Monday morning we managed to leave the TRRR&RR early. Pa and Chelle got up to see us off. We were sad to separate so soon. In the black morning, the rain was delicately pattering a pattern onto the dust on the hood of my Dragon Wagon (the Saturn we have loved since buying it new in 1998). As we pulled away, the raindrops grew in size and frequency.
I took highway 78 from my Pa’s house because the road is in good shape, speed limit is 65, there is very little traffic and the view is lovely. My gas gauge was at about 1/8 of a tank (why hadn’t I filled it when driving all over the Treasure Valley yesterday?), but I knew I’d be on I-84 soon. Unfortunately, the needle drops more quickly at the empty side than the full side, and in half an hour, we were pegged on the red line for empty.
We continued on the Owyhee Highway till we reached Grand View, Idaho. Yes, there was a gas station, but no, at 7:05 am, it was not open for business. Instead of continuing toward Glens Ferry, I took the more direct route to I-84 at Mountain Home. I saw the Air Force Base for the first time (its dozens of bright white lights out there in the desert) and was glad I was never stationed there.
Along that highway, my windshield wipers stopped working. It’s a problem we’ve had with the Dragon Wagon for a couple of years. I had the wiper motor replaced once. It worked for six more months. Now, sometimes when the car heats up, the wipers just quit. The rain was coming down pretty good at this point. No wipers and no gas. I got worried.
We reached the interstate and a gas station with my anxiety at a steady interruption level. In hopes that a cool off would kick the wipers on again, we ate breakfast in Mountain Home at a fairly lame place. But our waiter was “fabulous” –bless him for surviving in Mountain Home- and in no time he had turned our morning into smiles. As we left, Miss T said, “He just made this whole day worth it.” Yes, we both adore gay boys.
Windshield remained determinedly impenetrable, and T recommended Rain-X. I agreed. It could be our only safe option. We returned to the gas station convenience store and got what we needed. I rubbed the Rain-X into the windshield in the nonstop rain, hoping some would stick to the glass. And it did! I could sort of see through the glass, and off we went. Gosh, humans create the darnedest stuff.
The rain poured harder and harder, and I found less and less of the windshield I could see through, as the miles clicked by. I found that, by keeping right foot on the gas, but pressing against the floorboards with my left foot, I could lift myself off the seat and peek through a little 1½ inch gap at the top of the windshield and still see the road. The Rain-X was great; it’s just that it was POURING rain and sleet and the other cars were kicking up muddy water overwhelming the miracle goo’s capacity. My leg got exhausted, I was scared. At one point we were forced to pass a triple trailer, and it was terrifying. I saw nothing. Nothing, for a few heart-pounding seconds until we passed the truck. Yikes. I was pretty sure I couldn’t keep it up till nightfall, and our hope had been to reach Moab that very night.
But, the Universe acquiesced. After we turned south from Burley, we got into some mountains and the rain turned to snow, which stuck to the windshield worse than rain, but didn’t come down as dense. I was able to sit in my seat and rest my leg. Then, the rainshowers changed intensity several times, so in the lighter precipitation, I could relax. Finally, after three hours of anxious driving, it was down to strictly light rain showers. The terrain along the Idaho/Utah border is very beautiful. My sketchy windshield prevented me from taking photos while driving, as I did last Spring Break, coming through here.
By 1pm, we were in the Salt Lake City heinous driving zone, and the light rain was interspersed with sunbeams. I let out a long, shuddering breath, and suggested a lunch stop. We splurged on a delicious Marie Calendar’s lunch and even bought a whole pecan pie to take the to boys!
The rest of the trip was mostly dry. After another 30 minute Japanese lesson, Tara and I were again listening intently as we waited to hear the continuing saga of Jason, Piper, and Leo – demigods extraordinaire – as they battled the children of the Titans while the gods of Olympus tried to resist getting involved.
Arno texted that he would meet us at the Information Center in Moab, and we found them without any effort. The sun had gone down, but it was still light when we found them. They led us directly to camp, and we were able to set up the tent with light in the sky. Then Arno “shooed” me up the rocks to take a look at the sunset. I carried my camera with me, of course. He was already in camp mode and I was truly spent, so I let him manage supper operations, and then pitched in fully when it came time to eat!