the home stretch

2 Aug

Yesterday (actually early this morning) capped the second of two, back-to-back 14 hour drives. In the span of about 38 hours, I covered five states and almost 1,700 miles (that’s 2,700 km for Canadians) as I quickly make my way home. The thought of such a task was daunting to say the least, especially being by myself and given my innate reaction to fall asleep upon entering a vehicle. Ask anyone I know, put me in a driving vehicle and I can be in a comfortable, deep sleep with my mouth gaping open within minutes. In fact, when I used to commute 45 minutes to work and then 45 minutes back home, I would routinely pull over at a rest stop about halfway home for a quick little power nap to get me the rest of the way. I don’t know what it is, but driving just seems to have this effect on me. So the fact that I have driven (safely) from home across the country and now back again is actually quite a feat. Honestly, God has given me supernatural alertness and energy to be able to pull this off because I could not have done it on my own. And until yesterday, I haven’t had to stop for a nap once and it was only a little 15-minuter which hardly counts.

So what does one do for 28 hours in car over the span of two days? Well here’s a little breakdown:

Day 1 (Seward, NE to Layton, UT):

I left Seward, Nebraska at approximately 9:30am, got gas, purchased sunflower seeds and water and was on my way. Drove for three hours straight and in this time I surfed the radio (something I have only come to appreciate when my friend Nat traveled with me last week, prayed (which for anyone driving past me looks like I’m having a conversation with myself) and listened to a variety of music including Delta Spirit, These United States and Kings of Leon. After three hours I made my first stop at McDonald’s for lunch and to use free WiFi. (I had a salad). Continued on my way for another four hours. In this time I worked on my shaker technique while singing (loudly) along to all three albums by Needtobreathe, did some more radio surfing and started listening to an audio book. Time for McDonald’s stop number two for more free WiFi and a frappe to sustain me until dinner. (the amount of sunflower seeds consumed in this time in approximately 1/4lb).

Feeling refreshed I geared up for the last half of drive number one and got to within three hours of my destination when I managed to break my iPod adapter which simultaneously broke my cigarette liter leaving me without a source to power my GPS. Slight snag, but no biggie, I have a road map and keen sense of direction (ha). This marked McDonald’s stop number three (I am completely ashamed to admit that I went to McDonald’s three times in one day). Got a coffee and a snack wrap, mapped out the rest of my trip (as I was now GPS-less) and was on my way. I spent part of the duration of the leg of the trip making a video blog which was literally just me holding my flip video camera and talking into it like a hand-held recorder. The last two hours were a little unnerving. As I approached Layton, Utah there was a crazy lightening storm. I have seen many lightening storms along the way, but this lightening looked like it was going to jolt from the sky right into my car. Every time it flashed I ducked in anticipation of being hit (picture what someone looks going under a door frame they are too tall for). I thought this was a good time for worship music, which was my accompaniment the rest of the way. I arrived at my hotel at about 12:30am (this hotel was by far the nicest hotel I had stayed in this entire trip and unfortunately I was only in it for about 9 hours to sleep and eat breakfast). That marked the end of Day 1. About 1/2 lbs of sunflower seeds were consumed that day (not bad, my mouth wasn’t raw yet).

Day 2 (Layton, UT to Cannon Beach, OR):

Day 2 started earlier than I was hoping… I tried to sleep in, but my body wasn’t having it (I think it knew what I was up against today and just wanted to get it over with). I had a big breakfast at the hotel, you know, carb-loading for the big day, packed up my 75lb bag and was on my way. Before leaving Layton, UT I stopped for an oil change and had a very interesting conversation with one of the guys that worked there. Upon finding out that I am Canadian, this guy went on to tell me how he knows lots of people from Canada but has never been. I told him he should go (I think he thought I was flirting with him). He said that he couldn’t go to Canada because he would just go crazy up there. I asked him what he meant. He said that he would just start killing all the critters and go all nuts on them. I was a bit confused as to what he meant by critters, so I asked for further explanation. You know, all those moose and critters you guys have up there was his response. A bit shocked by what I was hearing, I told him that moose don’t just roam around everywhere in Canada. He said, sure they do. I thought it was funny that he was telling me where or where not the moose live in Canada. He asked me if I go around killing critters. I told him I have never killed a thing in my life and that I don’t like guns. He couldn’t believe that a Canadian doesn’t like killing critters and has never taken part in such activities. Feeling like the conversation was going a bit in circles, I, in my friendly Canadian fashion, said goodbye.

