My Crazy Awesome Irresponsible and Much Needed Weekend

So there I was - in the middle of nowhere, pulled off the side of the road in the pitch dark, 20 degrees outside, a quarter tank of gas, no money, no drivers license...and then the cop pulls up beside me.

Okay, let me back up.

Friday. I was planning to travel to St. George that afternoon to meet up with some fellow bloggers for a weekend of R&R with my blogging community (see: stay up until 2AM giggling and gabbing). Bill would get home from his class around noon - I'd pack it up and be on the road by 1.

Sort of.

See - my drivers license is invalid. Apparently, they expire! Who knew? Bill and I have been trying to work it out for me to go and get a brand spankin' new one for a few weeks - but things kept getting in the way of me having a few hours to hang at the DMV to take a test to reveal my extensive knowledge of stop signs and right-of-ways. And on Thursday - the day I was finally able to make it to the DMV to get it taken care of - it was closed for Veterans day.

So I figured I'd have to stop there on my way out of town to get it taken care of. I packed a good book to combat the notoriously long lines and waited for Bill to come home from school so I could take off.

But Bill had some fires to put out at the university newspaper - and got home a bit later than planned. Then there were a few things at home that came up that had to be taken care of - and instead of getting away at 1, I got away at 4:30.

I was worried the DMV closed at 5 - that I wouldn't make it - that they'd say, "too late today, come back Monday" and I'd be stuck! But, of course, I couldn't speed to get there any earlier. I focused all my energy on disappearing, blending in to the road, being indistinguishable to any cops that might be wandering around.

I pulled in to the parking lot at ten to 5.

The parking lot was empty.

The DMV is closed on Fridays.

I sighed. I could do the responsible thing and cancel my trip - and I had been pretty conflicted about it, right up until I got in the car and drove away. We were watching our pennies, and this trip was self-indulgent. Not to mention my discomfort at the prospect of this introvert going to stay in a hotel room with three other women I've never met, before.

But there was that tiny voice inside me that insisted that this adventure was something I needed to do.

So at the freeway entrance, I chose the ramp going South. I called Bill, told him I was illegal - but going anyway, and he wished me luck.

I drove on - with my mom's GPS system and a book on tape as my companions. I drove out of Utah County (waving to Spanish Fork as I passed), past Payson, Nephi...on and on, down and down.

At about a quarter tank of gas, I decided to stop and fill up. I pulled into a flying J - in some small sign-less town - and whipped out my credit card.

It didn't work.

I had brought the wrong card. Grumble, grumble.

No matter, I had cash. So I paid, filled my tank, and pulled out of the gas station. Which was when it hit me.

Hang on. I don't have a working credit card. I don't currently have a debit card, because I lost mine - and haven't gotten around to calling in for a replacement, yet. (I know, I know.) I have a checkbook - but I don't have a valid drivers license. Basically, without the card I have the cash in my pocket to survive on for the weekend. $40 wasn't going to get me very far when I had to consider the gas to get back!

I spotted an off-ramp and took it. I wasn't about to call Bill while driving - I was trying to be invisible to cops, remember? So I pulled off the side of the dirt road into the gravel - this was an off-ramp that seemed to go either (left) to fields and fields (and fields!) of corn or (left) to the wild and untamed hills that were likely full of Coyotes that were watching me right. this. second.

I turned off my car to save my now precious gas - which made things COMPLETELY dark, and made me invisible to EVERYONE (not just cops). I had a stepper-trademark vision of my gruesome death when the semi that randomly took this exit didn't see me in time - so I turned on my hazards. I flipped open my phone and called Bill.

We tried to wrap our minds around this new development and what we could do - but I think my poor husband was finding it difficult to get past the fact that his wife was alone, pregnant, in the middle of nowhere with $40 in her pocket.

Which was when the cop pulled up beside my car.

He was just doing his coply job - seeing a car with hazards pulled off the road in the middle of nowhere. He pulled up next to me and we looked at each other - he with a peering scowl on his face and I with wide eyes. I shot into a sitting-straight-up position and yelled into the phone "COP!"

I'm sure that didn't look suspicious.

To my surprise, he drove forward and turned left (onto the road leading to the corn, remember?). Was he turning around? Was he going to come and see 'if I was alright' - at which point he'd ask for my license and registration? Was I going to JAIL?!

"Bill, I can't talk to a cop right now! I gotta go!" I snapped the phone closed, cranked the key, threw the car into gear, and bolted across to the on-ramp - where I quickly blended back into the rest of the freeway drivers.

I was going to have to turn around, I thought. It was the right thing to do - and I shouldn't have come anyway, right? Not having a license was bad enough...but now I have to try to stretch $40 for a weekend of hotel, food, and gas for a return trip. I should turn around.

I should turn around.

Yet I kept driving on.

At the next town, I pulled off the freeway again. I called Bill.

"I'm going to keep going. I'm half way there - and I just really think this is something I have to do."
"Okay," he said.
"Okay?"
"Okay. I'm worried. I hate the thought of you stuck in St. George having to choose between eating and getting home again. But I think this will be good for you, too, so we'll figure it out."

And so we came up with this really great plan involving writing a few checks for over the amount and a Target gift card, and I was off again.

I arrived in St. George at 9:30pm and rolled into the parking lot of the sketchy looking Coronada Inn; which Garmin insisted was actually called the "Coronada Vacation Village" (which Garmin pronounced Core-oh-nah-dah).

I wondered if my roommates were already inside, bonding and becoming BFF's - and I was gripped by a sudden and intense feeling of petrifying inadequacy. I silently cursed my shyness - reminded myself I wasn't in High School anymore - and forced myself out of the car.

...to be continued...

(what? Wyatt needs a snack!)

7 comments:

Nae said...

I hope Wyatt hurries up and finishes that snack. :)

*gu* said...

cruel.

I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat.

Janey said...

lol!! Hurry it up with that snack!! Wait, I need more details on who these ladies are.

That Girl said...

Wha-?!?!?!?

WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US THIS PART OF THE STORY?!?!?!?!

(Although I'm very glad you listened to the little voice ....)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

And now I know I should have thrown the pile of cash on the nightstand right back at you!!! You silly goose. So glad you chose illegal activity.

Hel said...

I'm with the girls above... what the?! (and so incredibly glad you decided to come anyway) I had breakfast with a criminal?? :D I can't wait to hear the rest of the story... I am thinking I don't much like Wyatt at the moment.

Grandpa Rusty said...

You do have amazing adventures.