After an experience that had me riding in an ambulance and wondering just how badly I was broken, when the doctor informed me that I could have weeks of recovery time and would be medicated to the point of being incapable of driving myself, but that I would eventually be just fine, I was immensely relieved. Temporarily broken I can deal with!
The downside was that I now had to figure out a way to get back home to Maryland without abandoning my car 1200 miles away. Behind the scenes, while I was in the emergency room with no cell phone and managing just two calls to my husband to update him on the situation, he and Cahlean, my Minnesotan friend who was to join me on this road trip, had hashed out a plan. My husband started looking into getting a flight to Minnesota, but Cahlean, latching on to a comment I’d made mostly in jest at 4 am, suggested he stay put while she drove me back to Maryland.
When Cahlean showed up at the hospital, it was with a plan and moments before the doc said I was free to go. She drove me back to her place, where we loaded up all her gear. Despite the crazy night and morning, we were on the road only hours after we’d originally planned, though heading east instead of west.
We decided that we’d plan our drive as it went, detouring as we saw fit and exploring when the mood struck us. We’d camp, as my back was quite happy with sleeping in the reclined seat of my Element, in whichever campgrounds were along our route. It might not have been the trip we planned, but there was no reason we couldn’t make the best of it!
Driving shotgun, I was free to play with my cell phone camera as we drove along. Our first sign that things were heading for fun was when we spotted the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. It does exist!
(small pic, because my windshield is very buggy, and thats just not pretty!)
I think it was at that moment, upon spotting the wienermobile and laughing like loons, that we began to fully embrace the new trip. It might not be what we planned, I might not be functioning at 100%, but we were still going to explore, photograph and find our silver linings. We had no idea just how fun, and surreal, those silver linings were going to be, but we’d find out soon enough…