight and journal be in an Astro van? Yeesh. I rolled into bed, hitting my head on the ceiling again. I’ve been hitting my head ever since it started getting cold. Guess why? The damn memory foam freezes. I’m serious. When I first get into bed it’s hard and I hit my head. After a few minutes it’s soft and I don’t hit my head anymore.

I’m reading this great book about a lady hunter. It’s a whole journey, reading this book, and snugged up in a warm van on a cold windy night is a good place for it.

When it was as hot as I could stand it back in my little bed cacoon I turned the van off and went to sleep. I woke at four. Cold. I pulled the blankets up over my face and tried to ignore it. I wish Bro would sleep under the blankets with me. Things would be so much warmer that way. But it’s freezing so I crawl around and start the van again. My ethics are situational like this. Last winter in the snowey mountains of NM I refused to have the van on if I wasn’t driving. Chilly nights I’d snuggle up in fifty two layers of clothes under three blankets and deal with it because I did not want to be poisoning the land. Or I’d take hot rocks to bed with me. But here, now, wearing four shirts and two pants with just one blanket freezing my ass off, I start the van and don’t feel a lick of guilt.

I wake up again when it’s hot and turn the van off. The next time I wake up it’s noon, and I see that the plow trucks have come and plowed around me in my sleep. How could I miss that? When I roll out of bed it’s barely cold. I keep all my sweaters on, but I don’t need my coat. Bro and I dance around in the early morning cold. I have an urge to roll in the snow, just roll in it, but my fear of being cold stops me.

As I pull out on the road I look down at the odometer. I only went eighty miles last night, even though it took three hours. Good. This’ll be a nice long stretch on the road, even though it’s not that far.

Now I’m in a little touristy town of a gazillion restaurants and coffee shops, two art galleries, and (honest truth) not one grocery store. A blind man pushing a big old sled of stuff with a service dog pulling it and guiding him at the same time stops to say hi and tell me about the town. There’s hardly any snow here at all. Maybe I’ll stay a day or two. Or maybe I won’t.


  1. I have a question for you, Ms. Tara. Since your mom is a teacher in Alaska…I’m beginning my master’s in education, and this evening, my professor was discussing, casually, how ’emergency’/inclement weather days off occur around the nation: here (in Florida), we have hurricane/tropical storm days. In more northern climes, there are snow days. But he said, in Alaska, that there are days off for clement weather, because it happens so infrequently. And I thought to myself…I have to find out for myself.

    Happy travels! Keep toasty–it’s some balmy 76 degrees outside here, windows thrown open, ocean breeze–can’t complain!

  2. Just wanderlusting around Alaska.

    Tamara, not really. In some of the villages there’s no school on the first day the sun comes out, and in many of the villages they’ve given up on having school during hunting season cause no one shows up. But not in the cities. We don’t really have snow days, cause we are all experts at dealing with snow by now. We do have ice fog days tho. Cause you can’t see two feet in front of you and kids get run over by cars at the bus stop.

  3. I have a question too!

    When you travel through Canada, do you ever have any trouble at the borders…especially with Bro. I thought animals coming into to the US had to be quarantined, but maybe this isn’t an issue when going into or coming from Canada?

  4. I get searched more than most people at the border. They don’t like that I don’t have a job. You don’t even need a health certificate to take animals through, just a rabies cert, and half the time they don’t even want to see it.

  5. Catch Me If You Can was based on a true story. You may have wanted the ending to change, but in REAL LIFE that is what happened. He did some jail time and then started working with the FBI, which he still does to this day.

  6. I know it’s a real story, Liz. I can read just like you can. And in REAL LIFE it is fucked up that the people with status in the dominant culture follow people around, break them down, and assimilate them. Fuck that.

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