Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Nine Hour Drive

Driving through the night can be a daunting endeavor alone. I drove up to Northern California this weekend. Left Friday evening and drove through the night. I started this strange adventure by coming home after work and packing light for a stay for two days. After packing I left and picked up some food from an In and Out Burger restaurant off the 210 freeway. It was delectible. I then proceeded to drive on the 210 in order to cut the time it would take me through the Los Angeles traffic on a Friday night.

Upon arriving on the 5 freeway, right before even getting far enough to reach the “Grapevine,” traffic yielded to a slow crawl and I was entrapped by all the other vehicles on the road. Something was wrong. A few miles later, there was a sign that read “5 Freeway Closed Due to Snow.” It was a disappointing sign, but not quite surprising, because earlier that day, it had rained hail in my city. That event is quite peculiar in Southern California.

So I used my phone to re-route my destination. The 5 Freeway was closed due to unamiable weather and what was intended, err, expected to be a five to six hour drive to Los Gatos turned out to be an 8 hour drive not including the hour I spent in traffic. It was a terrible situation that I wouldn't wish upon anybody. The inconvenience alone, as I can only imagine, would be enough to put some people in despair and not take the trip. I updated my friend who hospitably had me stay over for the weekend that I was most likely to arrive around 3-5am. It was indeed a terrible situation.

Now, before you make any more judgements about this, I want to say first that I've driven through the night for more than fourteen hours. I'm able to stay awake and cognisent througout most roadtrip expiditions. This few hours setback (four hour setback to be accurate), wasn't quite the ordeal that I was intending on taking, but it was an ordeal that I knew I could take and manage.

I drove through the hills with such vigor. First starting the journey without sound from the stereo system. Listening to my thoughts. Then played two hours of podcasts; then silence. Then the radio...

Then, I had a moment in my drive where I noticed the cars that were passing by on the other side of the road. Their headlights were illuminating the hillside or mountain to my left. I noticed what seemed to me to be lush vegitation, then my mind filled in the rest.

I wasn't able to see the beauty that was because of the abscence of light.

It was an epitomy... a simple one. Rushing in at 65-70mph in my car, I could not see the hillside next to me, just glimpses of it because of the cars on the opposite end of the road, heading in the other direction. There's a metaphor there; an idea so simple, and so common in my life that just resonated with who I was at that moment. I felt right.

After a nine hour drive I arrived in Los Gatos by 3:10am, Saturday morning.

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