Saturday, January 24, 2009

2,595 miles

Most people who read this blog already know we ended up driving to Texas in the middle of possibly the worst snowstorm Washington and Oregon have ever seen. We had driven to Adrianne's as planned (her massage shop was open, despite the storm) and got the news of our flight cancellation at about 10 PM, three hours before scheduled lift-off. Continental Airlines' next available flight would have touched down on Dec 26th, and that just wasn't going to work for us. (I have to say, I was impressed that Continental did offer to refund our money, which was really unexpected.) So, with no other options that ended with us in Texas, we got in the car and drove. Well, actually, we had to push the car out of the parking lot first, but once that happened, we got in the car and drove.

The drive itself was absolutely horrible the first "day". We hadn't planned on doing this, so we had not slept or packed food before leaving. The tank was full (good thing, too) because the Prius doesn't really use gas, I think it just evaporates in the tank real slow. I was afraid to stop until I was completely south of the storm, (it would have been beyond terrible to get stranded in Portland or someplace and miss Christmas altogether!) we drove 341 miles to Sutherlin, OR in just about 9 hours. That's an average speed of 37.88 MPH. Most of the time we were below 30.

Next we drove about 831 miles and stopped at the Hi-Way Host Motel in Pasadena, CA.

We had only slept a few fitful hours in OR, so I was pretty beat and for some reason I thought this was a cool, kitchy place to stop. It wasn't, really. It is the only motel I have ever been in that offered free cable porn by default (although they don't tell you this at check in). So, to the sound of the plastic matress cover crinkling under us and the gentle sting of bleach fumes stinging our noses, we slept the sleep of the dead.

The next morning, we left after an exuberant good bye from the very nice asian proprietor (I think we may have been the first customers to stay a whole night) and drove the final 1384 miles to Austin, arriving Christmas Eve morning around 9 AM. (I think; I was pretty out of it by then!)

We had done it.

When we left Bellevue that night and told everyone what we were doing, we got a lot of reactions to what we had done. In fact, at that first stop in OR, after we had slept a few hours, even Kathleen and I looked at each other and asked if we were doing the right thing. But I thought Corey had put it best when we called and told him what we were doing. We had driven a Prius 350 miles through snow that had all but crippled two states; we had driven when no plane could fly, when no train could chug, and we did it all with out chains. Corey's reaction, unexpected but appreciated, was this:

"That's badass!"

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