That night, the night we drove through Narnia was a very scary drive. The truck was hydroplaning in black ice a few times. That’s one experience that doesn’t need repeating. The truck took it like a champion I must say. Thank you Cruise America! With the amount of publicity I’ve given that company they should sponsor me! Lol! We made it through in one piece though.
It’s very tiring driving in snow storms and icy conditions because all your muscles must stay taught and you have to lean the truck against the wind. It takes your full concentration and a lot of physical energy to keep a truck safely on the road. There are a lot of folks out there who drive like total idiots as we all know. I wish it was part of getting a drivers license to be forced to learn how to drive around big trucks and big rigs. People in cars dart around cutting trucks off, tailgating and just generally being twits. I saw a bumper sticker on one of the trucks that said “ Tail gaters will be road meat. If You can’t see my mirrors I can’t see you”. Quite a few mini heart attacks were incurred in that weather avoiding those twit drivers. We drove well into the night and we woke up after staying at a truck stop in Tucumcari NM to below freezing temps and a soft snow on the ground. It’s hard to really explain it but there’s something so cozy and wonderful about waking up in a new as yet undiscovered place in an RV. You have everything you need right there with you. Also you have your own bathroom and shower so you don’t have to go through the whole creepy rest area or truck stop lavatories.
I tried to remember to take a photo of whatever I first saw outside my window when I would wake up. Sometimes it was breathtaking other times it was just the side of another RV ( I skipped those ones) but the point is, it was always new. When you park at night in the darkness you really don’t have a sense of your surroundings so it’s always a cool surprise to look around and see where you are in the AM. I discovered that the food at Denny’s is not digestible by my body however they do make extremely fluffy very tasty blueberry pancakes so those became a staple on this trip. There are truck stops called Flying J or pilot where you can park overnight for free and they almost always have a denny’s that’s why I mentioned them. That morning I noticed a terrific rabble outside. There were Seagulls arguing with these small black birds. I had thrown a bunch of bread scraps I’d saved expressly for this purpose out onto the crispy frozen grass. I wondered what seagulls were doing so far inland. They really are quite huge compared to other birds. We finally got on the road and drove through until We were well into Texas.
On one of our earlier trips we had stopped at a truck stop and Gingey had woken me up chattering at something. I went to see what he was looking at and there outside were several young feral cats no older than 6 months or so. They were out wandering around and looking up at Gingey on the dashboard of the RV. It seemed like he was trying to tell them we were good folks as he had once been a free range cat as well. I went out to them with a bag of food but I couldn’t get close to any of them. I left them a small mountain of crunchy food under a tree and watched as about 8 cats came out to investigate what this strange new food was. I went online and tried to see if anyone lived nearby who could possibly come to help them. I did find a young man who said he would do his best to try to come and help.
I’ve read that feral cats must have physical contact and affection by four months old in order to be able to domesticate them and earn their trust. I have rehabbed fully grown feral cats before though so I know that it’s challenging but it can be done. Anyhow, we had a deadline so we had to take off and I had been worrying and wondering what became of the feral cat colony so coming back by there was a must. We finally got there at the end of the day and I waited until it got dark and sure enough there they were The Big Fluffy white cat Who is the Alpha of the group, the smaller regular coat white cat, the striped triplets and the spotted female. They were healthy and strong looking and I watched as they all began to hunt for their night’s dinner. I felt like such an idiot. They’re Cats! They are the greatest hunters around! Of course they had survived! What was I so worried about! It made me very happy to see they were doing well though. I’m one of those people who always seems to have animals show up who need help so of course I help them. Pretty simple. It’s kind of beyond me how anyone could not help an animal who has been brave enough to come ask for help.
Compassion is the single greatest action and greatest example of what it means to be a human being in my book. Some folks find dogs, some find birds, some find deer, skunks, possums, you name it. The people who volunteer to foster and rehabilitate wild critters and rescues are total heroes. Incredibly hard thing to do. Anyway, I digress, in the knowledge that little white and co. were fine, we packed up and got back on the road. It was pretty cold at that time, about 10 degrees below zero. The skies were grey and the time was flying by. I had to get to New Jersey and it was still so far away!Texas gave way to Oklahoma. Oklahoma was sunnier and warmer somehow. There are so many casinos along the i40 that it seems like you are passing one every half hour or so. We did stop once out of curiosity to see what these casinos were like Inside. It was a very strange experience. You go from being out in this vast beautiful desert surrounded by huge sky, hawks and ravens above you and a massive sense of beauty and peace, to a dark noisy large room filled with First Nations pensioners, eyes glued to their screens. It felt like I wanna walking through someone else’s dream. Suffice to say it is a very surreal experience. They bring a lot of money in for the tribes I’m told so that is a good thing. I have yet to develop my skills as a card shark. As we drove through Oklahoma I saw signs for the Cherokee nation welcome centre. My fathers family on his Maternal side were Cherokee. They were a traveling family, Horse people. Folks used to hire them to come and break wild Mustangs. Tough people to say the least. My great grandmother was very gifted with medicine and healing as well. I wish I could have known them. It has been a very tough time for me this past 6 months since my Mother moved on. I can’t talk or write about it, it’s all still far too painful. I realize how lucky I am to have had a mother who loved me and a family who still does. Many people are not so lucky. I always assumed that a mother’s love is a given, that it’s built into women chemically to love and care for their offspring but that is not actually true. Being on the trip, being distracted helped me in some ways.I didn’t feel like I was ready to do the shows or deal with that many people quite honestly but I had made the commitment before all of that happened. As we drove along and watched the scenery change I often wonder what the lives of the people whose homes, ranches, barns, RV camping lots and such are like. Each state is so different they might as well be different countries. The billboards had become very religious. Many billboards were about Jesus, pro life, guns and ammo, firing ranges, as well as advertisements for the casinos, Indian made pottery and gifts etc. Also the giant white crosses had started to appear.All along the i40 there are these gargantuan white crosses along side the road. I had never seen those before I started going on these road trips. I guess they’re there to inspire people or comfort them maybe? Or adversely to frighten them into remembering to attend if they’ve skipped a few Sundays? I don’t like any religion being pushed in my face by anyone. Period. If one comes to religion it should be by choice not force in my humble opinion.