Right from the beginning of Day 2, I was quite restless. My right heel was raw from pressing the gas pedal, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my back hurt, my mouth was raw from sunflower seeds and I was overall a bit agitated that I couldn’t just fall asleep whenever I wanted. I stopped much more frequently and for no apparent reason. Activities of Day 2 included more work on my shaker technique, singing the harmonies to a variety of songs, radio surfing and more praying. I got down right exhausted about 6 hours in and pulled over in a busy tourist area for a quick 15-minute nap. Surprisingly, this 15-minute nap did wonders and got me through the rest of the way. I also listened to an audio book about a man would found out he had terminal cancer and only three months to live… a good portion of this time was spent crying. I drove through a brush fire on the side of the road and saw one of the more interesting people I had seen in awhile. While fueling up somewhere in Oregon at one of those hole-in-a-wall gas stations, an elderly man pulled up on his ATV. The kicker? This elderly man was wearing torn jeans low enough to see a good three inches of his off-white ginch hanging out over top with suspenders secured tightly up and over his bulging bare belly and over his shoulders… and he had a little foofoo dog riding on the back seat of his quad. Only in Oregon?

I arrived at my campsite at about 12:45am (and no, I am not tenting, I have been humbled on this trip and learned many things, but an appreciation for tenting has not been part of this journey… I got a cabin).

So that, in a nutshell, was how I spent 28 hours in my car. Tomorrow I head home… and just in time. Along the way I have managed to leave the two full size towels I brought along at various locations leaving me with a tiny hand towel to dry off with after my shower this morning. I haven’t done laundry in weeks and I have had almost enough of fast food. But honestly, these two months have been the most amazing time of my life and I can’t believe it has come and gone so quickly. God has been exceedingly present, undeniably protecting and wonderfully apparent along the way. I’m really looking forward to coming home to see family and friends, but I am not without sadness for this journey coming to an end and nervousness for getting back into ‘regular’ life. I fell in love with this journey that God has me and am so unbelievably thankful that I did it.


11 Responses to “the home stretch”

  1. grama August 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Welcome home, Jamie!!!!!! love you……….

  2. grama August 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Welcome home girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!love you

  3. erin August 3, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    Hope you had a good day at the beach! Enjoy your drive home, see you soon,

    • Jamie Born August 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

      The beach was great! Looking forward to seeing you guys!

  4. Natasha August 3, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    I’m sooo proud of you and wish I could hook up for coffee to hear more of the highlights. Maybe you’ll just have to road trip up here! Bless you Jamie as you head home and compute all you’ve learned. You’re an amazing chick!

    • Jamie Born August 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

      Thanks Natasha! You are so great! I know, I so wish we could grab a coffee too and I’ll be sure to let you know if a road trip to Fort Mac is ever in the plans :) Thanks for following me along this adventure, you are awesome!

  5. anna court August 3, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    and just awesome
    so proud of you and thankful for our heavenly father keeping you safe & teaching you and many of us reading along much about who he is and how close he longs to be to us when we seek him…we will will will find him
    and he wants to be with us on this journey called life no matter where we are or what we are doing
    love you gal
    anna <

    • Jamie Born August 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

      Thanks Anna! I love you too! Thank you for being so supportive along the way!

  6. SB August 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Yeah, so I hope we didn’t catch you too late, but we rented your room out. But stop by to say hi though k?

    • Jamie Born August 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

      That’s so sweet and such a nice welcome home :) I missed you too.

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