“Could you please turn off the scenery so I can get some sleep?”
We’re leaving California and driving along highway #5 into Oregon. Tall firs and pines line the road and a soft velvet green covers the hills. Peaks in the distance are snow-capped offering a shocking contrast to the deep green tips.
The route takes us through several mountain passes, each requiring a reduced speed, which is adding extra time to our journey. Normally, we only drive three to four hours a day, but it is clear today’s journey will be closer to eight.
Neither of us slept well last night, and at one point we pull over so that Ric can have a half hour nap. I am sick. The problem with my teeth and jaw has worsened, and I’m unable to eat. I don’t know if it’s just that or if the M.E. is flaring up, or a combination of both, but I just want to bury my head in a pillow and shut out the world.
Except I can’t take my eyes off the view.
It is six o’clock when we finally pull off the highway and follow the GPS instructions to the Armitage Lane County RV Park in Eugene. We see what looks like an entrance, but GPS indicates it is further up the road, so we pass it by, realizing too late our mistake.
Now we are heading out of the city, on a rural road with no signs of a place to turn around. Ric pulls over and checks maps.
“There should be a street up ahead that will connect us to that road over there, and then we can circle back around,” he says, pointing to a parallel road in the distance.
We see a large truck pull out of what looks like a side road ahead. Ric makes the turn and we realize too late that it is a gravel drive of some sort. With nowhere to go but forward, we continue until we come to an old farm house that appears to be occupied, but is in an obvious state of disrepair. The yard around it is full of scrap vehicles and posted in several places are signs warning: “No trespassing. Stay out!”
“I have no choice. There’s nowhere to turn around.”
The gravel drive turns a corner and we follow it to a compound of some kind, fenced all around with barbed wire accenting further signs to keep out. We can go no further.
“We’ll have to unhook the truck and try to turn around.”
There is a bit of a shoulder on one side, but the other drops into a ditch.
“It will be tight.”
Ric sees a guy behind the fence and waves him over.
“Can’t do anything for you,” he says. “Nothing for it but to turn around.”
“You’ll have to drive,” Ric turns to me.
I haven’t driven for over four years, since the illness struck. My mind doesn’t work well at the best of times, let alone when I’m this tired.
Then just as I’m backing the truck out of the way, another vehicle approaches and a voice says:
“I’ll open the gate for you. You can just drive straight through and meet up with the road on the other side.”
I follow the RV, not wanting to make Ric hook it up again.
“Those crazy Canadians!” I joke to our saviours as we pass by.
We make it to the RV park on the second try.
This looks like an amazing place, but for now, I’m going to crash. Some days are just like that.