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My Drive Home  
11:48am 25/05/2010
Well, at least I'm not dead.

Yesterday I started out on my drive from Lethbridge, Alberta to Vancouver, British Columbia after visiting family and gathering up a lot of my junk from my brothers house.
Here is how it went:

I left Lethbridge at 3 PM PST, and drove normally until I hit Kikomun park. I was going to take a scenic way through the park, which meant going off the highway and end up back on the highway after a fairly short while.

I took a wrong turn, and got lost on a gravel logging road. I thought maybe if I drive on the gravel road long enough it'll go back to highway. 30 KM went by, then 60 KM... I went over some really deep gouges that probably tore up the underside of my Honda Civic and I was afraid that if I went BACK over that bit I'd definitely get stuck. I kept going, going past several forks in the gravel road, making road choices randomly (yes I know not the smartest but hey, I was convinced my only option was going forward anyway). Then I started getting worried about my fuel, I was down to a quarter of a tank. I considered calling 911, but, of course, I quickly found out cellphones don't work in the middle of nowhere. I was facing potentially being completely lost, I was up the side of a heavily forested mountain, it was growing dark out, and the only sign of civilization in an hour had been a half rotted looking cabin that was definitely not occupied.

So, I kept going, bumping over rocks and road gouges. After saying several prayers in my head that I'd encounter a person to direct me to the highway (no one is agnostic in a foxhole?) and nearly hitting a BEAR, I noticed there were these numbers that were going by that seemed to be counting down like so: "72, 71, 70", etc. I figured out they were counting down to zero, so I kept going with the desperate hope they'd take me back to civilization. However panic had begun to set in and I wasn't going as slow as I should have been. In the process I fished tailed twice, recovered once and ended up with my front end in a ditch the second time. I reversed out of the ditch and decided to take it as a sign-- because I noticed horses off to the side between the trees only a couple seconds before that. Sure enough the road lead to a smaller road that lead down to a house and some barns. I parked and jumped the fence and went for help.

The people I found were extremely nice, a man and a woman with the cutest little girl ever and their dog. They said they'd drive out and lead me back to the highway (and also they had helped some American snowmobilers before who had gotten lost in the middle of nowhere... so I'm not the only one, hah.)

They refused to take any money for leading me back to the highway, but I'll forever be grateful to them for doing that for me. I would have gotten lost again myself if I kept on going because there were a couple more splits in the road where each path looked equally good and I know I would have gone the otherway on one of them because it seemed to go north towards where I thought the highway was. If they hadn't have led me out I would have been just as lost and out of fuel.

After that I got into Cranbrook with needle solidly on the "E". Instead of stopping for the night after refueling, I decided to keep going. I really wanted to get home and I was partly afraid that I'd wrecked my car on the gravel road and I wanted it to take me as far as it could.

So off I went into the night. I nearly hit several deer, (I don't think we ever have to worry about them going extinct), including one who decided to leap AT my car and nearly gave me a heart attack. I went down the Osoyoos death mountain at 4 AM with the dawn starting to show on the horizon.

Someone had freshly hit and killed a kitty who was obviously a pet in the town of Keremeos, so I flicked on my hazards (the highway is surprisingly dead at 5 AM) and picked kitty off of the road (with papertowel). I put him on the shoulder so he wouldn't get flattened, and called a nearby kennel that had roadside advertising to tell them of the kitty.

I cried a bit, and kept going. I was starting to need a break NOW and pulled off at a rest stop and had a nap at 7 AM for 45 minutes. I hit the tail end of rush hour Vancouver traffic at 9:30 AM or so. Two different motorists decided to remind me that I was in Vancouver again by trying to change lanes INTO my car. I arrived at home a 10:15 AM. After finding my street closed for construction I went around to the back lane and tried to make my car fit where it doesn't fit. I ended up crashing my leftside bumper into the side of the garage in the back as a grand finale. I noted the damage when I got out of the car and didn't even really care, though I'm sure I'll care tomorrow.

All of my crap is still out in the car. I'm going to get it out this evening... I'm too tired to haul boxes right now.
mood: exhaustedexhausted
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  May 25th, 2010
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