Ben Mabbott (themabbi) wrote,
Ben Mabbott

Went camping this weekend with my Dad and two of my uncles in Mad River, CA. They got there on Thursday, but I had to work, so I didn't leave until Friday around 6:00pm. It's about an 8 hour drive, so by the time I got down there it was almost 3:00am. Unfortunately when I was about 20 miles from the road the campground is on I hit a road block because some idiot decided to drive a 110 foot truck down a twisty mountain highway. The road was closed and there was no detour. The guys that were down by the roadblock said it wouldn't open again until at least 6:00am, but it could be as long as noon. I pulled off the road and tried to get some sleep, but it just wouldn't happen; couldn't get comfortable, cars passing every once in a while, weird noises, etc. A little after 7:00am I gave up and drove back to the freeway.

I thought about getting a hotel and sleeping for a couple hours, but I didn't want to spend that much money just to kill time till the road opened. So instead I ate breakfast, bought and read USA Today cover to cover, and drove around trying to find a place that sold fishing licenses. It was still only a little after 10:00am at that point, so I sat in the parking lot of a Safeway for two hours and tried to sleep, again unsuccessfully. Even better, when noon finally came the road was still closed. I'd been up for 30 hours at this point, and I couldn't take waiting anymore, so I checked to see if my nav system could find some backwoods route to the campground that would avoid Hwy 36. It came up with an alternate route pretty quickly, and I wondered why I hadn't thought of this hours ago. The fact that it estimated over 3 hours to cover the 65 miles should have warned me that this was not a foolproof plan, but a drowning man will grasp at anything.

Of course the roads turned out to be extremely narrow, curvy, steep, and often unpaved. Difficult terrain for any vehicle, but especially for a civic hybrid with low clearance that doesn't handle hills well. Everyone I encountered was in a jeep or a truck, and I got several "what the hell are you thinking, city boy?" stares, to which I replied with a "yes, I'm an idiot, but I was desperate!" sheepish grin.

Eventually I did arrive at the campground, having been awake for 34 hours, the last 4 of which spent on roads one would have to be both crazy and stupid to knowingly attempt in my car. So, as you can imagine, I was in the ideal mood to discover that the highway had reopened about 40 minutes after I gave up on it and drove off into the threshold of hell.

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