We were going to hit California soon. Last night was cold. I had the blanket over the full length of my legs down to the sneaker on my foot, which was on the gas pedal. Joey was snoring next to me which was helping to keep me awake. We had been at Mount Rushmore earlier that day, as we trekked across the country on an impromptu road trip before school started back up. It was January so it was icy and snowy and really cold. And the night was colder. But we were going to be in California at the end of this.
Finally, after hours of lonely darkness with not even a star to smile down on me, the sun fluttered its eyelids on the horizon and gradually stretched out across the sky. We drew closer to the Golden State.
The sun woke Joey up. He struggled awake, stiff from sleeping on cushions next to canned goods in the back and he climbed to the front to keep me company. He pushed the bottles of Starbucks coffee drinks and cans of Red Bull to the floor. I was relieved and exhausted. We did not speak for hours, but it was a calm quiet, I felt more relaxed with him next to me and the sun across the sky. Something about driving at night makes even a strong person feel lonely after a while.
I saw the triangle that was the representation of us on the GPS cross the dotted line border from Nevada into California. California! It suddenly wouldn’t be cold anymore! I was so thrilled!
There was snow. There! I snapped my head back to double check a bush on the ground. Snow! Snow right on the bush! But we were in California! California is cold? No way.
But then it got awesome. We hit San Francisco with its glittery golden shimmery heat and cool wavy atmosphere. We got out of the car and walked around, we even got ice cream at the Ben & Jerry’s, and the guy behind the counter looked at us with a wrinkled brow when we told him we had just been at Mount Rushmore the night before.
This memory is from what I will refer to as the preview trip. The main event is still on the way. And rapidly approaching.
Photo by Joe Jansen