Tuesday, March 27, 2012
It's spring break and here we are in Sandpoint, Idaho visiting my husband's brother Michael and getting ready to ski. Hopefully. So far it's been a little bit Chevy Chase-ish. Halfway through our road trip we took a wrong turn and ended up meandering through the Palouse amid the hundreds of ghostly wind turbines and their sleek arms churning the air to pieces.
At one point, caught behind an bulldozer-carting oversized truck and its "long load" bodyguards, we peeled off the road to touch one of these beasts behind its barbed wire enclosure. If we were in a movie, this is where some alien or posse of meth dealers or flock of mad scientists would seize our trespassing selves and take us down to a secret tunnel under the dry land wheat fields and waterboard us.
That didn't happen, and we were free to make our way north and east to our destination.
Then, the rain started. A cold, wet downpour pelted our minivan windshield as we wound up the highway toward our destination, and, all of the sudden, our wipers froze.
By this time it was night, and we were still 20 or so miles shy of target. We had that long bridge into Sandpoint still to cross. I don't care what anyone says, driving post a couple of martinis would have been far easier. It was like seeing the world from inside a van Gogh, this mottled version of the landscape. The rain continued to fall on my head, which was hanging out the passenger window guiding my husband's journey with such specific instructions as, "You're veering a wee bit too close to the guardrail." And, "Okay, looks like we're about to lose our lane."
Somehow we made it, and met Michael in town, then followed his lead car to his house in the hills. Now I know what it's like to be the driver of an oversized vehicle everyone curses when they get stuck behind.
We slept. We got up, and Kirk's now out in Sandpoint looking for a mechanic who might fix the wiper debacle, but we're told the sun will be out all morning. So that's good. I'm thinking we should harness the power of one of those massive turbines -- maybe even invent a tiny wind-generated set of windshield wipers -- for the trip home later this week? It's always sobering to realize how at the mercy of civilization's milestones we really are.