Friday, May 4, 2007

Driving to Colorado

I met Mom & Dad at their house when Bobby went to drop Emma off. They packed and we chatted. Bobby came by to hang out for awhile before we left. He couldn't come because of the Saturday class he's taking (the instructor said at the beginning of the semester that if you miss three classes, he drops you; the semester is almost over and he's missed two classes). Dad was telling us that my sister Shannon had been over recently and said something about how she's been stressed out and moody lately, and Dad very non-chalantly replied "Yeah, women get like that when they are pregnant," and went about his business. Two days later, Shannon called and said that Charlie would appreciate if he wouldn't joke about things like that. Shannon had already taken a test and made a doctor appointment. I thought that was funny.

Mom, Dad and I left at 9:30pm. Mom wanted to take the first shift driving, so she drove until 11:30 when we reached Baker. Then I took the wheel and drove until 3:30am. Dad stayed up the entire time. "Dad, why don't you try to get some sleep?"
"I can't sleep."

Finally at 3:30 I decided that although I was fine to drive longer, I wanted Dad to get his turn before he was up way too long and was falling asleep. He looked tired, but I trusted that if he was too sleepy to drive, he would stop and let one of us take over, or even just pull over and get some sleep. I laid down in the back seat and tried to get some rest. About an hour later, I woke up and asked Dad how he was.
"I'm struggling."
"Well, I got some rest and feel pretty wide awake right now, why don't you let me take over?"
"I want to get to the 70."

I could see him drifting a bit, so I tried to make conversation to keep him awake; he was complaining about how since his surgery he had trouble with depth perception at night. The lights make it tough for him to see how far away the next car is, so he follows farther behind than usual. I mentioned that on the way back he should probably take the last shift, after the sun had come up. When we got to the 70 Mom had just woken up and we were both adamant he pull over and let me drive. Once we were back on the road again, he was sitting upright in the back seat, trying to stay awake. He eventually passed out for a little while, but when we would hit a bump, he would sit back up and fight the sleep.

I drove until around 7:30am when we stopped for breakfast at this little cafe in Green River, and on the table was a box with some books from Apricot Press. The titles of these books were things like "How to Make People Think You Are Normal," "The Fine Art of Worrying" and "GeezerHood." As tired as we were, flipping through these books we were soon laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. It was a nice wakeup.

Back on the road, Mom started driving, but from Green River to Grand Junction is a long straight highway surrounded by nothing... very boring. Soon after, Mom was looking sleepy eyed, even though she'd slept most of the night. So then instead of getting some much needed rest, I struck up a conversation with her and put on some music that wouldn't put her to sleep. We made good time and even let Dad drive again. Our trip took a total of 14 hours, and we arrived in Cedaredge, CO at 10:30am (Mountain).

When we arrived, all I wanted to do was take a shower and brush my teeth. We checked into the hotel and did just that, took about an hour nap.

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