But before I get into that, let me tell you about yesterday. It went like this: I got up, dilly-dallied, did my blog, and finally hopped on a bus at about 11 or so to catch the Greyhound bound for Kelowna at 12.30.
For some strange reason, they had us leave the warmth and comfort of the waiting room to go and line up outside waiting for the bus. We stood there for 20 minutes – waiting. At last, 8 minutes before the bus was due to leave, it pulled up, the bus driver got out and wandered off. The washroom? The vending machine? A quick tryst with a young lady (or man?)? Who knows. At 12.30 he came back and we were allowed to board. This took some time. Finally, we were ready – but then the bus driver got out again to go back to whatever he had been doing before (finish peeing?) and got on. He turned over the engine pretty close to 1 p.m.
Off we went. We drove over the Coquihalla. No more green – a winter wonderland. But he gunned it pretty good. Still, it was a long, five-hour ride. I managed to get two more chapters edited for Simon and we pulled into Kelowna at 6 p.m.
Simon had had quite a trip himself, leaving home at 11.30 and arriving in Kelowna at 5.30 – because he had to drive through a blizzard.
Okay – we had to find a better way home through the dark. Main highways! That was the ticket! And so we drove down to Osoyoos. Excellent. Great decision! Mostly it drizzled and rained and we made good time, which was great because this is the long way around to get home, adding at least one hour to a 4.5 hour drive.
We drove up the pass from Osoyoos after a half-hour dinner break and that’s when the snowstorm hit. Seriously. Vicious! The roads were insane. Simon white-knuckled it; I just tensed into a little round ball of whimpering horror.
This went on for a very long time because wisely, Simon decided that keeping his speed between 40 – 60K per hour was smart.
Finally we descend into Grand Forks. Whew! Still alive. We decided it would be smart to put on our chains, even though Grand Forks had clear, wet streets. We knew that Paulson Pass was coming.
Simon had never put on his new chains – no idea how to do it. A nice logging truck driver stepped in and between the two of them, they managed it.
Off we went only to find that the chains were making a very strange noise. Upon inspection, Simon discerned that the wheel hubs (or rims or whatever those things are called) were not made to accommodate chains. After due cursing, he got them off again. We had to chance the rest of the drive without.
Paulson Pass was vicious. I went into the fetal position for most of the drive and Simon’s knuckles shaded from white to blue. Every now and then we made some conversation, just to keep the dogs and ourselves distracted. Don’t ask me what we talked about – no idea.
By the time we got into Castlegar my chest was actually hurting from tension. We had expected Castlegar to give us some reprieve. But it was not to be. In fact, there had been no plows here at all so the roads were worse than ever. And did I mention that by this time we had hit one a.m.?
We kept driving – slowly – and finally a bit of improvement – then worse – then better – then, just for a change of pace – ice fog! Yay!
At 2 a.m., we saw our driveway and figured – home! And then we had to drive up it. Not so yay. We did manage to get the car to the top but it wasn’t fun. More stress. For the hundredth time on the drive I covered my eyes and with my inside voice sang, “la la la la la. Don’t want to know what’s happening. It’s all TMI.”
At 2 a.m. I filled my hot water bottle (no heat in the house all day) and crawled into bed. It should be mentioned at this point that every time I wrote “we” in reference to driving, I meant Simon – he’s my hero. Truly!
Yup – and despite all this, it was worth every bit of it. Seeing Sandra – touching her, kissing her good-bye, full body hug from Annette – hugs with Lee and Cheri – yes – worth every minute.
And here are some selected photos of the house. Other than laundry, dog walking and a bit of shopping, this is all I managed today.