Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All the world's problems are caused by inanimate objects

Thirteen days and a new engine later, we're back on the road. The day is clear, we're driving toward snowy mountains, and the grey grass is frozen outside. Crispy golden mustard leaves float off birch trees, bright spots of color in a muted dying palette. Happy-go-lucky dogs cruise the highway, grinning with tongues flapping at oncoming death. Our mission: an 800-mile marathon of driving to catch a 4am ferry leaving from Haines, Alaska.

At the moment, I'd love to strip Gunther of his name, leaving him naked, shamefaced and anonymous in classic Hawthorne fashion. It's so frustrating, I want to love him. I want to trust him. He's just a hunk of metal, yet the source of all life's problems.

Anchorage was bittersweet. Though the rainy wait was not ideal, we had a lot of downtime in a cozy RV, getting know an amazing part of my family I previously didn't even know existed. Wendy fed us homecooked meals, Kelly drank beer with us, and their two daughters bounced around like monkeys with Spencer, the family shnauser (we really need to get him miniature vest and monocle.)

Last night we hit the road after the shop guys put their final painstaking Saturday hours into "the van from hell." They were as happy to see us go as we were to leave, I'm sure. As we were driving, we realized the feathery cloud-looking things above our heads were the elusive northern lights. We pulled over and sat there, watching the pale green lights dance and shift like spirits. It was like a close to our Alaska trip, a rare ethereal treat we've been longing to see.

I hope we can make peace with the van. It's not really something worth dwelling on, because ultimately there's no way this trip will be smooth and perfect. That's not what it's about, I don't think. Hey, maybe at the end of this I'll be this totally zen'd out hippie, everything rolling off my back like a duck. A cute one. Not one of those tumor-y looking guys.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All the world's problems are caused by inanimate objects"

Does that include wedding rings?

10/3/06, 7:47 PM  
Blogger Dad said...

Well Rach you have finally seen something I haven't. Stiff upper lip and tata for now.


10/4/06, 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love following your journey. You're both very gifted writers. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Aloha from Maui!
Jeri & Cliff

10/4/06, 10:37 PM  
Anonymous nene said...

i hate tumory ducks

10/5/06, 9:23 AM  

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