Warning! Gross bodily function details ahead!
When did I suddenly become my father? When did I suddenly develop the need to lock my family in a 10 x 8 foot steel box and drive for hours searching for endless shortcuts and back routes to get places? My Dad used to study road maps like doctors study x-rays, looking for the slightest hairline fracture of a road to haul us down. Somehow, I ended up with that gene.
We took the girl had her first extended road trip this weekend – a 6 hour drive through the rugged Pacific Northwest Mountains to a beautiful fishing village cum weekend hideaway. This place is remote; so remote that, for an hour and a half, you get absolutely no radio reception.
Things were going well on the 6 hour trip. We got up early and were out the door relatively on time. We had a happy girl in the back seat; thanks to some new Miffy books we had bought before the trip (nothing like some new stuff to bribe a kid into submission). Heck, we even managed to find gas for 8 cents a liter cheaper than in the city when we needed a refill.
Then the last 30 kilometers came. A treacherous, hanging off the side of a cliff drive on roads that havenâ€™t been maintained since 1956. Endless up and down, sway back and forth upanddown….you can see where this is going and it ain’t pretty.
30 minutes from our destination, on a stretch of road with cliff on one side and 100 foot frop to ocean on the other, the girl lost her lunch. Poor thing. She was spewing. And here we are – we can’t pull over – the road is too narrow and dangerous. So we have to keep on going, girl wailing and throwing up in the back seat.
Finally we come to a pullout and, since we are in the middle of mountain wilderness, there is a (OHMYGODTHATSCOLD) mountain stream running beside the road. We take the sobbing soaking girl out of the car and proceed to wash down the girl, car and car seat as best we can.
A short time later, the girl calms down, the mess gets cleaned up and we’re all strapped back in the car and on our way. A few minutes later we arrive at our destination – friends we haven’t seen much of since they moved to this remote fishing village almost 2 years ago. Our girl gets out of the car, grinning ear to ear. Her first words to our hosts?
And so begins a fantastic weekend.