A long time ago, back before the husband and kids, I used to go for drives. They were rarely planned, and while I’d take some of them alone, most of them were with a friend. I’d call her up pretty much anytime of the day (we mostly took them after 9pm) and say. “Time for a drive.” Within thirty minutes she’d be sitting next to me and off we’d go. Our favorite route was driving around Lake Tahoe, and we even drove the whole way around the lake several times.
While driving should be the last thing I want to do after a 1600 mile trip across the United States, I have to say that the recent 240 mile road trip I took was just what I needed.
Another road trip? What, is she crazy?
Yes, another one. However, this trip was different.
And, for the record, I probably am crazy…at least a little.
Growing up with Lake Tahoe in my backyard, I got used to the mountains and forest. The crisp, clean scent of the pine trees that with every inhaled breath brings back memories of camping. Like an old rustic nature scent with a hint of sweetness that just instantly calms the mind. I had forgotten that smell, and forgotten how grounding it is on the body. Now, don’t get me wrong, living out in the county of Oklahoma, we have our own set of crisp, clean scents. I would hardly call my little place of heaven stinky. But, in all honesty, it’s not like a forest of pine trees.
Along the 98 mile stretch of road from Gardnerville, NV to Jackson, CA, Highway 88 goes through the mountains. It’s a curvy road, that bends through the forest, passing through beautiful places like Hope Valley, neat little towns like Pine Grove, and even passes the ski resort Kirkwood.
It’s a beautiful stretch of road and it was a drive I needed. Of course, I could have done without the sick kids and circumstance for driving the road twice instead of once, but in the end, it was something I didn’t know I needed until I was living in the moment of it.
I had planned on driving through different parts of California to visit with family. Unfortunately, what I hadn’t planned on was my daughters both ending up with allergy induced ear infections (thank you, Nevada sagebrush) and by the time lunch was over with family in Jackson, they were running fevers and looked as miserable as they felt. So, with their comfort in mind, I decided to just drive back to Reno.
You would think that after three, fourteen hour days of driving and another four hour drive to Jackson and back, the last place I’d want to be was in the car and would count down the miles to get back to my parents.
Actually, it was just the opposite. With full bellies and some cold meds, both of the girls slept the whole way home. It was quiet for the first time in I don’t even know how long, and with the road so picturesque, I found myself wishing the drive would have been longer.
Winding through the trees with nothing bit silence around me was probably the most relaxing couple of hours I’ve had in days—if not months.
Sometimes, you just need a drive.