We stopped in at the giant Chief statue bearing “Big Cabin” Oklahoma. It’s a truck stop in the middle of nowhere with a cool ultra twilight zone like shop. I found a ridiculous cat hat made for children no doubt and put it on and browsed for snacks. Two Hasidic Jewish men cane in and seemed to be having trouble communicating with the gal at the desk as they didn’t speak much English. From the looks on their faces they found the place twilight zone like also. The ladies at the counter were very cool, tough but funny and much to my joy they’re water spigots were on! We hadn’t been able to find water for the RV in several states and were almost dry. Everyone shut their water off so the pipes won’t bust in the winter. We filled the tank and gassed up then got back on the road and drove until we couldn’t go any further. I’m not sure what compelled me to do this but I looked on you tube for scary trucker stories and found several channels that cater to that subject. Stories people have submitted were read by the channels host. They’re completely DIY so the sound was often a little funky and being that the hosts are not professional voice actors the interpretations were at times very funny as they tried to make the stories as spooky as possible. They provided a fun distraction these supposedly “ True tales of terror” as we drove in the inky darkness.
We got up into Missouri and I was hoping we’d get the chance to stop in st this bizarre little strip mall I’d found on another trip called Uranus so I could buy one of their T-shirt’s “We bury Em’ deep in Uranus “ it still makes me laugh that T shirt In a completely ridiculous adolescent humor way. Alas it was night when we passed through and time was not a friend. We had a very long way to go and very little time to get there. We drove as long as possible until fatigue set in and we’d have to stop to eat and rest a bit. Missouri gave way to Kentucky. I don’t have much to say about Kentucky because we only stopped to refuel so I saw a lot of open golden fields, some horses and long stretches of road between truck stops. It was go time so we just drove and drove. Snow storms kept happening and ice storms ie. frozen rain. That leg of the trip can be summed up in one word.
TreacherousOnce we hit Pennsylvania we were feeling pretty good. We’d be in New Jersey with time to spare or so I thought. Our route took us onto a turnpike and that ended up being a total disaster. We got stuck behind a wide load big rig carrying some kind of giant equipment so we were stuck, we couldn’t pass it. He was going maybe 30mph. The hours were dragging by like a donkey on medical weed dragging a refrigerator.
We pulled over at one point to get gas and decided we couldn’t stop to rest because we had hundreds of miles still to go. I met some very polite friendly Amish people in the “travel plaza” while waiting to pay for the gas. There were about 8 of them all traveling in a mini van. I had thought they only used horses and buggies to travel but then again we were on a turnpike. They probably wouldn’t let them use a horse and buggy. That would be too fast for this turnpike. We hopped back behind the wheel and grumbled as the sun went down. A soft flurry of thick snow flakes had begun to fall and long sharp icicles had formed along the walls of the mountain sides by the road. In places there were long thin spiky trees that looked exactly like they’d been dipped in white paint. The road went directly through mountains in places. It looked like a giant pie slicer had just cut a slice through the middle of the mountain.
We were going as fast as we could go which was not fast at all then a digital sign read “Accident Ahead Tunnel closed Prepare to stop”. I was getting very frustrated indeed however there was nothing for it but to just turn off the engine and wait along with everybody else. I was supposed to be in new bloody jersey already and I here I was still in Pennsylvania!
The accident eventually cleared after hours of being stuck We put pedal to metal and drove non stop trying in vain to get to the show in time but we arrived exactly one half hour after the show had closed for the evening. We pulled into the hotel parking lot to a hundred or so drunk partying people living it up in the lobby and smoking outside.
It was so cold I couldn’t believe these folks in bare skin and costumes were running around like it was 75 degrees! Very devoted to their characters I must say! I do love the creativity of these people. Some of the costumes I’m told take a full year to create. When you move to a place with a warm climate I swear you get thin skinned. I used to be a cold weather person having grown up in British Columbia and London UK and Europe I love weather and seasons but nowadays after living in California I get chilly in s snap. We parked the RV around back and being far too exhausted to unpack we turned off the engine and fell straight asleep. The next day I had an early start and a huge mass of people to meet. Folks in New Jersey were very sweet, polite and funny. I got many hugs and a great deal of Love. There were a lot of people who were upset that I was a day late but once they heard what had happened with the drive they were very understanding. Anyone who’s ever been on a long road trip understands that there are always unforeseen happenings. I was just glad to arrive in one piece and with the RV intact! Gbear was so glad to be stopped he just passed out and slept the whole week end.The rest of the weekend was so busy I didn’t stop. It flew by and before I knew it, we were done and packing up for the next leg of the trip.
That particular show had all four of the women from The Craft present and it was nice to see so much love from fans of the film. I never had a clue how big that movie was. For me it was a job. With Film you can’t ever really have any idea of how successful it is when you’re in it, I suppose for the very fact that you are In It. It’s hard to explain but there it is. With music or theatre you get a sense of how the audience feels through applause, audience reaction but with film you do your job then you go home. That’s it. I learned early on not to read reviews. So all these years later finding out that it was this huge cult hit for a whole generation of people was a revelation. The ladies all look so beautiful still. It was a good time all around.
So on the Sunday evening after the show we packed up and started to head to our next destination, Cincinnati Ohio.
Part 3 coming soon:) Fx