Kate Ferriter | Artist | Blog Home |

The Drive. Story #3

Published on December 13, 2015

After a wonderful pizza party at Cathie’s on Friday night, we loaded up our car early Saturday morning. A few things in the car: important papers, a week’s worth of clothes, my Miyabi Knives, a couple of Le Creuset pots, blankets, flashlight, 2 cats in carriers, a litter box and music. Music. Now, I must tell you, that one week before departure date, our car, a 2002 bimmer station wagon (touring), decided it did not want to make this trip. It acted like a spoiled child. Alright then, as we were faced with safety and reliability, this was not good. We researched, talked to our trusted mechanic, and the consensus was, get a new vehicle. Damn! We found that Toyota of Newburgh was our best bet, and we traded in our car, and got a 2012, certified used Toyota Highlander. It was the best move we have made in a while. We did that whole thing in one day. Walked off the lot with every single thing taken care of.  It was officially ours, with the same plates I had from my Toyota pickup truck, and the bimmer. Now, we were ready.

Saturday morning was a beautiful sunny day. We said goodbye to our neighbors, and drove away. It was hard. I couldn’t look back. We cried, and then we just went. Put on some driving music, and off on our adventure. On The Road Again. Remember that one? We played it every morning, first thing, to get into the trip. Canned Heat, 1968! What a great song. The cats knew what that meant. A long day of driving.

So the first day, we only got through Pennsylvania. Driving driving driving. Lots of beautiful fields of green, nice farms, it was pretty. Which was different from NY. NY is beautiful, but was well into the fall season, and past peak leaf time. Pennsylvania was still looking pretty verdant. The cats, Buzzy and Fuzzy, were in their carriers, trying to make sense of it all. Fuzzy, little miss nosey, just curled up and said ok. Buzzy, Mr. Big Stuff, was pitiful. He gets motion sickness, and we had gotten anti nausea  medicine for him. Well, forget it. That didn’t work. He drooled and vomited the whole day. Cried, moaned, and was entirely miserable.

As we got to the eastern side of Pennsylvania, I was driving, and there were quite a few tunnels to go through. These were blasted out of the mountains, so it was really fascinating. We stopped somewhere, as the sun was directly in front of us, setting in the west, right in my line of vision. That was it. Time to stop. And that was how we drove every day. Until we couldn’t see, because of the setting sun.

We snuck the cats into our room, and fortunately they didn’t meow or say anything. They kept quiet, and we covered their carriers with jackets and stuff and put them on a luggage carrier, that we wheeled through the lobbies to our room. What a riot. We felt like thieves.

Day two, we discovered that the music on the radio had a huge effect on the cats. Especially Buzzy. We found that stuff like the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, that kind of stuff soothed the cats. Buzz settled right down once we put on the station with all that old music that I like. America, Michael MacDonald, you know what I mean.  We just zenned. Thank goodness. I will have to write to my vet back in Newburgh, and tell him to forget the medicine. Music is where its at!

Day two, we made it as far as Terre Haute, Indiana. Found a fantastic Mexican Restaurant, and had a wonderful dinner. But oh man, the next morning, my back went out. Yikes. I knew that was a serious digestive problem. I couldn’t even put my socks on. Arghhh. I took a bunch of Advil, and gradually it subsided. Wow. On the Road Again!

Day three, we got about an hour past Kansas City, Missouri. Getting through Kansas City was like driving through Hartford, Conn. times 10. What a road. Exits on the left, on the right, lots of curves, packs of motorcycles taking up lots of lanes, wow. It was intimidating. But that would be our last night on the road. We knew that the next day, Tuesday, was the big push. Make it through Kansas, and into Colorado. Wow. What a concept. We had no idea of what to expect.

Day four, we were ON THE ROAD AGAIN! The cats were a little fussy that morning, but we put on their music and spoke in singsong tones, and they settled in for the long haul. And it was, a long, long haul. Kansas was beautiful for a while, and then came the wind turbines. Oceans of turbines, as far as you could see. And fields, huge farms, big Agriculture farms that send the message of Big Business and corporate money. Unsettling! The grain storage buildings that look like cities. Then came the oil rigs. Then came the monotony. After 2 1/2 hours I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I couldn’t focus, so Terry had to drive again. But we made it. We got to the Colorado line, and hey, wait! It was this little sign, that said, of course, Welcome to Colorado. But it was small, and we just whizzed by and said hey, thats it????? Yup. And the terrain was still the same. How disappointing. No mountains in sight, still flat as hell, but here we are. The clocks didn’t automatically change, and we kept watching to see when in fact, they would change. It took at least an hour. And then we noticed we were ever so gradually going up. It was sneaky. You really didn’t know for sure, but yeah, my ears started popping. We stayed on the highway as far as Limon, and then got off onto route 24. That would save us about two hours. Rather than go to Denver and come down route 25 to Colorado Springs, route 24 cut off lots of time and we saw the real local scenery. Bison farms, prong horned antelope on some ranches, and lots of Black Angus. And so we came to our destination about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. Colorado Springs. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The Tuesday before the Black Friday Shootings. The Tuesday before the snow and ice storm that hit Colorado Springs on Thanksgiving Day. Well, here we are! Wow! Look at those mountains!

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